Canada seeking backup political command center in case of attack

New Canadian government reports and memos document the recent search for a new backup political command center to be used by the Prime Minister in case of the occurrence a terrorist attack or other emergency.

The reports, obtained through the Access to Information system, provide a glimpse into how the Canadian government plans to function in an emergency, including a bioattack, and what it needs to do so, according to

The documents have shown that the government is looking to establish an alternate site to house the occupants of the Langevin Building, which houses the Prime Minister’s Office and its public service arm, the Privy Council Office.

A draft memo from the PCO states that interruptions that might affect occupancy include blackouts, fires and floods, terrorist attacks and biological and chemical threats. The memo was prepared to be signed by Marie-Lucie Morin, the Prime Minister’s national security advisor and Francois Guimont, the deputy minister of public works.

The entire collection was written in the last year and obtained by Ottawa researcher Ken Rubin. It indicates that the search for an alternate site has been ongoing since at least early 2008, when an initial list of 22 sites was compiled, reports. In February 2010, the list was down to three properties and has since been narrowed to one location. The papers do not identify any of the possible locations.

There has been no indication as to the cost of creating the new operating center.