Evidence of meeting #40 for Public Safety and National Security in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was gps.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

4:05 p.m.

Vice-President, Track and Trace Solutions, 3M Company

Steve Chapin

Nationwide the number of alerts are roughly 1.25 per offender per day. More specifically, Florida is an example I like to use. Florida has a very well-run program where there are repercussions for all violations. It's fewer than one alert per offender per day. In Florida we're tracking, on any given day, 2,700 offenders, so that's 2,700 alerts. Most of those alerts are cleared very quickly.

For example, an offender comes home 10 minutes late—that's an alert. If the officer wanted to know that the offender is home exactly on time, he would get an alert if that offender is home one second late. If the officer isn't interested in getting alerts for things like that, he's allowed to put a grace period on there, which allows the offender a little bit more flexibility.

What we believe is that it's important to communicate all available information back to the officer and the agency.

4:05 p.m.

NDP

John Rafferty Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON

If you were to talk about so many bracelets per person-day, is it possible to quantify that for us? In other words, alerts would go out and there would be an officer who would be responsible for 50 bracelets or 100 bracelets. How does that work?

4:05 p.m.

Vice-President, Track and Trace Solutions, 3M Company

Steve Chapin

There are two ways to set up a program. One, an officer can be responsible for monitoring all of his or her caseload. Typically, that would be 25 to 50 offenders, depending on the type of offender. The other way to do it is to have all alerts go to a monitoring centre. It could be an agency-based monitoring centre such as the Michigan Department of Corrections has, and they can clear those alerts. Or it could be a contracted monitoring centre, for example, 3M's monitoring centre, where we would process those alerts. It's also common to have a third-party monitoring centre.

4:10 p.m.

NDP

John Rafferty Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON

I guess I'm just trying to get an idea of how many person-hours are spent dealing with alerts. In other words, for example, for police forces or border services in Canada, if you're dealing with immigration, would there have to be considerable numbers of new hires to accommodate bracelets? Or is it your experience that existing personnel in a city, or whatever the case may be, can take care of dealing with the alerts?

4:10 p.m.

Vice-President, Track and Trace Solutions, 3M Company

Steve Chapin

You're asking me a question that's starting to get a little bit outside my area of expertise. I can tell you there are no false alerts. There are alerts that are more interesting than other alerts, for example, an alert where an offender has gone into a victim's exclusion zone. There might be an alert that is a “bracelet gone” alert, where an offender stepped away from his bracelet for a minute and then returned, and that alert clears up.

4:10 p.m.

NDP

John Rafferty Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON

Thank you.

I guess what I'm concerned about is this. You probably don't know that the Canadian government is thinking about border services, for example, and reducing the number of people who are available in border services across the country. If they're looking at a program like this, what sort of extra burden would that put on border services, if they're going to put bracelets on people who are immigrating to the country, for example?

4:10 p.m.

Vice-President, Track and Trace Solutions, 3M Company

Steve Chapin

I wish I could answer that, but that goes more to agency protocol. It would vary greatly, depending on how the protocol was set up.

4:10 p.m.

NDP

John Rafferty Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON

I have one more quick question. I think I have time.

4:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Kevin Sorenson

You have 30 seconds.

4:10 p.m.

NDP

John Rafferty Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON

In Canada we're fortunate to have a small population and a large land mass. The price that you talked about before was probably for a fairly dense area—Florida, California, perhaps—in terms of population and fairly easy monitoring. Would you see that price escalate considerably if we're talking about a large land base and a small population, and alerts going out where people have to cover a large area to deal with the alerts, if they're serious?

4:10 p.m.

Vice-President, Track and Trace Solutions, 3M Company

Steve Chapin

There are no additional costs from the technology perspective. If the agency decided that they needed more personnel, then of course, but it makes no difference from a technology perspective.

4:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Kevin Sorenson

Thank you very much, Mr. Chapin.

Ms. Hoeppner, please go ahead.

4:10 p.m.

Conservative

Candice Bergen Portage—Lisgar, MB

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

I will be sharing my time with Mr. Norlock.

I just want to clarify something that Mr. Rafferty said. He's incorrect. In fact, we have increased our border security by 26% under our government, which amounted to over 1,000 new border guards. Maybe what he is referring to is the fact that we're cutting some of the fat. For example, there's a $1 million slush fund of taxpayers' dollars that the union has been able to use, and we will be cutting that. But just for the record, I wanted to clear that up. Unfortunately, the opposition voted against all of those initiatives, but we did increase border guards by over 1,000 new border guards, which amounted to about a 26% increase.

Thank you.

4:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Kevin Sorenson

Mr. Norlock, go ahead.

May 15th, 2012 / 4:10 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Norlock Northumberland—Quinte West, ON

Thank you very much, Mr. Chair

Through you to the witnesses, thank you for appearing today.

My questions are going to be based a little bit on what Mr. Rafferty.... I always ask questions that I think my constituents would ask. In other words, if I thought they were being confused, I would try to....

The distance doesn't matter because we're basically dealing with satellites or cellphones, so distances are irrelevant. It doesn't cost more because you're 50 miles away, or 150 miles away. The technology is still there, the same as a cellphone or a satellite receiver, because that GPS is run on satellite. Is that correct?