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  • Correction services head marching orders: less segregation, more engagement

    September 6, 2018 | Local, Security

    Correction services head marching orders: less segregation, more engagement

    By Terry Pedwell A mandate letter for Canada's new corrections commissioner calls for more engagement with community groups to help prevent re-offending — something prisoner advocacy organizations say the prison system has not been very good at doing. The letter, issued to Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) commissioner Anne Kelly in mid-August but only made public Wednesday, also calls on her to reduce the use of segregation, especially for inmates suffering from mental illness. Two major lawsuits launched since 2015 have challenged how the prison system uses segregation to keep inmates in line, or to prevent them from harming themselves or others. The letter says prisons should explore new, supervised use of computers so inmates are more prepared to enter the workforce once they are released. And it calls on the commissioner to do more to address the needs of Indigenous offenders, including increasing the use of community-run healing lodges. The government said the letter marks the first time a CSC commissioner has received a public mandate. The letter to Kelly from Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale says the prison system can not take a one-size-fits-all approach to incarceration. “Different groups of offenders — including black Canadians, women, young adults, LGBTQ2 people and aging offenders — have different needs and experiences, which require tailored approaches,” Goodale said in a statement to Kelly, dated Aug. 17. “In particular, more work needs to be done to address the needs of Indigenous Peoples, who are overrepresented in federal custody.” Jennifer Metcalfe, executive director of Vancouver-based Prisoners' Legal Services, applauded the mandate, but said she is frustrated the government has appealed recent court decisions denouncing the use of segregation. “If the government was really committed to making concrete changes that would have a positive impact on peoples' health and mental health, they shouldn't be fighting these issues in the courts,” she said. Her legal services clinic has filed a human rights complaint on behalf of prisoners with mental disabilities that calls for significant changes to Canada's prison system. “We would like to be at the table to help (CSC) come up with alternatives to solitary confinement that would better treat people with mental disabilities,” said Metcalfe. She said more money needs to be invested in mental health care services for offenders, rather than warehousing people where they can develop bad behaviours including self injury. Goodale said the CSC commissioner has four critical responsibilities: ensuring offenders can live law-abiding lives when they are released, providing a safe workplace for prison employees, showing victims of crime compassion and keeping them informed, and ensuring offenders are treated safely and humanely. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the appointment of Kelly as CSC commissioner in late July. The Canadian Press https://ipolitics.ca/2018/09/05/correction-services-head-marching-orders-less-segregation-more-engagement/

  • Irresistible Forces: Long-Term Tectonic Influences on Canada’s National Security

    August 30, 2018 | Information, Security

    Irresistible Forces: Long-Term Tectonic Influences on Canada’s National Security

    This Vimy Paper examines three long-term tectonic influences on Canada's national security: geography, demographics, and science. These macro-level factors tend not to be understood well or receive much serious consideration in the public discourse, but in many cases can have powerful and sustained impacts on events. They can also reveal previously unrecognized threats. The discussion is structured in four parts. Part 1 focuses on geography and its impact on regions of strategic interest to Canada. Part 2 looks at world mortality and demographic trends, and the closely related subject of economics, and considers the cases of selected nations. Part 3 considers science at the macro-level – that is, humanity's collective adaptation to it. Part 4 then draws conclusions about how these issues impact Canada's national security. Click here to read / Cliquez-ici pour lire

