Canadian Security in the 21st Century

One: Published Policy

Principal Spokespeople:
Eric Walton - GPC Advocate Foreign Affairs
Jeff Brownridge - GPC Advocate Defence and Veteran's Affairs

View Canadian Security in the 21st Century in the official 2004 platform.

The Green Party's international security policy aims to build peace, protect threatened ecosystems and advance human rights. We seek to address the true magnitude of global-level social, environmental and political challenges by re-focusing and better coordinating our international relations, peace-keeping/building and development programs.

The Green Party will:

Create a new International Affairs and Comprehensive Security Agency (IACSA) with a primary mandate to advance peace-building, environmental sustainability and human rights. The Agency would direct and fund (but not merge) the Department of National Defence (DND), the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and the Department of Foreign Affairs (minus Citizenship & Immigration functions).

Develop a large-scale Rapid Response and Deployment Force called the Canadian International Security Force (CISF) capable of supporting foreign humanitarian, environmental, and peace-building/making/keeping missions.

Develop a new "Canada Guard" and "Canada Guard Reserve" to assume domestic responsibilities currently performed by DND and the Canadian Coast Guard. The Canadian Coast Guard would become a non-military part of the new Canada Guard Reserve. The main Canada Guard would include some personnel and appropriate resources transferred from the old Canadian Forces and the Canadian Reserve Forces at time of re-structuring as well as new recruits (and temporary transfers from CISF personnel who elect to transfer to The Canada Guard for up to 5 years for family or personal reasons).

The Department of National Defence will be renamed the Ministry of Defence (MOD). This ministry will oversee the new Canada Guard/Reserve as well as the Canadian International Security Force (CISF).

Double the size of special forces units in Canada by splitting JTF-2 from the current force strength of 300 and divide the force into an overseas service and a domestic service force.

International Affairs and Comprehensive Security Agency (IACSA)

Canada's security requirements and international commitments can be best achieved by co-ordinating our military, diplomatic and development oriented bureaucracies through a new International Affairs and Comprehensive Security Agency. The new body will coordinate and fund the activities of the Department of National Defence, the Canadian International Development Agency and the Department of Foreign Affairs and focus on peace-building, human security and envirnmental sustainability as its primary mandate.

Canadian International Security Force (CISF): An internationally oriented Rapid Response and Deployment Force.

To play a credible role in international assistance and security missions, Canada must develop a large, highly-trained and well-equipped Rapid Response & Deployment Force that we are calling the Canadian International Security Force (CISF). This will require new investments in long-range strategic air-lift equipment, specialized naval support ships, disaster-relief equipment, state-of-the-art armored personnel carriers, personal protective equipment and additional training for our forces.

Augmenting the CISF will be a special operations force, similar in size to JTF-2, responsible for special forces operations in support of CISF activities and as an individual operating unit.

The Green Party will:

Create an formal international capability that combines the efforts of civilian and diplomats with military units.
These units would work together, in a coordinated fashion, to prevent and reduce conflict, protect civilians and eco-systems at risk.
Expand and better utilize DART (Disaster Assistance Response Team) in delivering emergency supplies and medical aid.
Promote environmental sustainability and support the international activities of the United Nations.
Support the "Responsibility to Protect" (R2P) inititative currently in development at the UN.

A New Canada Guard and Canada Guard Reserve for Domestic Defence and Emergency Assistance.

Canada's security at home should be managed by one organization. Search and rescue, coastal patrol, airborne maritime surveillance and disaster assistance would all be coordinated under one roof.

Erosion of Canadian sovereignty in far Northern regions is a real possibilty. The GPC will create a comprehensive plan to enhance Sovereignty in Canada's North.

Hostage rescue, domestic terrorist response and VIP close personal protection (CPP) duties will be assumed by a special forces unit similar in size to current JTF-2 staffing with the support of other Canada Guard regular and reserve force units.

The GPC will determine how many personnel we need to protect the sovereignty of Canada, determine how many personnel we want to be involved or ready for international action - peacekeeping, emergencies etc., then make sure their salary, in combination with other quality of life issues, affords them a respectable standard of living and make sure they have the right equipment and special training for the jobs they are asked to do.

GPC will not support the further weaponization of the Space Commons or a Space Arms Race that would likely be accelerated by the U.S Missile Defence program.

GPC will actively work to prevent terrorist groups operating in Canada.

GPC will review the risk/advantages of continued involvement in the expanded NATO alliance.

