Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on
National Security and Defence
Issue 16 - Evidence
OTTAWA, Monday, May 28, 2007
The Standing Committee on National Security and Defence met this day at 10:10 a.m. to examine and report on the
national security policy of Canada.
Senator Colin Kenny (Chairman) in the chair.
The Chairman: Honourable senators, this is the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence. My
name is Colin Kenny and I am the chair of the committee
Before we hear from our witnesses, let me introduce the members of the committee. Senator Wilfred Moore is from
Halifax. He is a lawyer with an extensive record of community involvement and has served for 10 years on the board of
governors of St. Mary's University. He also sits on the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce
and on the Standing Joint Committee of the Senate and the House of Commons for the Scrutiny of Regulations.
Senator Rod Zimmer is from Winnipeg, Manitoba. He has had a long and distinguished career in business and
philanthropy, and has volunteered his services for countless charitable causes and organizations. He sits on the
Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs and the Standing Senate Committee on Transport
Senator Tommy Banks is from Alberta. He was called to the Senate following a 50-year career in the entertainment
industry. He is the chair of the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources.
Colleagues, we have before us today Ms. Colleen Swords, Assistant Deputy Minister, International Security Branch,
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada. Ms. Swords has had a long and distinguished career in the public
service. She was appointed to her current position in September 2006. Prior to that, Ms. Swords was Canada's
ambassador to the Netherlands and permanent representative to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical
Ms. Swords has also served in Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Washington, Thailand — with cross-
accreditation to Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia — and Tanzania. She was a legal adviser to the Department of Foreign
Affairs from 2002 to 2005 and, in that capacity, acted as the agent for Canada before the International Court of Justice
in the case on the legality of the use of force.
Ms. Swords is accompanied by Mr. Bruce Jutzi, Director General, Security and Intelligence, Security and
Intelligence Bureau, and Mr. John DiGangi, Director, Foreign Intelligence Division.
Welcome to the committee. We are very pleased you are here. We understand you have a statement. The floor is
Ms. Colleen Swords, Assistant Deputy Minister, International Security Branch, Foreign Affairs and International
Trade Canada: I want to thank you for giving me the opportunity to address the committee today and to elaborate on
the role of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in relation to Canada's national security and
defence and the collection of foreign intelligence.
DFAIT's activities are governed by the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Act. The department is charged
with advancing and protecting the interests and values of Canada and Canadians abroad.
The minister's authority is set out in section 10(1) of the act, which states that:
The powers, duties and functions of the Minister extend to and include all matters over which Parliament has
jurisdiction, not by law assigned to any other department, board or agency of the Government of Canada,
relating to the conduct of the external affairs of Canada . . . .
Section 10(2) continues:
In exercising his powers and carrying out his duties and functions under this Act, the Minister shall
(a) conduct all diplomatic and consular relations on behalf of Canada;
(b) conduct all official communication between the Government of Canada and the government of any other
country and between the Government of Canada and any international organization;
(c) conduct and manage international negotiations as they relate to Canada;
(d) coordinate Canada's international economic relations;
(e) foster the expansion of Canada's international trade and commerce;
(f) have the control and supervision of the Canadian International Development Agency;
(g) coordinate the direction given by the Government of Canada to the heads of Canada's diplomatic and
(h) have the management of Canada's diplomatic and consular missions;
(i) administer the foreign service of Canada;
(j) foster the development of international law and its application in Canada's external relations; and
(k) carry out such other duties and functions as are by law assigned to him.
Section 10 further states that:
(3) The Minister may develop and carry out programs related to the Minister's powers, duties and functions
for the promotion of Canada's interests abroad . . . .
In developing and carrying out those programs abroad, the department is also governed by the Vienna Convention
on Diplomatic Relations and, in particular, article 3.1, which sets out the functions of a diplomatic mission. Article
3.1(d) lists one of those functions as:
Ascertaining by all lawful means conditions and developments in the receiving State —
— that is, the foreign state to which we are accredited —
and reporting thereon to the Government of the sending State;
In our case, that would be Canada.