  • Aireon ALERT now open for pre-registration

    August 22, 2018 | International, Aerospace, Security

    Aireon ALERT now open for pre-registration

    Aireon and the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) announced Aug. 22, 2018, that air navigation service providers (ANSPs), aircraft operators, regulators and search and rescue organizations can now pre-register for their free, global Aircraft Locating and Emergency Response Tracking (ALERT) service. The Aireon ALERT service will provide the last known position of an Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B)-equipped aircraft that is in an apparent distress state or experiencing a loss in communication. The service is only available to aviation stakeholders and offers precise position reports, free of charge. The Aireon ALERT system is expected to be operational in the first quarter of 2019 and will be operated out of the IAA North Atlantic Communications Centre in Ballygirreen, County Clare, Ireland. Enabled by Aireon's unique space-based ADS-B service, Aireon ALERT will fill a critical need within the aviation industry. For the first time, ANSPs, aircraft operators, regulators and search and rescue organizations will have access, on request, to exact position data for an aircraft in distress over the oceans, remote areas and anywhere else they may need aircraft position information in an emergency. “We are proud to host and operate the world's first truly global aircraft locating and emergency response tracking facility, based on the Aireon system's capabilities,” said Peter Kearney, chief executive officer of the IAA. “Our facility will be providing Aireon ALERT services 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. As long as an aircraft is broadcasting on 1090 MHz ADS-B, we will be able to locate it anywhere worldwide. This is a unique and secure cloud-based service, designed to the highest data protection standards.” Full article: https://www.skiesmag.com/press-releases/aireon-alert-now-open-for-pre-registration

  • Autonomous security vehicle to patrol Edmonton International Airport perimeter fence

    July 25, 2018 | Local, Land, Security

    Autonomous security vehicle to patrol Edmonton International Airport perimeter fence

    Edmonton International Airport Press Release An autonomous security all-terrain vehicle (ATV) developed by the Alberta Centre for Advanced MNT (microprocessor and nanotechnology) Products (ACAMP) is ready to patrol the perimeter security fence at Edmonton International Airport (EIA). The unarmed vehicle is controlled remotely by humans and can also drive autonomously, incorporating machine-learning to perform its tasks. “Safety and security is our number one priority at EIA and the autonomous ATV security vehicle will enhance our patrol of the perimeter fencing that secures the 7,000 acres of land at our airport,” says Steve Maybee, EIA's vice-president of operations and infrastructure. “The partnership with ACAMP to build the vehicle is also part of a larger effort to foster innovation, collaboration and economic diversification through our Airport City's growing number of technology and aerospace companies.” The new vehicle system includes navigation, path planning, obstacle avoidance, animal and human recognition, communication systems to airport security, geo-fencing, situational awareness and analysis and more. The autonomous ATV patrols will focus on the following: Identifying damage to the chain-link fence and fence posts, verifying barbed wire is taut and undamaged, and detecting holes or gaps under the fence; Detecting human or animal activity; and Searching for obstacles using LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging). “The partnership with EIA has helped us build a customizable platform that uses the latest in artificial intelligence, telematics, communications and other technologies that has application worldwide,” said Rosy Amlani, ACAMP's CFO and vice-president of business development. EIA is a member of the Advanced Systems for Transportation Consortium established by ACAMP and supported by the Government of Alberta. ACAMP is a member of the Alberta Aerospace and Technology Centre at EIA. ACAMP and EIA were able to harness technologies developed by consortium members to construct and test the autonomous ATV security vehicle, readying it for regular use at EIA. https://www.skiesmag.com/press-releases/autonomous-security-vehicle-to-patrol-edmonton-international-airport-perimeter-fence/

  • IDEaS Communiqué - Second Call for Proposals for Innovation Networks

    July 17, 2018 | Local, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security

