Prime Minister announces new measures to enhance the safety of Canadians

 
Toronto, Ontario
16 June 2006

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced new measures to help increase Canada’s capability to detect and respond to a potential terrorist attack.

Speaking in Toronto, the Prime Minister stated that Canada’s new government is already taking significant action, both here at home and overseas, to confront the threat of terrorism. Noting that terrorists have targeted transportation systems in nations such as the U.K. and Spain, the Prime Minister added Canada must do everything possible to prevent such attacks from occurring here.

“We need to better ensure that Canada does more to prevent terrorism at home,” the Prime Minister said. “Although we witnessed how successfully our security and intelligence services work together two weeks ago, we need to do more to protect our people and our institutions.”

The measures announced today include initiatives to bolster the safety and security for Canada’s land, sea and air travel networks. In addition to enhancing programs that protect our transportation system, the Government will also work to better coordinate the anti-terrorism efforts of the various agencies and organizations that are responsible for transportation safety.

“Canada can choose to ignore terrorism, but terrorism will not ignore Canada,” the Prime Minister concluded. “Our new government is prepared to act and the measures announced today will better secure Canada and help protect the Canadian way of life.”

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BACKGROUNDER

CANADA’S NEW GOVERNMENT TO INVEST $254 MILLION DOLLARS OVER TWO YEARS TO BOLSTER CANADA’S TRANSPORTATION SECURITY INFRASTRUCTURE

Terrorism threatens all free and democratic countries.  Canada is not alone.  Canada’s New Government is tackling terrorism at home and abroad.


TRANSPORTATION SECURITY

As we have seen around the world, transportation systems can be particularly vulnerable to terrorist attacks.

Canada’s New Government is investing $254 million over two years to bolster air, rail, transit and marine security.

Under our plan, Canada will:

1. Invest in the improvement of screening of cargo at airports.

2. Invest more in air passenger screening.

3. Invest more in securing our rail system.

4. Enhance marine port security.

In Budget 2006, Canada’s New Government committed $254 million for transportation security, as part of $1.4 billion to enhance national security overall.


AIR CARGO                         

$26 million over two years

For air cargo security initiatives designed to enhance existing air cargo security measures. These initiatives include measures to ensure the integrity of air cargo security throughout the supply chain, as well as the evaluation of screening technologies.


AIR PASSENGER SCREENING

$133 million over two years for the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority

The investment will enable the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) to respond to increasing air passenger volumes and corresponding operating pressures.


RAIL AND MARINE SECURITY

$95 million over two years


The rail security funding is multi-faceted.  The funding includes:

• Funding to enhance critical security in high-risk passenger rail and transit security operations.  It will establish a new passenger rail and urban transit security contribution program, targeted towards the high volume passenger areas of commuter rail and urban transit, with a focus on major urban transit systems and equipment. This program will provide financial assistance to commuter rail and public transit operators in designated major metropolitan areas to accelerate the implementation of new and enhanced security measures.

• Funding to strengthen Canada’s capacity to provide surface transportation security leadership and expert assistance in the development of security assessments and plans, best practices and guidelines; enhance information sharing networks; strengthen incident tracking and trend analysis; conduct technology research and development programs targeted to high-volume passenger transportation; and coordinate international and intergovernmental efforts on surface transportation security.

• Funding to improve the readiness of Canada’s urban transport sector to respond to emergencies and to develop effective contingency plans. This funding will allow Canada’s New Government to partner with key jurisdictions and stakeholders to carry out complex inter-jurisdictional exercises in designated major metropolitan areas. These exercises are essential in preparing officials at all levels of government, as well as infrastructure owner-operators, first responders and law enforcement officers, for their roles in emergencies.

• Eligibility for Canada’s domestic ferry operators, including those that are part of urban transit systems, to apply for funding under the existing Transport Canada Marine Security Contribution Program to enhance the security of their facilities and vessels. Ferries and certain marine facilities will be given an additional two years to apply to the Marine Security Contribution Program (until November 2009).

Abroad, we are participating in a UN-sanctioned, multinational mission in Afghanistan designed to ensure that Afghanistan never again becomes a safe haven for terrorism.

At home, Canada’s New Government has announced measures to protect public security including funding 1000 new RCMP personnel and $300+ million for border security.



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