$24B spent on security in Canada since 9/11

$24B spent on security in Canada since 9/11

CBC News
Last Updated: Monday, March 24, 2008 | 10:52 AM ET

Canada has spent an extra $24 billion beefing up security measures since the Sept. 11 attacks on U.S. soil, CBC News estimates.

The federal government has never revealed the costs of extra security precautions taken after the 2001 attacks, but CBC calculated the multibillion-dollar figure by tallying budgets from various departments and interviewing sources familiar with defence-related spending.

Domestic security accounted for the largest portion of expenditures at around $15 billion. That amount includes costs such as paying domestic airlines to outfit planes with reinforced doors on pilots' cabins and installing high-tech detection scanners at ports and land crossings.

An increase in the military's budget makes up another big chunk of the spending. After subtracting normal yearly increases in place before Sept. 11, the Canadian military received an estimated $9 billion extra since 2002. The annual rate of military spending in the budget has also doubled.

The RCMP's annual budget has also risen by close to $1 billion since 2001 and the budget of Canada's intelligence agency, CSIS, has nearly doubled.
Cost calculations

Critics worry that the increased spending of taxpayers' money has cost Canadians in other areas.

"Where is our national child-care program? Where is the pharmacare program? Going into massive rearmament for the military, security apparatus for the border," said Steve Staples, head of the Rideau Institute think-tank.

But Liberal Senator Colin Kenny, who chairs the Senate security committee, insists the Harper government hasn't spent enough on security in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks.

He cites one example of Canada's response in comparison to the Americans': "We have 14 police officers to patrol the Great Lakes. The Americans have 2,200 to do the same job."

Canada almost immediately felt the financial ripple following al-Qaeda's attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon back in 2001, as U.S. Congress quickly passed a multibillion-dollar spending bill to revamp domestic security and made it clear Canada was expected to do the same.

Three months later, then prime minister Jean Chrétien's Liberal government announced a $7.7-billion program to strengthen Canada's defences against terrorism.

Successive Liberal and Conservative governments continued to increase spending, but Ottawa has kept even the most general information about domestic security spending a secret.

Whether or not Canada has benefited from the additional security expenditures is up for debate.

"In the world of security and intelligence, there is no cost-benefit analysis," said Wesley Wark, an associate professor at the University of Toronto.

There have been no terrorism attacks in Canada since 2001, Wark said, but it's hard to determine whether that means the threat was exaggerated or if extra defence measures have worked.
Corrections and Clarifications

* Colin Kenny is a Liberal senator, not a Conservative MP as was originally reported. March 24, 2008|12:15 p.m.



Security Matters

The 9/11 effect: Has $24 billion made Canada safer?

CBC News

Friday, March 21, 2008 | 04:16 PM ET

In December 2001, with the searing images of al-Qaeda's Sept. 11 attacks still fresh in our minds, Liberal Prime Minister Jean Chrétien pledged to spend $7.7 billion over five years to strengthen Canada's defences against terrorism. It was an uncharacteristically big-ticket item coming from a government with a tight-fisted reputation, but it had as much to do with our trade with the United States as it did security.

In the days following the attacks, the U.S. put security along its border with Canada on high alert. It was a defensive reflex by a traumatized nation reeling from the loss of its invulnerability myth. It was also a warning to Ottawa from George W. Bush's White House.

Despite evidence to the contrary, Americans believed some of the Sept. 11 attackers had infiltrated by slipping through their northern border with Canada. The old boast about sharing "the longest undefended border in the world" was suddenly a cause for fear rather than pride.

At the time, it wasn't clear whether al-Qaeda was a threat to Canada, too. But the threat to Canada's trade relationship with the U.S. was obvious. Even as the dust was settling into the crater where the World Trade Center once stood, the U.S. began to beef up its security infrastructure. And the White House made it clear it expected Canada do the same.

Chrétien's $7.7-billion security promise was just the first instalment.
Totalling up the costs

No one I am aware of has ever added up just how many extra tax dollars that federal governments (Liberal and Conservative) have spent since the Sept. 11 attacks to upgrade Canada's defences against the perceived threat. And the numbers aren't easy to find.