    IDEaS Communiqué - Second Call for Proposals for Innovation Networks

    As outlined in Canada's defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, adapting and innovating quickly are crucial to developing and maintaining capabilities that address the challenges presented by today's evolving global defence and security environment. To this end, innovation, knowledge, and problem solving are essential for Canada and its allies to mitigate threats and meet evolving defence and security needs. In that context, the Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEaS) program will foster creativity and ingenuity in Canada by enabling the creation of networks of experts, providing support and opportunities to innovators, and by facilitating the integration and adoption of new capabilities for the defence and security communities. Multi-institutional, multi-disciplinary teams, termed Micro-nets, are invited to submit research proposals on the following Innovation Challenge area from the defence and security community: · Autonomous Systems: Trust and Barriers to Adoption The IDEaS Second Call for Proposals for Innovation Networks will provide non-repayable contribution funding to seed and sustain Micro-nets of at least five investigators from a minimum of three separate institutions or organizations from the academic, non-federal government, public and/or private sectors. A Canadian university must administer the contribution funds. Full details are available in the Innovation Networks Application Guide. Micro-nets must propose interdisciplinary research programs aligned with the Innovation Challenge. Funding will be provided by the IDEaS Transfer Payment Program, a federal government contribution program administered by the Department of National Defence. The total budget for this call is $9,000,000. Each Micro-net can request up to $1,500,000 over three years. Co-funding is not mandatory, however participants from for-profit organizations will be required to contribute up to 50% of their costs. Important dates: Online portal for submission of Letters of Intent: opens July 16th, 2018. Deadline for submission of Letters of Intent: August 31st , 2018, 12:00 pm (noon) EDT. Deadline for submission of the Full Proposal: November 30th, 2018, 12:00 pm (noon) EST. An information session will be held in English on July 31st, 2018. To register for this session please click on the link https://gts-ee.webex.com/gts-ee/onstage/g.php?MTID=e0abbbd4d9021dd4ade9bbd3d109c4d38 by July 26th, 2018. Please visit our website to learn how to register and apply for this call, and for more information about IDEaS. You may also contact us by email at IDEaS-IN.IDEeS-RI@forces.gc.ca.

  • Security and defence cooperation: EU will enhance its capacity to act as a security provider, its strategic autonomy, and its ability to cooperate with partners

    June 26, 2018 | International, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security

    Security and defence cooperation: EU will enhance its capacity to act as a security provider, its strategic autonomy, and its ability to cooperate with partners

    Today, foreign affairs ministers and defence ministers discussed the implementation of the EU Global Strategy in the area of security and defence. The Council then adopted conclusions which highlight the significant progress in strengthening cooperation in the area of security and defence and provide further guidance on next steps. Permanent structured cooperation (PESCO) The Council adopted today a common set of governance rules for projects within the PESCO framework. The sequencing of the more binding commitments undertaken by member states participating in PESCO is expected to be defined through a Council recommendation, in principle in July 2018. An updated list of PESCO projects and their participants, including a second wave of projects, is expected by November 2018. The general conditions for third state participation in PESCO projects are expected to be set out in a Council decision in principle also in November. Capability development plan and coordinated annual review on defence (CARD) The Council approved the progress catalogue 2018, which provides a military assessment of the prioritised capability shortfalls and high impact capability goals to be achieved in a phased approach. It forms a key contribution to the EU capability development priorities. These priorities are recognised by the Council as a key reference for both member states' and EU defence capability development initiatives. The aim of CARD, for which a trial run is being conducted by the European Defence Agency, is to establish a process which will provide a better overview of national defence spending plans. This would make it easier to address European capability shortfalls and identify new collaborative opportunities, ensuring the most effective and coherent use of defence spending plans. European defence fund The European Defence Fund is one of the key security and defence initiatives by the Commission, reaffirmed in its proposal for the future multiannual financial framework (2021-2027), with a proposed envelope of €13 billion. The European Defence Fund aims to foster innovation and allow economies of scale in defence research and in the industrial development phase by supporting collaborative projects in line with capability priorities identified by Member States within the CFSP framework. This will strengthen the competitiveness of the Union's defence industry. Under the current financial framework, with the same objectives, the European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP) was agreed by the representatives of the co-legislators on 22 May 2018. The Council welcomes this agreement. The EDIDP should aim at incentivising collaborative development programmes in line with defence capability priorities commonly agreed by EU member states, in particular in the context of the capability development plan. European peace facility The High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy proposed the creation of a European Peace Facility in the context of the future multiannual financial framework, an off-EU budget fund devoted to security and defence. The aim of the facility would be: funding the common costs of military operations under the Common Security and Defence Policy (currently covered by the Athena mechanism); contributing to the financing of military peace support operations led by other international actors (currently covered by, for example, the African Peace Facility); and providing support to third states' armed forces to prevent conflicts, build peace and strengthen international security. The Council takes note of the proposal and invites the relevant Council preparatory bodies to take the work forward and present concrete recommendations on the proposed facility. Military mobility The aim of improving military mobility is to address those obstacles which hinder the movement of military equipment and personnel across the EU. The High Representative and the Commission presented a joint communication on improving military mobility in the EU on 10 November 2017 and an action plan on 28 March 2018. The Council welcomes this action plan and calls for its swift implementation. As a first step in this direction, the Council approves the overarching high-level part of the military requirements for military mobility within and beyond the EU. The Council also stresses that improvement in military mobility can only be achieved with the full involvement and commitment of all member states, fully respecting their national sovereignty. The conclusions also touch on other strands of work in the field of EU security and defence, including strengthening civilian CSDP, developing a more strategic approach for EU partnerships on security and defence with third countries, and increasing resilience and bolstering capabilities to counter hybrid threats, including further developing the EU's strategic communication approach together with member states. Background On 14 November 2016, the Council adopted conclusions on implementing the EU Global Strategy in the area of security and defence. These conclusions set out three strategic priorities in this regard: responding to external conflicts and crises, building the capacities of partners, and protecting the European Union and its citizens. Since then, the EU has significantly increased its efforts in the area of security and defence. Progress was noted and further guidance provided through Council conclusions on 6 March 2017, on 18 May 2017 and 13 November 2017. Council conclusions on strengthening civilian Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) were adopted on 28 May 2018. At the same time, the EU has also increased its cooperation with NATO, on the basis of the joint declaration on EU-NATO cooperation signed by the President of the European Council, the President of the European Commission and NATO Secretary-General on 8 July 2016 in the margins of the Warsaw summit. http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2018/06/25/security-and-defence-cooperation-eu-will-enhance-its-capacity-to-act-as-a-security-provider-its-strategic-autonomy-and-its-ability-to-cooperate-with-partners/