Two: Speaking Points

What does it say about the state of Canada's foreign policy or the investments we have made in military equipment if we do not have the inclination or capacity to prevent or respond to a future Rwanda or a current Sudan.

Canadian international security would be significantly enhanced if the definition and practice of security was broadened tACo incorporate real threats from environmental degradation, developing country poverty and alienation, epidemic diseases, as well as, opportunities for effective preventative action.

Three: Background


Canadians can justifiably be proud of our governments central role in the development of International Peace-Keeping through the United Nations. Unfortunately, a lack of political vision and direction from recent governments has stretched our military resources very thin (with safety implications) and limited operational capacity. The type of security challenges facing Canada and the World have also changed. We cannot afford any more delay in renewing Canada's international security policy. It is time for courageous international policy innovation once again.

Contemporary threats to international security and well-being are now primarily from international terrorism, non-state organizations, international criminal gangs, as well as from environmental factors, such as rapid climate change, resource depletion, air and water pollution, and the continuing invasion of exotic species/diseases. In addition, severe poverty in many developing nations (in significant part due to the consequences of unfair trade agreements, unsustainable foreign debt burden and epidemic diseases) and struggling civil society institutions, continues to stimulate and/or excacerbate local and regional conflicts resulting in great human suffering and death.

The current military defence budgets of the United States ($US 415 billion) and Canada ($CDN 13 billion) combined, represent approximately half of annual total global military expenditures ($850 billion). Diverting twenty percent of this budget, or one in five dollars (US$85 billion) to humanitarian assistance would provide the basic requirements of life to the quarter of the world\'s population struggling (and for 25 million children a year failing) to survive. A strong case can be made to North American voters, that North American security (and for many also their moral inclination) is far better served by this alternative use of every fifth military dollar. Given also that destitute people are frequently forced by necessity to over-exploit natural resources, which in turn adversely impacts on global environmental conditions, it is probable that the mis-allocation of this last 20% of North American military expenditures is actually reducing North American (and their personal) security.

A pro-active and coherent Canadian international response is desperately needed for moral reasons and for basic self-interest. No amount of isolation or protectionism will spare Canada from the ultimate consequences of these external global developments. Canada can and must lead by example. We have over time developed a multicultural social and political model that validates an alternative to ethnic/tribal division and conflict. We can support the development of indigenous civil society institutions and political processes from our own multicultural experience and sensibility. We can lead a "coalition of the willing" for peace-building and sustainability, though stronger action is sometimes necessary, through A TRUE MULTI-LATERAL process the adheres to International law. We must be pro-active with other sympathetic allies in the international community to prevent future genocides like the tradgedy in Rwanda.

The Federal Green Party would seek to maximize the effectiveness of a new international Peace and Sustainability (PAS) security mandate through a strategic co-ordination of several federal agencies and departments. At the same time, we propose to provide the best protection (physical and psychological) to those we put in harms way on behalf of Canada's international objectives, and, we would work to improve the quality-of- life of their families.

As government, The Green Party would legislate to:

a) Create a new International Affairs and Comprehensive Security Agency. The new body would direct and fund (but not merge) the Department of National Defence (DND), the Department of Foreign Affairs (minus Citizenship) and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). The current combined budgets of all these Departments/Agency would roll over into the initial total budget of the new Agency. Additional future operational and capital funding would be driven by considerations of peace-keeper safety, balanced budgets and program outcomes.

b) Mission. The mandate of the new Agency would be to enhance global peace and environmental sustainability through a program focus on PREVENTION of conflict and environmental degradation. It would work in partnership and cooperation with other like-minded nations and multi-lateral institutions as
well as with smaller international and national civil society groups (such as non-violent civilian peace forces and environmental organizations). The definition of global could include Canadian territory in emergencies.

c) One Strategy for Peace. The linkage between Peace and Sustainability is intentional. A growing co-factor in conflicts around the world is worsening environmental conditions and natural resource scarcity. Conversely, natural environments and resources (already degraded by non-sustainable economic practices), are further seriously damaged through military conflicts. In appropriate situations, a PAS conflict prevention program would maintain this dual focus on peace-making and environmental renewal. In fact, the effectiveness of prevention programs would be enhanced by the strong linkage between peace-building and environmental sustainability. For example, through the development of a re-forestation, sustainable agriculture or conservation program in a high-risk conflict area, the opportunity for dialogue and mutual interest identification between opposing groups (not to mention employment prospects) is enhanced. The risk of conflict is reduced by re-orienting economic and social activity to mutual provision and away from increasing competition for ever scarcer resources. It is understood that other strategies for conflict prevention would also be required and applied in different conflict situations. See www.caii-dc.com/ghai/toolbox.htm for examples and definitions.

