OTTAWA, April 9, 2019 — The 2018 Annual Report of the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians (NSICOP) was tabled in Parliament today.
The report contains findings and recommendations from two substantive reviews by the Committee in 2018, including the first external review of Canada’s defence intelligence activities; and, a review of how Canada sets its intelligence priorities.
A key recommendation calls for the government to consider providing explicit legislative authority for the conduct of defence intelligence activities.
The report includes an overview of the Committee’s first year of operation, a brief history of review in Canada and a picture of the various national security threats the country faces, and some concluding observations.
The report is the culmination of a review of highly classified documents, numerous briefings by senior security and intelligence officials, and more than 50 Committee meetings. A classified version was provided to the Prime Minister on December 21, 2018. Consistent with sub-section 21(5) of the NSICOP Act, the Committee revised the report at the direction of the Prime Minister to exclude classified or privileged information. All revisions are clearly identified in the report.
The report is intended to contribute to an informed debate among Canadians on the difficult challenges of providing security and intelligence organizations with the exceptional powers necessary to identify and counter threats to the nation, while at the same time ensuring that their activities continue to respect and preserve our democratic rights.
The Chair of NSICOP, the Honourable David McGuinty, stated: “The Committee’s first Annual Report is an important milestone for Canada’s national security and intelligence community. Each of the Committee’s seven recommendations is aimed at strengthening the accountability and effectiveness of organizations that conduct national security and intelligence activities in Canada and abroad.”
Mr. McGuinty expressed his appreciation to his NSICOP colleagues for their dedication and willingness to examine the serious issues of national security and intelligence in a collegial and non-partisan manner. “Our work has demonstrated that there are issues beyond partisanship – accountability, the security of Canada, and the protection of our democratic rights and freedoms,” he stated.
You can read the report here.