  • Maritime security: EU revises its action plan

    June 26, 2018 | International, Naval, Security

    Maritime security: EU revises its action plan

    90% of the EU's external trade and 40% of its internal trade is transported by sea. Safe and secure seas and oceans are of fundamental importance for free trade, the EU economy and living standards. The Council today adopted conclusions on the revision of the EU maritime security strategy (EUMSS) action plan. With this action plan, the EU reaffirms its role as a global maritime security provider. It promotes international cooperation, maritime multilateralism and the rule of law at sea, in line with the strategic priorities identified in the EU Global Strategy. High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini The EU has interests but also responsibilities in global maritime security. This is why the EU actively contributes to safe and secure seas and oceans in different parts of the world, using several of the EU's existing instruments such as the Instrument for Peace and Stability and the European Development Fund, as well as EU policies, such as the Common Security and Defence Policy. The EU's maritime security strategy action plan was first adopted on 16 December 2014 to help safeguard the interests of the EU and protect its member states and citizens. It addresses global maritime risks and threats, including cross-border and organized crime, threats to freedom of navigation, threats to biodiversity, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing or environmental degradation due to illegal or accidental discharge. The revision adopted today allows for a more focused reporting process to enhance awareness and better follow-up to the strategy. The action plan brings together both internal and external aspects of the Union's maritime security. The actions foreseen in the plan also contribute to the implementation of the EU Global Strategy, the renewed EU internal security strategy 2015-2020, the Council conclusions on global maritime security, and the joint communication on international ocean governance. http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2018/06/26/maritime-security-eu-revises-its-action-plan/

