Red Herring # 3:

The "Who's-on-First? Not-'defence'!" argument

"Secure Canada 2008 focuses on technologies and products used for security, public safety and to a lesser degree, defence applications."
Doug Moore,
A/Director, Real Property Asset Management Branch,
City of Ottawa

While Ottawa City Staff, Doug Moore, says that "technologies and products" for so-called "defence applications" are last on the list of equipment categories to be showcased at "Secure Canada 2008," he offers no proof of this assertion.

However, an examination of the official web pages created by organizers of this arms exhibition prove beyond any shadow of a doubt that "Secure Canada 2008" is indeed focused primarily on promoting the lucrative business of war.

Read this important linguistic note on the euphemism "defence." ("What do they actually mean by 'Defence'?")

Descriptions of the show
To dispel any  notion that "Secure Canada 2008" puts military (or war-related) technology last behind the innocuous sounding product categories of "security" and "public safety," one need only peruse the official website of this exhibition. It contains a variety of examples wherein the organizers list "defence" as the first and foremost category.

For example, "Secure Canada 2008" is promoted by its organizers with the following description:

"Secure Canada provides the ideal opportunity for defense and security professionals to see and learn about the latest products and technologies and to network with key contacts from both government and industry."

And, not just anyone can attend this event scheduled for the City of Ottawa's best known public facility. In fact it's not open to the public, although the mandate of Lansdowne Park is to promote events for the public. In the case of "Secure Canada 2008" here's what organizers have to say about who is allowed to attend:

"Visitors are restricted to official representatives of government defense, public safety and security agencies and private sector organizations in the defense and security sectors."

Here's another quotation that illustrates that the military dimensions of this show take priority:

"The show's organizer, Rick Tachuk, says that Secure Canada 2008 will give Canada's defence and security companies the chance to sell into the national and international defence markets."

"Secure Canada" Sponsors
In case there is any doubt that "Secure Canada 2008" caters to the needs of the military-industrial complex, one need only look at its sponsors. Click the sponsors link above to see who is behind this arms exhibition.

"Secure Canada" Exhibitors
Anyone still harbouring some lingering thoughts that Ottawa City staff were correct in their assessment that "Secure Canada 2008" " a lesser degree, [on] defence applications," would do well to look over the list of exhibitors known to be attending this arms exhibition. Click above for the list.

Each of the Three Arms Exhibitions within "Secure Canada" focus on Military Trade
The fact that different components of "Secure Canada 2008" also see the military as the first and foremost priority of their events is made obvious by their placement of the euphemism "defence" at the top of the list in their descriptions. For example:

(1) The US Embassy Defense and Security Exhibition
This two-day exhibition and networking event will showcase the latest U.S. products and services for the defense, security and public safety sectors."

Note that the name of the show contains the phrase "Defense and Security."
Note also that t
he name of their website is

Curiously, what had for months been referred to as the "U.S. Embassy Defense and Security Pavilion" (within "Secure Canada 2008") has now been changed to simply Secure Canada's "U.S. Embassy Pavilion." Click below to see three examples of cached (archived) versions of organizer's websites in which the original title (i.e., "U.S. Embassy Defense and Security Pavilion") was used:
July 13, 2008
July 20, 2008
July 22, 2008

(2) TechNet North 2008
"TechNet North 2008 brings together the players, the issues and the technologies that facilitate Canadian and international cooperation in defence, public safety and security."

This component of "Secure Canada 2008" repeats the caveat about who is allowed to attend their exclusive event:
"Visitors are restricted to official representatives of government defense, public safety and security agencies and private sector organizations in the defense and security sectors."

"With approximately 100 exhibits and 2 days of conference keynotes and panel sessions, attending TechNet North is an absolute must for defence, public safety and security professionals."

TechNet’s 2008 conference program leaves no doubt that the primary and central spotlight of this event is military related.  Called National Security in a Coalition Environment, organizers explain that it "focuses on the operations of the Canadian Forces in conjunction with allies and partners."

Among the key speakers and moderators of this clearly military-centred event are current and retired Major Generals:
MGen Stuart Beare, Command Land Force, Doctrine & Training System and
MGen (Ret) Maisonneuve.

That this is primarily a military event is also clear from the fact that this conference and "major trade show" is organized by the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA). 

"Organized by AFCEA in Canada, TechNet North 2008 delivers an innovative professional development conference and a major trade exhibition focused on the latest C4ISR* solutions, products and technologies."

*C4ISR is a military acronym that stands for "Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance." The importance of C4ISR to the waging of war is exemplified by the military magazine called the C4ISR Journal which describes its mandate in this way:
"C4ISR Journal was launched in 2002 to fill the need for an authoritative information source on intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, a fast-growing field that is shaping the face of modern warfare. C4ISR Journal has quickly become the publication of record for the global network-centric warfare community."

(3) AUVSI Canada Unmanned Systems Expo
"The show features the full range of unmanned systems for defense, public safety and civilian markets."

Please sign online PETITION now to "Stop Ottawa's Arms Shows."

(Print version: Here is a printable version of the petition that you can use to get additional signatures.)

Email: Tell the Mayor, City Councillors and Staff what you think!

Related articles:
What do they actually mean by "Defence," "Security" and "Public Safety"?

"What is a Weapon, anyhow?"

This webpage was produced by the
Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade (COAT)

as part of the COAT campaign to oppose 
"Secure Canada 2008" (Sept.30-Oct.1, 2008)