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Trudeau taps career security official to head Canada’s spy agency

OTTAWA — David Vigneault, a senior government official with experience at several federal security agencies, will be the next head of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service.


May 15, 2017
By The Canadian Press

Vigneault will assume the post June 19, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Thursday.

Currently assistant secretary to the cabinet for security and intelligence, the career public servant takes over CSIS amid a sweeping review of the national security landscape.

The Liberals came to office with a promise to fix “problematic elements” of Conservative legislation that expanded security powers and endowed CSIS with new authority to actively derail terrorist plots.

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale and his officials have consulted widely on the national security legislative framework, cybersecurity and the oversight of intelligence agencies. Goodale is expected to propose changes before the House of Commons rises for the summer.

Vigneault previously served as assistant director for intelligence at CSIS. He was also associate vice-president for the programs branch at the Canada Border Services Agency and director for transnational security at the Communications Security Establishment, the federal cyberspy agency.

He returns to a CSIS shaken by a Federal Court ruling last fall that said the domestic spy service broke the law by keeping and analyzing electronic data about people who were not actually under investigation. The pointed ruling said the spy service shouldn’t have retained the data trails because they were not directly related to threats to the security of Canada.

Jeff Yaworski, currently deputy director of operations at CSIS, will serve as interim director from May 27 until June 18.

Trudeau congratulated the retiring CSIS director, Michel Coulombe, on his career of more than 36 years.

News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc. 2017