  • Synthetic biology raises risk of new bioweapons, US report warns

    June 21, 2018 | International, Security

    Synthetic biology raises risk of new bioweapons, US report warns

    Ian Sample Report warns that swift progress in our ability to manufacture viruses is making us vulnerable to biological attacks The rapid rise of synthetic biology, a futuristic field of science that seeks to master the machinery of life, has raised the risk of a new generation of bioweapons, according a major US report into the state of the art. Advances in the area mean that scientists now have the capability to recreate dangerous viruses from scratch; make harmful bacteria more deadly; and modify common microbes so that they churn out lethal toxins once they enter the body. The three scenarios are picked out as threats of highest concern in a review of the field published on Tuesday by the US National Academy of Sciences at the request of the Department of Defense. The report was commissioned to flag up ways in which the powerful technology might be abused, and to focus minds on how best to prepare. Michael Imperiale, chair of the report committee, and professor of microbiology and immunology at the University of Michigan, said the review used only unclassified information and so has no assessment of which groups, if any, might be pursuing novel biological weapons. “We can't say how likely any of these scenarios are,” he said. “But we can talk about how feasible they are.” In the report, the scientists describe how synthetic biology, which gives researchers precision tools to manipulate living organisms, “enhances and expands” opportunities to create bioweapons. “As the power of the technology increases, that brings a general need to scrutinise where harms could come from,” said Peter Carr, a senior scientist at MIT's Synthetic Biology Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts. More than 20 years ago, Eckard Wimmer, a geneticist at Stony Brook University in New York, highlighted the potential dangers of synthetic biology in dramatic style when he recreated poliovirus in a test tube. Earlier this year, a team at the University of Alberta built an infectious horsepox virus. The virus is a close relative of smallpox, which may have claimed half a billion lives in the 20th century. Today, the genetic code of almost any mammalian virus can be found online and synthesised. “The technology to do this is available now,” said Imperiale. “It requires some expertise, but it's something that's relatively easy to do, and that is why it tops the list.” Other fairly simple procedures can be used to tweak the genes of dangerous bacteria and make them resistant to antibiotics, so that people infected with them would be untreatable. A more exotic bioweapon might come in the form of a genetically-altered microbe that colonises the gut and churns out poisons. “While that is technically more difficult, it is a concern because it may not look like anything you normally watch out for in public health,” Imperiale said. The report calls on the US government to rethink how it conducts disease surveillance, so it can better detect novel bioweapons, and to look at ways to bolster defences, for example by finding ways to make and deploy vaccines far more rapidly. For every bioweapon the scientists consider, the report sets out key hurdles that, once cleared, will make the weapons more feasible. One bioweapon that is not considered an immediate threat is a so-called gene drive that spreads through a population, rewriting human DNA as it goes. “It's important to recognise that it's easy to come up with a scary-sounding idea, but it's far more difficult to do something practical with it,” said Carr. https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/jun/19/urgent-need-to-prepare-for-manmade-virus-attacks-says-us-government-report

  • CANADA TO ACQUIRE THALES ADVANCED GROUND SEGMENT TECHNOLOGY TO RESPOND TO DISTRESS SIGNALS

    June 19, 2018 | Local, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security