D) Rapid Response and Deployment. Canada would support a highly trained, well-equipped and rapid deployment international force. Canada would invest in long-range, strategic air-lift equipment, disaster relief equipment, state-of-the-art armoured personnel carriers and personal protective equipment. There would be enhanced training and support to assist personnel (to the extent possible) with the psychological/emotional risks faced on assignment. There would also be enhanced training for disaster intervention (natural and human-caused) and equipment upgrades to properly protect personnel responding to radio-active, biological and chemical threats.

E) Security Force Recruitment & Size. It is probable that this wider and deeper mission focus, and, broader functional roles for personnel, will resolve the current serious problem of recruitment and retention in the traditional Canadian Armed Forces. The ultimate operational size of Canada's Rapid Response Force would vary according to the types of missions undertaken and resources available, but always with a priority of enhancing personnel security and family well-being. There would be a creative mix of non-military civilian, military and police units trained to work together in a co-ordinated fashion. In fact, evolving mission requirements in the Afghanistan deployment are leading to ad-hoc co-operation between Canadian military, humanitarian aid and foreign affairs personnel. We propose to formalize and enhance these institutional synergies.

F) Strategic Priority Setting. Linking resources and skill sets from Defence, Foreign Affairs and Overseas Development Assistance, the new Agency will focus its activities in the following order of priority, first, Risk Assessment and Peace-Building and then secondly, appropriate Peace-Keeping missions. The first priority will likely absorb considerable resources, but involvement in limited peace-keeping missions should continue for humanitarian reasons, and also, in order to maintain the overall mission adaptability of a highly trained and well-equipped security force.

G) Division of Labour. Certain tasks currently preformed by the armed forces would be transferred to a new Canada Guard/Canada Guard Reserve that would incorporate the Canadian Coast Guard, elements of the Canadian Forces/Reserves and Inuit Rangers. Personnel would have enhanced training in Canadian disaster assistance and responding to chemical, nuclear and biological incidents. Opportunities for Reserve/Coast Guard personnel involvment in overseas deployments would be on a voluntary basis and as available. Similarity, reciprocal opportunities would exist for personnel for temporary service (up to 5 year terms) in Canada only, according to personal or family needs.

H) Capital Funding Program for Re-Structuring and Appropriate Equipment/Training Costs. Capital expenditures for new equipment would be based on what is required to do the job well and not based on historic or institutional bias. A new ten-year $ 10 billion dollar ($1.0 billion/year) investment would serve to facilitate the proposed re-structuring and, to provide extensive additional training and academic resources to personnel. An additional ten-year $10 billion ($1.0 billion/year) increase would be allocated to the Canada Guard/Canada Guard Reserve restructuring initiative.

I) Canadian Military Arms Export Trade. Developed countries, including Canada, are responsible for approximately 90% of arms transfers to Developing countries. As of 1997, Canada was the eight largest arms producer in the world ($3 billion per year). Of the fifty-five countries receiving military hardware from Canada that year, about 50% engaged in gross violations of human rights and/or were involved in wars with neighbouring states. The Green Party in government would limit exports to areas in violation of human rights and/or in active war with other countries and would end all financial guarantees to arms exports. We would implement transition programs to phase out certain types of arms exports.

J) Personnel Remuneration and Quality-Of-Life Issues. Remuneration would be enhanced for CISF personnel on overseas assignment. In addition, a special single-parenting bonus allowance would be provided for spouses remaining back in Canada. In addition, family-friendly policies would be brought forward in areas of child-care support, maternity/paternity leave, shelter allowances and temporary transfer to Canadian-territory only duty in the new Canada Guard.

Four: Frequently Asked Questions:

Q. Is the Green Party proposing to merge DND, Foreign Affairs and CIDA?.

Ans.: No. They would continue as separate Departments retaining their
institutional memory and capabilities, but their mandates and priorities
would now be developed within the new International Affairs and Comprehensive Security Agency. The Agency would enhance co-ordination and co-operation among the three federal bureaucracies by controlling line-item budget allocations to each Department and also by bringing together key individuals from each Department.

Q. Would there be one Cabinet Minister or three?

Ans: There would a second powerful Deputy Prime Minister responsible for IACSA as well as a new Junior Minister for the International Security Force, and upgrading the current Junior Minister for CIDA to a Senior Minister. There would continue to be a Senior Minister for Foreign Affairs and a Senior Minister for the re-named MOD (previously DND).

