Canadian Shipper


Ottawa to fix security

The Liberal government will spend $500-million on a new national security policy to close significant gaps in Canada’s intelligence and security apparatus, senior officials say.

The policy is to be presented to Cabinet today and unveiled next week. The officials say it will promise improvements to maritime security, passport control and Ottawa’s fingerprinting program.

The new policy, which will be presented to Cabinet today and unveiled next week, will outline a national security framework and plans for how to maintain and improve security.

It will also outline a number of new initiatives, said senior officials.

They said the new policy is expected to address major deficiencies in inter-agency co-operation recently identified by Sheila Fraser, the Auditor-General, such as out-of-date terrorist watch lists, backlogs in missing passports and delays in information transmitted to Canada’s intelligence and counterterrorism agencies.
The $500-million is part of a $605-million security contingency reserve for the next five years of which $115-million will be spent this fiscal year to bolster the country’s national security establishment, including improvements to maritime security.

The navy and coast guard will get funds to improve their communications and inter-operability between various agencies and to allow more frequent maritime surveillance operations.

The new Canadian Border Services Agency, which encompasses customs and border security, will also receive money for new customs installations and security defences at border crossings.

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