Sunday, December 1, 2013

How to correct a huge mistake?

Word today that authorities have arrested a Canadian, suspected of passing information to China about the current Canadian shipbuilding programme, which includes new vessels for the Royal Canadian Navy and Canadian Coast Guard.  Given the small maritime footprint Canada has, this seems a bit odd, eh? Yes, we should have a far bigger coastal and overseas presence, but no one's tried to invade our waters since the Second World War, so our marine capabilities have decreased quite a bit over the last half century over many governments of several different political stripes.

If one wonders why the Chinese would allegedly be interested in us Canadians, well maybe it's for the same reason we're interested in them. And the Russians, Brazilians, British, French and Americans. Cause that's what we all do: spy on each other.

But since Canada is not developing cutting-edge naval technology (to my knowledge), why has this become headline news up here? Maybe because of the tale of a certain Canadian naval Sub-Lieutenant who spied for the Russians? A case which embarrassed various Canadian security establishments to their allies. (You could honestly get more intel about the Canadian shipbuilding programme by buying rounds in Halifax bars for a few weeks.)

National security should be based on real and certain threats, not what appears to this observer to be - in this instance - merely a means of showing our partners we're on top of things. We aren't if we miss someone working with classified info in naval intelligence, but then notice a Lloyd's Register engineer. C'mon folks.