Statement from the Minister of Public Safety on the Tabling of the Annual SIRC Report

OTTAWA, Jan. 28, 2016 /CNW/ - Today, the Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, made the following statement after tabling the 2014-15 annual report of the Security Intelligence Review Committee (SIRC):

"SIRC exists to help ensure that the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) is carrying out its mandate effectively and that its activities respect the rule of law and the rights of Canadians. It plays an important role in providing Parliament and the Canadian public with a broad understanding of the operations of CSIS.

SIRC found that CSIS' activities did not contravene the CSIS Act or Ministerial Direction, and deemed their actions reasonable and necessary. In the instances that SIRC did give recommendations, CSIS has provided responses within the report itself.

The Government of Canada takes the matter of accountability seriously. Independent, substantive reviews of national security activities help to shine the spotlight on what's working, what isn't, what errors have been made, and what needs to change.

We believe more can be done to strengthen scrutiny, and the Government is currently developing legislation that will strengthen our system of accountability for national security. This will include the creation of a committee of Parliamentarians with special access to classified information.

While our approach will be tailored to Canada's circumstances, we are carefully considering the experiences of other countries in our planning. Through several meetings with key leaders in the United Kingdom, we have gained helpful insights into their system of parliamentary examination and review.

Canadian parliamentarians, subject matter experts and the public will be consulted as we work to ensure that our overall national security framework and procedures are effective in keeping Canadians safe while safeguarding our rights and values in an open, inclusive, democratic society."

Follow Public Safety Canada (@Safety_Canada) on Twitter.

For more information, please visit the website www.publicsafety.gc.ca.

 

SOURCE Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada

For further information: For questions about the SIRC report, please contact CSIS Media Relations: 613-231-0100.Scott Bardsley, Office of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, 613-998-5681; Media Relations, Public Safety Canada, (613) 991-0657

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www.publicsafety.gc.ca

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