Mark Collins – Legislation Coming: Canadian Parliamentary Committee for Intelligence/Security Review (military included?)

Further to these posts,

New Liberal Government on Parliamentarians and Security/Intelligence–Could be Worse

Not Much Noticed: Canadian Forces Intelligence Command (plus HUMINT)

one wonders whether the Canadian Forces’ growing intelligence activities will be included within the planned committee’s purview. Note that, the CBC story’s headline notwithstanding, it seems pretty clear there will be no “oversight” (monitoring) of particular programs/actions as they take place–as with the US Congress–but rather simply “review” of them from time to time; our media and many politicians seem unable to grasp the distinction though the minister certainly appears to:

National security oversight committee coming by summer, says Ralph Goodale
[with audio]

The Liberals’ promised national security oversight committee is in the works for a summer debut, said Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale.

“We’ve come up with a Canadian model. We’re drafting the legislation now, and we hope to have it in the public domain before the House adjourns in June,” Goodale told host Chris Hall in an interview on CBC Radio’s The House.

Conservatives say security committee is a ‘radical departure,’ breaks election promises

The all-party committee of parliamentarians will be tasked with reviewing [emphasis added] security-related issues. Forming the committee was an election promise in response to the controversial anti-terrorism law known as C-51, and part of the mandate letter Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gave to Goodale [see first link at first quote].

“Canada is the only country in the western alliance that doesn’t have that mechanism of review and scrutiny [emphasis added]. We’re the anomaly,” Goodale said.

“We’re going to fix that by adding a committee of parliamentarians to make sure that with new powers that are given to security agencies, there’s also more scrutiny, more review [emphasis added], more protection of the public interest.”

He added that the justice department is currently in the process of translating the model into legislative language.

Surprise — more consultations coming
[from “coast to coast to coast”?–bottom right here]

During the election, the Liberals promised make amendments to bill C-51, but before any of that can happen the government will consult with Canadians first.

“We will have a series of very specific amendments to what we believe is wrong in C-51…but we want to hear from Canadians about what else they think needs to be added to that list,” Goodale said.

Cross-country consultations will begin in the coming weeks and last “through the summer,” he said…

Seems clear the C-51 amendments will a distinct bill from the review committee one. Now consider the UK review situation:

British Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Review Committee Shows Some Teeth (cf. Canada)

Mark Collins, a prolific Ottawa blogger, is a Fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute; he tweets @Mark3Ds


5 thoughts on “Mark Collins – Legislation Coming: Canadian Parliamentary Committee for Intelligence/Security Review (military included?)”

  1. What’s involved if parliamentary committee is given access to Top Secret Sensitive Compartmented Information (TS/SCI aka “codeword”–see K. p. 3 PDF here –e.g. SIGINT for one thing):

    Mark Collins

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