    CANADA TO ACQUIRE THALES ADVANCED GROUND SEGMENT TECHNOLOGY TO RESPOND TO DISTRESS SIGNALS

    • Canada has awarded Thales Canada Phase II of the MEOSAR (Medium Earth Orbit Search and Rescue) Ground Segment contract. • The contract includes the procurement of two MEOLUTs and maintenance services for five years with options for an additional five years. • Using Thales Alenia Space's powerful and compact MEOLUT Next phased array solution, Canada will benefit from the world's first space borne search and rescue system of this type. Canada has awarded Thales Canada Phase II of the MEOSAR (Medium Earth Orbit Search and Rescue) Ground Segment contract. It will support Canada's ability to respond quickly and effectively to distress signals from land, air and sea from coast-to-coast-to-coast; enabling Canada to meet its obligations under the International COSPAS-SARSAT Programme Agreement. The contract includes the procurement of two MEOLUTs and maintenance services for five years with options for an additional five years. Using Thales Alenia Space's powerful and compact MEOLUT Next phased array solution, Canada will benefit from the world's first space borne search and rescue system of this type. Thales Alenia Space designs, operates and delivers satellite-based systems for governments and institutions, helping them position and connect anyone or anything, everywhere. Since its commissioning in 2016, MEOLUT Next has delivered unrivalled performance, detecting distress signals more than 5,000km away. This new capability saves lives. On July 2, 2017 at 6:30 a.m., 70 kilometres off the coast of Sardinia, a 12-meter sailboat with three people aboard triggered its COSPAS/SARSAT beacon when its rudder broke and its engine failed. Its VHF radio out of range, the sailors quickly realized they were in a critical situation with waves over four meters high and the wind blowing at 40 knots. MEOLUT Next was able to receive and process their distress signals in less than five minutes, providing accurate positioning to authorities. An airplane identified the boat less than two hours after the beacon was triggered and a helicopter airlifted the crew to safety, saving all three lives. “Thales Canada is proud to deliver world class solutions that will make life better and keep us safer,” said Jerry McLean, Managing Director and Vice President, Thales Canada. “From complex C4ISR systems to integrated maritime C3 and diverse aerospace solutions, this contract further reflects Thales' continued commitment to Canadian innovation.” “We are confident that our solution will meet and exceed Canada's MEOSAR expectations, offering Canada a decisive technology for its decisive moments,” said Philippe Blatt, VP Navigation France at Thales Alenia Space. “Today, MEOLUT Next is the only solution in the world capable of processing second-generation beacons in real time. Its operational efficiency was recently recognized by Space & Satellite Professionals International (SSPI) for its humanitarian contributions”. Notes to Editor COSPAS/SARSAT COSPAS/SARSAT is an intergovernmental organization founded by Canada, the United States, Russia and France. In operation in 43 countries around the world, this satellite-based search and rescue distress alert detection and information distribution system is best known for detecting and locating emergency beacons activated by aircraft, ships and backcountry hikers in distress. Today, some 500,000 ships and 150,000 aircraft are equipped with COSPAS/SARSAT distress beacons. To date, the COSPAS-SARSAT service has saved more than 37,000 lives. MEOLUT Next Conventional MEOLUT (Medium Earth Orbit Local User Terminal) systems use large parabolic antennas and are limited by how many satellite signals they can receive. Thales Alenia Space's MEOLUT Next solution is compact, measuring less than six square meters, with the ability to track up to 30 satellites, significantly enhancing the distress beacon detection rate while expanding the coverage zone. Since there are no mechanical components, hardware maintenance costs are the lowest on the market. About Thales The people we all rely on to make the world go round – they rely on Thales. Our customers come to us with big ambitions: to make life better, to keep us safer. Combining a unique diversity of expertise, talents and cultures, our architects design and deliver extraordinary high technology solutions. Solutions that make tomorrow possible, today. From the bottom of the oceans to the depth of space and cyberspace, we help our customers think smarter and act faster - mastering ever greater complexity and every decisive moment along the way. With 65,000 employees in 56 countries, Thales reported sales of €15.8 billion in 2017. About Thales Canada A national leader in research and technology, Thales Canada combines its more than 50 years of experience with the talent of 1,800 skilled people located coast-to-coast. With revenues of $500 million, Thales Canada offers leading capabilities in the urban rail, civil aviation and defence and security sectors that meet the needs of customers' most complex requirements across every operating environment. About Thales Alenia Space Combining 40 years of experience and a unique diversity of expertise, talents and cultures, Thales Alenia Space engineers design and deliver high technology solutions for telecommunications, navigation, Earth observation, environmental management, exploration, science and orbital infrastructures. Governments, institutions and companies rely on Thales Alenia Space to design, operate and deliver satellite-based systems that help them position and connect anyone or anything, everywhere, help observe our planet, help optimize the use of our planet's – and our solar system's – resources. Thales Alenia Space believes in space as humankind's new horizon, which will enable to build a better, more sustainable life on Earth. A joint venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%), Thales Alenia Space also teams up with Telespazio to form the parent companies' Space Alliance, which offers a complete range of services and solutions. Thales Alenia Space posted consolidated revenues of about 2.4 billion euros in 2016 and has 7,980 employees in nine countries. www.thalesaleniaspace.com PRESS CONTACTS Cara Salci National Director, Public Affairs & Communications Thales Canada Tel.: 613-404-9413 cara.salci@ca.thalesgroup.com THALES ALENIA SPACE Sandrine Bielecki Tel: +33 (0)4 92 92 70 94 sandrine.bielecki@thalesaleniaspace.com Chrystelle Dugimont Tel: +33 (0)4 92 92 74 06 chrystelle.dugimont@thalesaleniaspace.com Cinzia Marcanio Tel: +39 06 41512685 cinzia.marcanio@thalesaleniaspace.com https://www.thalesgroup.com/en/worldwide/space/press-release/canada-acquire-thales-advanced-ground-segment-technology-respond

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