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Canada joins U.S., Britain in major terror response drill


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Canada joins U.S., Britain in major terror response drill



OTTAWA (CP) - Canada will join the United States and Britain this spring in a major terrorism response exercise aimed at testing each country's ability to react to the real thing.

The five-day drill, dubbed Triple Play in Canada, will involve "a complex terrorist campaign," including a biological attack in Jersey and a chemical assault in Connecticut, prompting national and international response.

During the exercise, fire personnel will conduct search-rescue duties, hospitals will treat injured people played by actors, and experts will analyse the effects on public health.

In Canada, 19 federal departments and agencies will be involved April 4-8, along with the provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.

"Triple Play will assess our ability to put the National Emergency Response System into effect to act quickly, decisively and effectively in concert with international partners in the event of a terrorist attack or other emergency," Public Security Minister Anne McLellan said Thursday.

She announced the exercise with Michael Chertoff, the newly appointed U.S. Homeland Security secretary, who was visiting Ottawa.

The U.S. portion of the drill is called Topoff 3. Britain calls its segment Atlantic Blue.

The drill is just one portion of a multilayered approach to improving North American security preparedness, Chertoff said.

"What I think we're looking to do is to expand upon the fine work that we have done in terms of both elevating security, but also . . . make our co-operation even more efficient that it's been."