Cablegate: Embassy Ottawa


DE RUEHOT #0283/01 0561557
R 251557Z FEB 08





DHS for International Affairs

E.O. 12958: N/A


1. (U) Summary: The economies, societies and environments of Canada
and the United States are inextricably intertwined; the relationship
is most easily reflected in the staggering volume of bilateral
trade, over US$1.5 billion a day in goods, and the 300,000 people
who cross the shared border every day to work or visit. Moreover,
Canada is the single largest foreign supplier of fossil fuels to the
United States (providing 17 percent of U.S. oil imports and over 80
percent of U.S. natural gas imports). Our food and agriculture
markets are almost completely integrated, with Canada accounting for
about 20 percent of total US agri-food imports. In addition our two
countries' financial markets and telecommunications and electrical
networks are highly interconnected. As a consequence of this
exceptional interrelationship a disruption to Canada's critical
infrastructure (CI) could have an immediate and deleterious impact
on the United States. Because it would be virtually impossible to
provide an exhaustive accounting of Canada's CI, this cable gives
illustrative examples of CI in various sectors. Protection of CI is
a Canadian national priority, and Canada is a close and trusted
partner with the United States in working to protect CI in North
America. End summary.


2. (U) Like the United States, Canada's critical infrastructure
consists of physical and information technology facilities,
networks, services and assets essential to the health, safety,
security or economic well-being of its citizens, or to the effective
functioning of government. In many respects, the two countries
should be viewed as sharing the same infrastructure (pipelines,
bridges, power and phone lines) sprawling across a shared economic
space. As in the United States, it is estimated that most (between
85 and 95 percent)of Canada's critical infrastructure is owned and
operated by private sector firms, which therefore bear primary
responsibility for the development and implementation of business
continuity plans. In addition to the federal government's role, the
provinces and territories also have a significant jurisdictional
role in critical infrastructure protection and emergency management.
These government entities also own and regulate some critical

3. (U) Canada has established the National Critical Infrastructure
Assurance Program (NCIAP) - an ongoing collaboration between private
sector partners and federal, provincial and territorial governments
- to provide a national framework for cooperative action and to
build a resilient national critical infrastructure. The federal
government classifies critical infrastructure within ten sectors, as
opposed to the USG classification system of 17 critical
infrastructure/key resources sectors.

4. (U) The 10 Canadian sectors are:

-- Energy and Utilities (e.g., electrical power, natural gas, oil

-- Information and Communications Technology (e.g.,
telecommunications, broadcasting systems, software, hardware, and
networks including the Internet)

-- Finance (e.g., large-value payment, securities clearing and
settlement systems)

-- Health Care (e.g., hospitals, blood-supply facilities and
pharmaceutical manufacturers)
Qpharmaceutical manufacturers)

-- Food (e.g., safety, distribution, agriculture and food industry)

-- Water (e.g., drinking water and wastewater management)

-- Transportation (e.g., road, rail, marine, and aviation)

-- Safety (e.g., chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear
safety, dangerous goods, search and rescue, emergency services and

-- Government (e.g., services, facilities, information networks and
key national monuments)

-- Manufacturing (e.g., defense industrial base, chemical industry)


5. (U) At the federal government level, the Public Safety Canada is
responsible for national CI policy. Public Safety Canada works
primarily with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security
(particularly with the Office of Critical Infrastructure Protection)
on the identification of shared CI, threat analysis and response
planning; since 2005, under the auspices of the SPP. We understand
that Public Safety Canada and DHS have recently collaborated on a
detailed threat analysis of shared CI. Post would welcome a copy.


A. (SBU) Banking & Finance - Canada's five main nationwide banks own
substantial U.S. subsidiaries and do large amounts of business in
U.S. currency. Toronto, which is less than an hour's drive from
Buffalo, hosts the world's seventh largest stock exchange, and
hundreds of securities are co-listed on both the Toronto and New
York Stock Exchanges. A major disruption of financial business in
Toronto would be felt instantly on U.S. markets.

