Canadian Security Magazine

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Former watchdog chair says existing security oversight is enough

The former head of the committee watching over the country's security service says he doesn't see a need for greater oversight, even as the government expands the agency's mandate.


March 6, 2015
By The Canadian Press

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Chuck Strahl says he thinks the existing five-member Security Intelligence Review Committee has done a good job to date and can handle it in the future.

The government’s latest anti-terrorism bill would expand powers of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and, among other things, would let it disrupt terror plots, rather than simply gathering intelligence.

Strahl says he’s leery of an NDP proposal to give parliamentarians a direct role in overseeing CSIS.

For one thing, he says, there is a lot of turnover in the membership of parliamentary committees, but what is needed for security oversight is experience.

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The legislation would also promote greater information-sharing among security and police agencies and Strahl says that’s a good step.