Mr. Speaker, the international jihadist movement has declared war on Canada and her allies. Canadians are being targeted by jihadi terrorists simply because these terrorists hate our society and the values it represents. That is why the government has put forward the Anti-terrorism Act, 2015. It will protect Canadians against jihadi terrorists who seek to destroy the very principles that make Canada the best country in the world in which to live.
In response to (a), the government has reviewed the legislation of Canadian Security Intelligence Service’s, CSIS, foreign partners, and discussed with these partners their authority to take action to disrupt, diminish and degrade threats. Examples of these powers in some of Canada’s close democratic allies include: in the United States, the Central Intelligence Agency can, pursuant to the National Security Act, conduct domestic threat disruption with an executive order. In the United Kingdom, MI5 can, pursuant to section 1 of the Security Service Act conduct any activity to protect national security. The Norwegian Police Security Service has a domestic mandate to prevent and investigate any crime against the state, including terrorism. The Finnish Security Intelligence Service is mandated to prevent crimes in Finland that may endanger the governmental or political system, and internal or external security, pursuant to section 10 of the Act on Police Administration. The government will ensure that CSIS has the same tools to keep Canadians safe.
In response to (b) and (c), the government was aware of the passage cited from the Security Intelligence Review Committee’s, SIRC, report entitled “CSIS’ Use of Disruption to Counter National Security Threats” at the time of the statement. It is also important to note that the report stated “whenever CSIS conducts investigations, an intended or unintended consequence can be to counter or disrupt a threat to national security. This may include making it generally known to targets that their activities are being investigated, thus reducing the likelihood that the targets will continue with their plans. It is also possible that a threat may be disrupted unintentionally, wherein an activity undertaken by the service could dissuade an individual from pursuing future threat-related behaviour even though that result was not intended. The service recognizes that such tactics depart from typical forms of information collection, and that certain risks must be managed when undertaking this investigative activity”. Rather than risk managing an important function of a modern intelligence agency, the Anti-terrorism Act, 2015 makes it clear that CSIS is mandated to conduct threat disruption activities.
In response to (d) through (f), the government does not comment on operational matters of national security.
In response to (g), subsection 6(2) of the CSIS Act states that a “copy of any [Ministerial] direction shall, forthwith after it is issued, be given to the Review Committee”.