Cablegate: Canada's New Transportation Security Strategy

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

092043Z Aug 05





E.O. 12958: N/A

1. Summary: Transport Minister Jean Lapierre announced an
expanded Transportation Security Strategy that will assess
how Canada's transportation industry and the threat
environment are likely to evolve. When completed, the TSS
will allow the GOC to better assess threats and will guide
decisions on future spending on transportation security over
the next five to seven years.

2. He also announced plans for a "made in Canada" no-fly
list and initiatives to improve air cargo security. Lapierre
emphasized that he will continue to work with his
counterparts in other countries, especially the U.S. and
U.K., and with international organizations, in developing
other transportation security measures. GOC concerns about
USG plans to require flights that transit U.S. airspace to
use the U.S. no-fly list are well known. This is likely the
next step in trying to develop a solution that boosts
security in a way that addresses Canadian concerns about
privacy and sovereignty. The full text of Minister
Lapierre's speech is available at End Summary

Transportation security can't be an add-on

3. In an August 5 speech in Halifax, Canadian Transport
Minister Jean Lapierre reviewed the steps the GOC has taken
since the September 11 attacks to boost transportation
security and outlined GOC plans for an expanded
Transportation Security Strategy that builds on security
efforts implemented since 2001. Referring to 30 years of
terrorist attacks on transportation, including the attacks on
Air India, September 11, and the Madrid and London bombings,
Lapierre stressed that "Transportation security cannot be
seen as an add-on. It must be an integral element of the way
we do business."

Assessing threats; setting priorities

4. The new Transportation Security Strategy will look at the
entire transport system, take stock of progress and assess
how the transportation industry and threat environment are
likely to evolve. The GOC will then determine the greatest
risks and how best to invest limited resources to protect
transportation. The strategy will include members of the
transportation industry and the provincial and territorial
governments, with work teams on security in aviation, marine,
intermodal transport, rail, transit and trucking. When
completed, it will allow the GOC to better assess threats and
will guide decisions on future spending on transportation
security over the next five to seven years. Lapierre
emphasized that he will continue to work with his
counterparts in Washington and London and other major
capitals, and through international organizations such as the
International Civil Aviation Organization.

Passenger Protect: the made in Canada no-fly list
--------------------------------------------- ------

5. Plans to introduce the "Passenger Protect" program (a
"no-fly list) next year dominated coverage of the speech. In
a related announcement, the Deputy Prime Minister/Minister of
Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada (PSEPC)
confirmed that Transport Canada is starting a round of
consultations on how to implement the passenger information
provisions of the Public Safety Act, 2002. Over the coming
months, Transport Canada will work with groups including
airlines, airports, and the Privacy Commission to develop a
list using a "made in Canada approach that improves security,
while ensuring the efficient operation of our aviation system
and protecting the privacy and rights of all Canadians." In
coordination with experts from law enforcement to the privacy
commissioner, the GOC plans to identify those who "pose an
immediate threat to aviation security." The list is expected
to include about 1,000 names, and Transport Canada tells us
that proposals from the U.S. and other countries will be
evaluated for inclusion as specified in the Security and
Prosperity Partnership. .

A Canadian list for Canadian flights

6. U.S. plans to require use of our no-fly list to include
flights that transit U.S. airspace has caused a degree of
consternation in Canada. In his speech, Lapierre said that
the U.S. proposal would affect some 3,000 flights a week in
Canada and that he and the Deputy Prime Minister have advised
U.S. counterparts of their concerns and stressed that it is
not appropriate for passengers on domestic Canadian flights
to be vetted against the U.S. no-fly list. In addition to
announcing Passenger Protect, Lapierre confirmed that the GOC
is moving ahead with a new system of airport passes using
biometrics and has started discussions with industry on
further strengthening air cargo security.

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