This is all key to understanding the basis on which DFAIT operates abroad and how Canadian diplomats go about
doing their job, an important part of which involves developing relationships with a range of official and unofficial
contacts — some open, others more discreet — and reporting what they have to say back to the department and other
customers in Ottawa. Canadian diplomats do not work under cover or collect intelligence covertly from human
What we mean by ``foreign intelligence'' is clearly defined in Part V.1 of the National Defence Act, which deals with
CSE — Communications Security Establishments. I quote:
``foreign intelligence'' means information or intelligence about the capabilities, intentions or activities of a
foreign individual, state, organization or terrorist group, as they relate to international affairs, defence or
This definition is further amplified in section 16(1) of the CSIS Act, which explicitly recognizes the prerogatives of
the ministers of Foreign Affairs and National Defence with respect to foreign intelligence. Section 16(1) reads as
Subject to this section, the Service may, in relation to the defence of Canada or the conduct of the international
affairs of Canada, assist the Minister of National Defence or the Minister of Foreign Affairs, within Canada, in
the collection of information or intelligence relating to the capabilities, intentions or activities of
(a) any foreign state or group of foreign states; or
(b) any person other than
(i) a Canadian citizen,
(ii) a permanent resident within the meaning of subsection 2(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection
(iii) a corporation incorporated by or under an Act of Parliament or of the legislature of a province.
At DFAIT, I am responsible for the international security branch, which is a broad portfolio covering international
security issues, including those relating to foreign intelligence. Also included are international security institutions such
as NATO, NORAD, the OSCE, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, non-proliferation and
arms control issues, as well as counterterrorism and counter-narcotics — issues related to failed and fragile states.
Added to this is the role of the G-8 political director. Within the branch is the bureau for security and intelligence,
within which there is a foreign intelligence division that is responsible for assessing the current intelligence for senior
management, distributing intelligence products within the department and maintaining DFAIT's highly classified
communications systems. In addition, that division manages the global security reporting program, which I will
describe more later, and the interview program. It also manages the intelligence liaison officers that we have in
Washington, London and Canberra, and interactions with other elements of the Canadian intelligence community.
The division's short form is called ISI and it houses liaison officers from CSIS, the RCMP and personnel seconded
from CSE. DFAIT provides assistance and a wide range of support to CSIS, DND, CSE and the RCMP abroad.
While there is an understandable tendency to think of Canadian missions as being staffed primarily by Canadian
diplomats, the current reality is that representatives of other government departments and agencies now outnumber —
in terms of Canadian-based staff — personnel from Foreign Affairs in our missions abroad.
DFAIT, in the person of the head of mission — that is, the Ambassador or the High Commissioner, depending on
the country — is ultimately responsible for what other departments and agencies do in the jurisdiction to which he or
she is accredited. The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Act specifically states, in section 13(2),
. . . . a head of mission shall have the management and direction of his mission and its activities and the
supervision of the official activities of the various departments and agencies of the Government of Canada in
the country or portion of the country or at the international organization to which he is appointed.
For this reason, relations between DFAIT and departments and agencies operating outside of Canada must be
closely managed, and there must be a clear understanding of accountabilities for their activities abroad. As Jim Judd
highlighted before this committee, there will have to be an extremely tight relationship between CSIS and DFAIT as
the service expands its activities outside of Canada.
Since the horrific events of 9/11, DFAIT's contribution to the collection of information to help meet its own
requirements and assist other agencies of the Canadian government has been enhanced.
It may be worth noting that there are more than 150 Canadian missions abroad including embassies, high
commissions and consulates, staffed by DFAIT with experienced and professional officials accustomed to functioning
in often risky foreign environments, and where logistical support and classified communications systems are managed
and maintained that help to meet the requirements of the Canadian government writ large.
As already noted one of DFAIT's principal functions is gathering information relevant to the conduct of Canada's
foreign and commercial relations and the protection of its foreign and trade policy interests. For Canadian missions
abroad, diplomatic reporting is the main vehicle through which information is conveyed to headquarters. Diplomatic
reporting is generally derived from a combination of open sources and information obtained in confidence, from
carefully cultivated contacts in the host country. This is foreign intelligence in its broadest sense; that is, the collection
and analysis of information relating to the capabilities, intentions or activities of foreign states, groups or individuals.
In the aftermath of 9/11, the department also established a global security reporting program, GSRP. There are
currently 15 GSRP officers at Canadian missions abroad. This program was created to generate more focused
reporting from our posts abroad on terrorism, non-proliferation and similar security issues. These positions are filled
by foreign service officers who work as accredited diplomats in difficult and sensitive places including Kabul, Tehran
and Khartoum. They are not intelligence operators in a covert sense; they do not run sources, recruit and pay agents.