Ottawa buries security spending in the budgets of several federal departments. But, after having CBC researcher Karin Marley mine the budget for clues and do several interviews with sources who are familiar with certain parts of the spending, here's my best estimate — $24 billion.

The breakdown is as follows.

Since the attacks, Ottawa has spent an additional $15 billion on domestic security. That includes a range of expenditures from paying domestic airlines to fit their planes out with reinforced doors on the pilots' cabins to installing costly high-tech detection scanners at Canadian ports and U.S./Canada land border crossings.

The other big expenditure that can be attributed to Sept. 11 is an increase in the military's budget. After subtracting the normal yearly increases in place before Sept. 11, the Canadian military has received an estimated $9 billion extra since 2002 to fight the Taliban.

Included in these figures: The RCMP's annual budget has increased by close to $1 billion since 2001. The budget of Canada's domestic spy agency, CSIS, has almost doubled.

Are we getting value for our money? Are we safer? Hard questions to answer.
No threat? Or attacks prevented?

Despite naming Canada as a target on three occasions since Sept. 11, 2001, al-Qaeda hasn't attacked on Canadian soil. An alleged plot did surface in 2006 when 18 Muslim men and boys were arrested in southern Ontario. Some have been released, but several are awaiting trial on a variety of charges, including allegations that they plotted to detonate a massive truck bomb in the heart of the city's financial district. Whether any alleged plot was real, or just bravado, is yet to be decided.

But does the fact there hasn't been a terrorist attack on Canadian soil since Sept. 11 mean there is no threat? Or conversely, does it mean the extra billions given to CSIS and the RCMP — as well as new agencies such as the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority and the Canadian Border Services Agency — have prevented terrorist attacks?

Frustrated members of Canada's intelligence community insist it's the latter. But they say it's like trying to prove a negative proposition. The intelligence agent's highest measure of success is preventing an attack. But if attacks don't occur, the public begins to doubt whether there really is a threat.

Successive Liberal and Conservative federal governments haven't helped. Unlike many Western countries, Ottawa has kept even the most general information about domestic security spending — and the results — top secret.

In Britain, Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling has begun tabling an annual public accounting of all the government's security spending. British intelligence officials give the public periodic threat assessments including information on plots it believes police and intelligence agencies have nipped in the bud.

Canadians, on the other hand, have no way of knowing whether Ottawa's $24 billion is money well spent, or could have been better used for other priorities such as the environment or debt reduction.


**** be sure to read the comments posted on the article at the above link and add your own !! ****

Image all the good that $24 billion could've done for real

problems, instead of being flushed down the toilet to the military/industrial complex.

Consider mass emailing truth messages. More info here: http://www.911blogger.com/node/13321

Still selling lies at CBC.

"Canada almost immediately felt the financial ripple following al-Qaeda's attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon back in 2001,"
"Despite naming Canada as a target on three occasions since Sept. 11, 2001, al-Qaeda hasn't attacked on Canadian soil. "
Who writes this bullsh!t fiction? I can't even bring myself to respond to this crap. It's an exercise in goddam futility dealing with people who still blatantly push the official lie, whether out of ignorance or a nefarious intent to deceive.

OK I got it off my chest.

I still don't think it will make a difference with the CBC but at least they will know not everyone is sleepwalking towards the abyss.
This is my response.
"I'm glad to hear the weapons industry has fared well thanks to the lies of the Bush administration.(Sarcasm) Canada has never had any enemies and it is increasingly questionable whether any of the official propaganda about Al Qaeda has any real merit. It's a damn sad state of affairs when our elected representatives make policy decisions based on the lies of the most corrupt administration in the history of the USA.
It is equally sad that the CBC is acting as a propaganda arm for the corrupt Canadian and American governments and self serving weapons producers, when you should be investigating the indisputable evidence that the official version about 9/11 is a lie.
Those who don't learn from history are deemed to repeat it. The parallels between 1930s Germany and today's America are uncanny. It's not too late to take a stand on the side of truth and justice. The alternative is to be remembered in the same vein as the complicit media of Nazi Germany."

the parallels between

the parallels between Canada in 2008 and Austria in 1939 are also very "uncanny".

- Fraser Valley 9/11 Truth http://www.FV911Truth.org

- 9/11 Civil Information Blog http://911civilinfo.blogspot.com