POLITICS

New program will co-ordinate disaster research, improve threat detection: feds

06/19/2012 03:26 EDT | Updated 08/19/2012 05:12 EDT
REGINA - The federal government is setting up a new security and safety program to co-ordinate research into dealing with disasters and emergencies.

The government says the Canadian Safety and Security Program will pull science and technology together with operations and intelligence to predict and prepare for everything from terror attacks to natural disasters and serious accidents.

The program will cost $43.5 million a year.

The program, part of Defence Research and Development Canada, will aim to improve the country's ability to detect chemical, biological, radiological and explosives threats.

It will also work on border and transportation security, emergency management, surveillance and intelligence, cybersecurity, interoperability and critical infrastructure.

The program will promote collaboration between all levels of government, industry and academia, as well as professionals in emergency management and response, public health, law enforcement and intelligence.

Defence Minister Peter MacKay said the new program will strengthen public security.

"This new program provides Canada a technological advantage to cope with disasters, minimizing as much as possible their impact on the lives and livelihoods of Canadians," he said.

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version said the new program would co-ordinate responses to disasters and emergencies.