Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday June 21, 2017
Liberals to create ‘super’ national security review body as part of anti-terror law overhaul
The Liberal government is creating a new “super” civilian watchdog to review security and intelligence agencies across government as part of a legislative overhaul of Canada’s anti-terrorism regime.
Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale tabled the bill in the House of Commons today, and said it aims to strike a better balance between strengthening security and safeguarding charter and privacy rights.
“Governments have no greater responsibilities than keeping their citizens safe and safeguarding their rights and freedoms,” he said. “These are the fundamental obligations that underpin the new national security legislation.”
Goodale said “unprecedented” public consultations helped shape the new legislation. While there were some stark differences of opinion, there was a broad consensus among Canadians that the security regime must be accountable, transparent and effective, while safeguarding personal rights, he said.
Goodale said the new expert review body, called the National Security and Intelligence Review Agency, will have jurisdiction right across the government, including the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) and the Communications Security Establishment (CSE), as well as every other department and agency that has a security or intelligence function.
A senior government official, speaking on background, said the body will also oversee security functions of the RCMP, and be able to “follow the thread” when issues cross over into various agencies. (Source: CBC News)