NSICOP announces two substantive reviews and provides an update on the Special Report
October 12, 2018

Ottawa, October 12, 2018 — The National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians (NSICOP) today announces two substantive reviews of government national security and intelligence activities. Its findings will be published in NSICOP’s first annual report.

The Committee is examining how the Government of Canada establishes national intelligence priorities. The priorities provide direction to the intelligence organizations in the collection and analysis of intelligence. This process is the primary mechanism for the Prime Minister, Cabinet and senior officials to ensure the proper exercise of control, oversight and accountability for Canada’s intelligence activities.

NSICOP is also conducting a separate review of the intelligence activities of the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces. This review focuses on the structure and scope of defence intelligence activities, the legal authorities under which they are conducted, and the internal oversight and governance mechanisms in place for their control and accountability. Consistent with its mandate, NSICOP is conducting the first independent, external review of defence intelligence activities.

"Intelligence activities are critical for the effectiveness of government activities. They also have the potential to affect the rights and privacy of Canadians,” said the Chair, the Honourable David McGuinty. “NSICOP’s review of these two important programs will help ensure that our security and intelligence agencies continue to keep Canadians safe in a way that also safeguards our values, rights, and freedoms."

Relying on expert witness briefings and classified documentation, the Committee will submit its findings and recommendations to the Prime Minister by the end of this calendar year as part of the Committee’s annual report. A declassified version of the report will be tabled in Parliament.

"Officials met all requests for information within the deadlines set, and readily complied with any follow-on requests. We are deeply grateful for their cooperation and for the insights they provided during the Committee's hearings," McGuinty said.

Update on Special Report: On May 31, 2018, NSICOP provided a special report to the Prime Minister addressing security concerns surrounding his February 2018 trip to India. NSICOP members have since held further deliberations on the report and today provided an updated version to the Prime Minister. A declassified version must be tabled in Parliament within 30 sitting days.

Background: NSICOP was established under the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians Act on June 22, 2017.

The Committee serves as an independent, high-level reviewer of Canada’s legislative, regulatory, policy, administrative and financial framework for national security and intelligence. It may review any national security or intelligence activity, unless it is an ongoing operation and the appropriate Minister determines that the review would be injurious to national security. Ministers may also refer any matter relating to national security or intelligence to the Committee.

The Committee’s seven Members of Parliament and three Senators hold the highest level of security clearance, are bound by the Security of Information Act and meet in private.

Contact: Rennie Marcoux, Executive Director, NSICOP Secretariat, rennie.marcoux@canada.ca