They are dedicated to the collection of information related to questions of strategic stability and security. What is
different about them is their specific mandate to develop non-traditional sources and gain access to information of
immediate value to DFAIT, as well as the Canadian security and intelligence community and the government writ
The work of the GSRP is supplemented by a long-standing government interview program at DFAIT which draws
on the experience and knowledge of Canadians and others who have particular insight into developments abroad with
specific knowledge of interest to Canada and its close allies. This interview program operates entirely on a voluntary
While DFAIT is involved in the collection of information abroad, it is also a primary user of foreign intelligence to
help shape and inform Canada's foreign policy. The department has a high demand for political and economic
intelligence. Foreign intelligence can forewarn Canadian officials and policy makers of developments that could impact
Canadian interests in detrimental ways but which can also advance Canada's foreign policy agenda.
Foreign intelligence is distributed to senior policy-makers and foreign service officers in Canada and abroad by a
team of individuals in the ISI division dedicated to the handling of all-source intelligence. While current intelligence is
provided directly to DFAIT headquarters, it is also disseminated to appropriately cleared officers at some 60 of our
embassies abroad through a dedicated high-security communications system.
Foreign intelligence is therefore of central importance to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade's
mandate. It is vital to DFAIT's capacity to fulfil its mandate, that it be in a position to acquire the political and
economic intelligence that it needs and that there be resources specifically allocated to the collection of the intelligence
necessary to meet its and the government's requirements.
Senator Moore: Thank you, witnesses, for being here this morning. Ms. Swords, regarding page 3 of your
submission, I quote: ``What we mean by foreign intelligence is clearly defined in Part V.1 of the National Defence Act
which deals with CSE.'' What do you mean by CSE?
Ms. Swords: It means the Canadian Security Establishment. The head of CSE, John Adams, has appeared before
Senator Moore: There seems to be a great deal going on in your shop.
Ms. Swords: The issue is really about information. Foreign intelligence is also about information. Obviously, if you
are representing Canada abroad, you are doing a wide range of things. Part of it is trying to understand the country,
which is all about gathering information on that country.
Senator Moore: Is there anything that you cannot do? The statutes that you cite as your authorities gives your
branch the authority to gather information on individuals, foreign countries, as you wish.
Ms. Swords: We do not gather information as we wish but rather through open sources. We are not operating
covertly. When in a country abroad, you meet a wide number of people in government, the academic community, the
NGO community, or the opposition parties. You are gathering information from quite a large number of sources. That
is part of the mandate that diplomats have abroad under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.
Senator Moore: I am interested in the different sections within your branch, for example, the global security
reporting program. Could you tell us a bit more about that? Does that report to you?
Ms. Swords: It reports to my colleagues at the table. I am several layers higher up in the hierarchy.
The reports are widely circulated within the government to the Privy Council Office, the Department of National
Defence, the Canadian Border Security Agency and Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada.
This group of officers has very good language skills. They devote their resources and time in the embassies that they
represent gathering information to understand the security situation in that country as it might affect Canada.
Many people in our embassies abroad have a mandate that includes consular affairs and organizing visits for
incoming Canadian officials. The 15 in the global security resource program are a fenced resource in that they only do
Senator Moore: To whom do they report? Are they reporting abroad to someone in the foreign service who then
reports back to Canada?
Ms. Swords: No, they usually report to the geographic desk at Foreign Affairs that handles the particular country
where they are represented as well as to ISI. Their reports are copied to many departments in the Canadian
government that would have an interest in the situation in that particular country.
It is not really that much different from the diplomatic reporting done for many years except that they are in
countries where there is some degree of instability or a particular interest to Canada. They have good language skills
and all they are doing is reporting. Over time, in many of the countries where we are represented, the foreign service
officers abroad have a mandate to do quite a number of different things. It is not just all about providing information
back to headquarters.
Senator Moore: Tell me about the interview program. You say there are not intelligence operatives and you do not
run sources or recruit or pay agents. Who are the people who make up the interview program? Are these people
Ms. Swords: No. Several foreign service officers in ISI work in Canada at the Department of Foreign Affairs and
International Trade. This practice started during the Cold War with private Canadian citizens who were travelling for
one reason or another in a foreign country. It was not always Canadian citizens, though, and at times it could be
visiting foreigners who think they might have open-source information of interest to us.
There were times when some countries were difficult to enter and a business person might ask whether the
department was interested in their reflections on what they had seen on their travels there.
Senator Moore: What would the business person do? Would they telephone you, out of the blue, to let you know
where they were going?
