OTTAWA – Just as the federal government is poised to boost the powers of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, the national spy watchdog says it has had to push CSIS to hand over crucial information.
The Security Intelligence Review Committee says it faced “significant delays” in receiving requested documentation over the last year and had to press CSIS to obtain complete and consistent answers to several questions.
In its annual report to Parliament, the review committee – which has a right to see all CSIS records – says it was “seriously misled” by the spy service in one complaint investigation.
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The committee report, quietly tabled Friday, also criticizes CSIS for failing to point out a highly relevant document in another complaint probe.
It also says CSIS failed to keep Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney apprised of a particularly sensitive program that could stir controversy if exposed publicly.
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The government is expected to introduce legislation shortly that would give CSIS greater flexibility in tracking terror suspects abroad, as well as provide blanket identity protection for the agency’s human sources.