B. (SBU) Chemical & Hazardous Materials - Canada's main
petrochemical complex is at Sarnia, Ontario, opposite Port Huron,
Michigan, where major oil and gas pipelines from western Canada
terminate. Sarnia and Port Huron are both relatively small towns
and they share resources, such as chemical spill response teams, in
emergencies. Also, Canada is the world's largest single producer of
uranium, accounting for about one-third of the world's uranium mine
output. Cameco's refinery at Blind River, Ontario takes uranium
oxide concentrate (U3O8) from mines in Canada and abroad and refines
it to UO3, an intermediate product. The UO3 is trucked to Port Hope,
Ontario (on the shores of Lake Ontario) where Cameco has about
one-quarter of the Western world's uranium hexafluoride (UF6)
conversion capacity - 12,400 metric tons per year. The uranium
hexafluoride is then shipped outside Canada for enrichment
(including in the United States) for use in light water reactors.
Disruption of uranium mining activities in Saskatchewan or the
milling and conversion facilities in Ontario could impact fuel
supply for American nuclear power plants. Destruction, disruption
or exploitation of the Port Hope plant could lead to radiological
contamination of American territory in New York state.

C. (SBU) Defense Industrial Base - The "Stryker" armored vehicle for
the U.S. Army is built by General Dynamics; the structure,
fabrication and final assembly of the "Stryker" takes place in
London, Ontario (and also at Anniston, Alabama). Disruption at the
Ontario plant would impact acquisition and deployment of the

D. (SBU) Emergency Services - Response plans exist at the federal,
state/provincial and local levels to deal with cross-border
emergency response. For example, The Joint Inland Pollution
Contingency Plan is aimed at developing a coordinated and integrated
response between Canadian and United States governments to pollution
incidents and Mutual Aid pacts exist at the local level between
towns in the U.S. and in Canada, as in Port Huron - Sarnia (see B
above). Were these cross-border services disrupted, adequate
Qabove). Were these cross-border services disrupted, adequate
emergency response might be otherwise unavailable.

E. (SBU) Energy - Canada is the largest source of U.S. imports of
oil, natural gas, electricity and uranium; the United States exports
electricity, coal and petroleum products to Canada. This energy
trade is carried by a shared web of oil and gas pipelines, and our
interconnected electricity grid. On the Canadian side of the
border, the private sector owns over 85 per cent of the energy
infrastructure. Our interdependent relationship was highlighted
dramatically in August, 2003, when approximately 50 million people
in Ontario and seven U.S. states suffered a blackout of more than 48
hours due to a failure of our shared electricity grid (precipitated
by a fault at an Ohio power plant).

F. (SBU) Food & Agriculture - Canada and the United States are
engaged in a high volume of trade in agricultural products and
seafood; the potential impact on the U.S. of agro-terrorism or
bioterrorism at a Canadian food facility would be correspondingly

high. The top five agri-food imports into the U.S. from Canada are:
baked goods (including pasta and breakfast cereals), beef,
beverages, vegetables and pork.

G. (SBU) Information Technology - Millions of Americans rely on the
BlackBerry device produced by Research in Motion (RIM) of Waterloo,
Ontario; its network operations center in Ontario processes every
e-mail message to or from a BlackBerry. In early February 2008 more
than 5 million users were left without BlackBerry connectivity for
up to 24 hours during a technical upgrade, underscoring the
cross-border impact of any disruption to RIM's Ontario facilities.

H. (SBU) National Monuments & Icons - Niagara Falls is located on
the Ontario-New York border and ranks high as a "North American"
icon (the Canadian "Horseshoe falls" is probably the most
picturesque portion). Disruption at this locale would likely have
wide-ranging psycho-social impacts.

I. (SBU) Postal & Shipping - The St. Lawrence Seaway, jointly
managed by the U.S. and Canada, with its system of locks allows
ocean-going vessels to move between the high seas into the Great
Lakes, and facilitates ship-borne commerce between American and
Canadian ports on the Great Lakes. Almost 50 percent of Seaway
traffic travels to and from overseas ports, especially those in
Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Disruption on the seaway would
create a cascade of logistics problems for many shippers in the
Great Lakes states.

