Port Security Post 9-11-2001

On the recent tenth anniversary of the attacks on the United States in 2001 it was only natural that many of us reflected on where we were and how that fateful day changed the world and how we live within it. Longer waits at vehicle border crossings and having to take off our shoes at airport security screening check points are simple examples of how the events and its lingering global implications affect those of us who travel. As an organization with core operations designed to facilitate shipping in the local and national interests of Canada, 9/11 continues to impact how the Port Authority conducts business and is able to provide access to its facilities.
On December 18, 2001 Royal Assent was given to Bill C-36, The Anti-Terror Act. While this legislation primarily focused on expanding criminal law in pursuit of collective security it did commence an extraordinary investment by the Canadian government of approximately $7.7 billion in anti-terrorism measures.
Bill C-7, The Public Safety Act, which was enacted in May, 2004 followed up on C-36 to create “a federal framework for public safety and protection” (Government of Canada media release). The relevant piece of this legislation for Canadian Port Authorities was the enabling of port security funding by the federal government. Until this bill became law such financing to port authorities was prohibited. So, while expectations were high for ports to improve and implement dramatically new and costly security measures there were significant financial constraints until C-36 amended the Marine Transportation Security Act to allow the Minister to provide contributions or grants to enhance marine facilities’ security. Unfortunately, this section of the Act was only in effect for three years.
As an additional response to the elevated risk of terrorism worldwide, the maritime industry under the International Maritime Organization (IMO) developed the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS), which came into effect July 1, 2004. The Code gives IMO member countries, such as Canada, a common way to measure risk, reduce threats and make ships and marine facilities less vulnerable through well-defined security levels and security procedures.
Also on July 1, 2004 the “Marine Transportation Security Regulations” (MTSR) came into force ensuring Canada’s fulfillment of its obligations to meet the ISPS Code. This provided a common framework to detect security threats and take measures to prevent security incidents that could affect marine vessels and their facilities. Meanwhile, global security expectations to assure the secure movement of people and goods among and at shipping facilities continue to rise. Port facilities, particularly smaller ones like the Port Alberni Port Authority, remain challenged to keep pace without sufficient contributions from the federal government. However, PAPA remains committed to upholding its obligations under the Marine Transportation Security Regulations and works closely with Transport Canada Security inspectors to reduce and manage threats to secure and safe port operations.
At the local level, examples of complying with regulations and applicable port security procedures include:
• Secured terminals, such as the perimeter chain link fence
• Restricted access to port facilities
• Active security patrols
• Personnel security clearances
• The implementation of port security ID cards
• Restricted activities on the dock to port business only
• “No Go” zones around moored / anchored vessels (such as 200m from cruise ships)
• Increased lighting on the terminal
• Increased security restrictions during public events such as the 2008 Tall Ships Festival