Q. Why not just form a special Committee of high ranking heads and experts from each Department/Agency who would meet to better co-ordinate Canada's international activities.

Ans. There is already an unhealthy degree of suspicion and "silo building" between the federal organizations in question, in part because of the competition for budget dollars, and in part because of their perceived segmented mandates This internal institutional friction not only expends energy unnecessarily, it can lead to poor decision-making and loss of potential collaborative opportunities.

A Committee would also not capture the full potential for on-going collaboration, networking (within and outside government) , strategic research , internal discipline and focused leadership that would come from a powerful Agency with its own space, decision-making capabilities and budgetting powers. A dedicated Agency would also provide an opportunity to build and reinforce a new ethic that rewarded collaboration/vision over Departmental self-interest. It has the potential to create a performance level in Canadian international activity superior even to exceptional historical benchmarks.

Q. Would this new arrangement downgrade the combat capabilities of MOD/DND?

Ans. It depends on what type of combat you mean. If it is developing the ability to successfully intervene in a future Rwanda-type situation and disarm genocidal thugs then the answer is no. The new role proposed for MOD would involve retaining/developing a large, robust, and highly trained Rapid Deployment Force with advanced and specialized combat capability but with also the capability of multi-tasking in non-combat roles.

It is however being proposed that Canada's internationally deployed Forces would focus its resources on developing specialized capabilities to advance a Canadian peace-building, environmental sustainability and human security mandate.

Q. How would this organizational change affect the recruitment/retention
challenges currently facing DND?

Ans. Shifting our foreign policy priorities to active peace-building, human security and environmental sustainability will hold a tremendous appeal to many Canadians eager to make a difference in the world. There will now be three different entry points/careers to building the human resource capability- Humanitarian Assistance/CIDA, Foreign Affairs or DND. Opportunities for cross training and internal transfers will be made available as well as shorter-term civilian placement opportunities. Sharing resources, reducing duplication and building a collaborative organizational capability will impact positively on human resource requirements, quality-of-life issues and especially on retention rates.

Q. Are you proposing to maintain the existing budgets of those organizations, reduce of increase them, and by how much? And where will that money come from? Even the international/domestic military division will require new money for re-equipping them, re-training, re-organizing etc.

A: The new budget for International Affairs & Comprehensive Security (IACS) would be the combined budgets of the three organizations in question minus budget $ for functional elements removed (i.e. Citizenship & Immigration from Foreign Affairs and National Defense functions from International Security Force Budget) plus adding an additional new $1 billion per year for re-structuring and development. Any future additional spending required would be for increasing Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) and this raises the whole question of whether or not we are really going to aim for 0.7 % of GDP or roughly more than double what we are now spending for ODA. We are talking a lot of money here and probably this will need to go to a national referendum for governments of any stripes to find the courage to meet this promise. Sweden and Norway have done it.

A: In terms of military spending the new Canada Guard and Canada Guard Reserve would be funded by a portion of the former DND budget ( below the 50% mark of the current $13 billion military budget so this would not violate the current GPC resolution) plus adding the Canadian Coast Guard budget plus an additional new $1 billion a year for re-structuring and development. Keep in mind we are expanding the mandate of the Canada Guard to include environmental security responsibilities.

Q: I get the intent and strategy of the plank, but it remains difficult to imagine actual examples and scenarios.

A: The multi-tasking flexibility of this new Force comprised of a changing mix of military, police, civilian, and diplomatic personnel depending on the mission means that many different international situations could be engaged ( we still have the option of joining multilateral efforts) The real question will be where Canada can be most effective and strategic among the many options that will present themselves every year.

Q: Are the problems that you describe in CIDA and Foreign Affairs verifiable? Perhaps a reference would add credibility to the claim.

A: The problems I describe at CIDA and Foreign Affairs are long-term and often mentioned externally in the media and internally by employees.

Q: GPC international policy seems to present structural re-org. as front and center. Is it just me as I have read your plank a few times and the re-org stands out in my mind?

A: The GPC does stipulate a Canadian foreign policy priority of Peace-Building, Environmental Protection and Human Security but it is true that it has a strong focus on at home institutional capacity building. This is intentional. You can express all the good international intentions you want and make all sorts of great promises but if the human and material capacity is missing to prevent or react quickly to situations nothing is going to happen. The critical variable is people, leadership and the environment created for them to work superbly together. IACSA will provide that special environment, attract and select key people from inside and outside government and provide collaborative and visionary leadership.