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Cablegate: Spp Leads to Revival of Moribund Border

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

211641Z Nov 05




E.O. 12958: N/A

1. (U) Officials of Transport Canada (TC) and the Department
of Transportation (DOT) met November 15-16, 2005, in Ottawa
to revitalize the Emergency Preparedness Committee on Civil
Transportation (EPCCT), a group which held its last meeting
in September 2002. This initial meeting after a long hiatus
was convened in response to TC and DOT involvement in the
Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) and instructions
from TC and DOT principals to address the deliverables
identified in Goal 9 of the SPP security agenda relating to
transportation. EPCCT members agreed to meet again in five

2. (U) Participants in the November 15-16 meeting included
principals from DOT headquarters emergency operations offices
(including those of the Federal Aviation Administration and
the Federal Highway Administration) as well as regional
emergency transportation representatives. The TC delegation,
which was double the size of the USDEL, included TC
headquarters officers responsible for emergency preparedness
as well safety and security for all modes of transportation.

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3. (U) The immediate goal of this EPCCT meeting was to
complete SPP security deliverable 9.2.8: to establish a
working group dealing with responses to incidents affecting
the transportation sector. That goal was largely
accomplished by reestablishing the EPCCT and bringing
together the TC and DOT transportation sector experts who met
last week. The group noted, however, that membership on the
EPCCT will require expansion in order to fulfill the SPP
mandate. Specifically, the EPCCT intends to ask the
following agencies to attend its future meetings: Public
Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada (PSEPC); Canada
Border Services Agency (CBSA); the Transportation Security
Administration (TSA); the Federal Emergency Management Agency
(FEMA); and both Coast Guards. TC said that it also intends
to enlist participants from its regional offices. The next
meeting of the EPCCT will take place in April 2006 in the
United States at a venue yet to be determined.

4. (U) The EPCCT also agreed upon terms of reference for the
committee and looked at opportunities for ways to develop
binational emergency transportation preparedness and
response. The committee recognized a need to reestablish
comprehensive communications between the regions and
headquarters, and to work more closely with provincial and
state governments. A need was also noted for more joint
training and exercises (full scenarios as well as table-tops)
to create the linkages necessary for local and national
authorities to react to emergencies.

5. (U) Comment: The EPCCT group that met in Ottawa was
enthusiastic and eager about its role in addressing SPP
security agenda objectives. The re-establishment of the
EPCCT will likely go a long way to strengthen the
U.S.-Canadian capability to adequately respond to incidents
affecting the transportation sector. The involvement of
regional as well as headquarters players seems to be a good
one that should further enhance our binational emergency
response capability.

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