J. (SBU) Public Health and Healthcare - Approximately 3,500 Canadian
health care workers commute to the Detroit region on a daily basis,
and that number is expected to increase as Michigan health care
facilities continue recruiting in Canada due to an ongoing nursing
shortage. Disruption of this commute (via disinformation, attacks
on transport or bridges, for example) would directly and immediately
impact health care for thousands of Michigan residents.

K. (SBU) Telecommunications - Canadian telecoms companies carry
Canadian defense communications into the U.S. where they link up
with U.S. networks. Canadian financial institutions with large U.S.
holdings and operations (e.g. Bank of Montreal with Harris Bank;
Toronto Dominion with TD Banknorth; and Royal Bank of Canada with
Centura) use Canadian telecom networks to relay critical financial
data. Much command and control functionality for cross-border
electricity grids and pipelines is carried on Canadian telecoms
networks. Disruption to telecoms systems in Canada would have
immediate and deleterious effect on United States interests.

L. (SBU) Transportation - The value of goods transported annually
across a single bridge, the Ambassador bridge, between Detroit,
Michigan and Windsor, Ontario (valued at approximately US$108
billion in 2006), is more than the entire annual merchandise trade
between the United States and the United Kingdom (US$98 billion in
2006). Destruction or disruption of this bridge would have a
significant impact on, inter alia, the highly integrated North
American automotive industry.

M. (SBU) Water - The Point Roberts Water District in Washington
state draws 840,000 gallons of water per day for its residents from
the Greater Vancouver Water District (GVWD) from a reservoir located
in Delta, British Columbia. Disruption of this supply would create
Qin Delta, British Columbia. Disruption of this supply would create
significant distress for the population of this diminutive United
States exclave.

N. (SBU) Commercial Facilities - NAVCanada (NAVCAN) is the private,
not-for-profit operator of Canada's civil air navigation system;
NAVCAN manages all transatlantic air traffic in the airspace
immediately west of Iceland and North American landfall. Disruption
of this service would affect (cancel or postpone) hundreds of
transatlantic flights per day.

O. (SBU) Dams - Three dams in British Columbia regulate the flow of
the Columbia River into the United States. The Mica, Hugh
Keenleyside and Duncan dams were built as a result of the Columbia
River Treaty, signed by Canada and the United States in 1964. The
Treaty dams provide flood control, and they are essential to the
maintenance of power generation at hydro-electric plants in the
United States. Flooding and/or loss of electricity generation
capacity in the United States could result if the dams were
destroyed or otherwise exploited.

P. (SBU) Government Facilities - NORAD, the North American Aerospace
Defense Command, is an integrated bi-national United States and
Canadian organization charged with the missions of aerospace warning
and aerospace control for North America. One of three subordinate
regional HQs is located in Canada, at Winnipeg, Manitoba (the other
two regional HQs are in Alaska and Florida).

Q. (SBU) Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs)- In Ontario ten operating
nuclear reactor units are situated at Pickering and Darlington on
Lake Ontario facing New York State (roughly 60 miles north-east of
Buffalo). Another six operating nuclear reactor units are situated
on the shores of Lake Huron, adjacent to Lake Superior. One nuclear
reactor is located in New Brunswick adjacent to the Bay of Fundy,
about 45 miles from the New Brunswick-Maine border, and one is
situated in Quebec on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River
about 100 miles north of the Quebec-Vermont border. If an NPP
containment facility was breached and radiological materials were
released some contamination of U.S. territory (land or water) might
be expected.

6. (SBU) Comment: The inventory of critical infrastructure and key
resources that we have compiled here is illustrative, not
exhaustive. Post believes that a more comprehensive listing might
be obtained from the Department of Homeland Security.

7. (U) This message was cleared with DHS Attach at Mission Canada.

© Scoop Media

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