Government agencies break ground on Great Lakes security centre

by Array

NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, Ontario: A ceremony was held in Niagara-on-the-Lake to mark the official start of the construction of a new facility devoted to security on the Great Lakes.

The Great Lakes Marine Security Operations Centres (GL-MSOC) is a joint project between a number of governmental departments and agencies. Its purpose is to bring together specific areas of expertise to deliver a clear picture of the intent and movement of vessels, personnel and cargo destined for, or already in, Canadian waters. It will use combined expertise and resources to detect, assess, and support a coordinated response when dealing with marine security threats in the Great Lakes and St Lawrence Seaway.

“The GL-MSOC involves departments and agencies working together, on-site, while conducting surveillance and reconnaissance of the Great Lakes and St Lawrence Seaway region,” said RCMP assistant commissioner Todd Shean. “This type of partnership will enable us to detect and prevent marine threats and events before they occur, allowing for a quick and effective response”.

Besides the RCMP, the other participants in the project are:

  • Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)

    Assistant Commander Todd Shean, RCMP federal and international operations and Marc Mes, director of maritime security for the Canadian Coast Guard—Photo courtesy of RCMP "O" Division Corporate Communications
  • Department of Fisheries and Oceans/Canadian Coast Guard (DFO/CCG)
  • Department of National Defence (DND)
  • Transport Canada (TC)
  • The US Coast Guard (USCG)
  • The Niagara Regional Police Service

The centre is being created under the auspices of the federal government’s Action Plan on Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness which has mandated the RCMP and Transport Canada, along with US Department of Homeland Security, to develop and implement procedures to address threats and criminal trends in land, air and maritime environments.

Until the new LEED Gold-certified building is completed, the centre will operate from an RCMP work site in the Niagara Region.