Ms. Swords: In some cases, people would telephone us.
Senator Moore: I do not think the public at large knows about that.
Ms. Swords: Often, such people would be in touch with the Canadian mission in a country to let them know that
they had found some interesting information and to ask whether staff were interested in hearing about it. We are
interested to the extent that we want to understand what is going on in such a country. Sometimes it starts in our
embassy abroad and then continues back home. In some cases, people might call the Department of Foreign Affairs
and International Trade to say they have information that we might be interested in. Often, they are in touch with the
geographic desk. I have not described the department overall but we have a geographic function as well.
Senator Moore: Perhaps you should do that for the benefit of everyone here as well as those people who are
watching this meeting. I will go back to my example. Tell us about that structure?
Ms. Swords: I will if I can remember all of it because it changes every time. We have what we call a ``matrix
management system,'' whereby an assistant deputy minister is responsible for North America including Mexico and for
consular affairs. We have what we call a ``geographic assistant deputy minister,'' who is responsible for all our missions
everywhere else in the world. As well, we have the international security branch, for which I am responsible. The
intelligence function is only one aspect of it. There is also a strategic policy branch and one for global affairs, which
tends to UN matters, UN voting issues, environment issues, pandemics and human rights abroad. Another branch
looks after corporate matters and another still looks after human resource matters.
If we are looking at an issue such as Kosovo, where in the past Canada has been actively involved in restoring
stability, it would involve both my branch, because of NATO policy, and the division and bureau that handles Europe
because the country is situated in Europe. There would be constant discussions between the two branches about how to
manage the situation and what information each branch has.
Senator Moore: Are these desks located in the same building?
Ms. Swords: Yes, all of them are in the Lester B. Pearson building.
Senator Moore: I assume they talk to one another regularly?
Ms. Swords: That is right. In terms of the reporting in the department, it is rare that anyone would send it to only
one area back home, whether that person is from headquarters reporting on discussions they may have had with a
foreign embassy here or from our embassy abroad. Generally speaking, such reports would be sent to all branches.
Often, they are copied to many other departments that might have an interest.
For example, the Canada Border Services Agency and Citizenship and Immigration Canada have a strong interest
in situations occurring in many countries to help them determine whether we might see a sudden influx of migrants. An
economic situation might lead to information that matters to the trade department. The information is not channelled
to one area only in one department but is widely disseminated.
Senator Moore: I want to clarify one thing.
Ms. Swords: Yes.
Senator Moore: With regard to the business person example, they would return to Canada having provided
information to the Canadian mission abroad. Would the department ever ask that person to obtain specific
information the next time they travel abroad? Would the department enlist a Canadian to try to obtain information?
Would the department send that person to a foreign country on a specific assignment?
Ms. Swords: A kind of dialogue occurs. It would not be an assignment but if someone were to go back to the
country and wished to talk to us again, we would be happy to receive information from them.
Senator Moore: Would you identify something specific that the department would like information about?
Ms. Swords: We would not assign something or task them because it is entirely up to the individuals whether they
wish to volunteer information.
Senator Moore: Would you tell someone what you would like information on something and ask whether they could
obtain it for you? Does that happen?
Ms. Swords: I do not know, senator, because I do not participate in those discussions. My understanding is that
there are discussions with people who have information. In some of the smaller countries around the world, we do not
have a mission. People might travel to those countries and find there are great economic opportunities but with
challenges attached, such as a lack of foreign investment law, for example. It could be something as basic as that.
Senator Moore: I am interested to know whether you might enlist the participation of a Canadian citizen who is
travelling abroad in a repeated fashion. Do you ever do that?
Ms. Swords: I assume that there are times when someone volunteers to come and see us more than once. It is not a
question of us enlisting or asking them to obtain anything specific on their next trip.
Senator Moore: Would you ever contact that business person to tell them you would like information on a particular
area of activity in a certain country if that person travels there again?
Ms. Swords: Honestly, I do not know the answer to that because I do not participate in the discussions.
Senator Moore: It could be so or it could not be so.
The Chairman: Can you obtain the answer to that question?
Ms. Swords: I could get it.
Senator Moore: I think this interview program is interesting and I was unaware of it before. Thank you.
Ms. Swords: I should add that the interview program is small, with only three or four people.
Senator Moore: The three or four are working in Ottawa?
Ms. Swords: Yes, they are in Ottawa.
Senator Moore: However, the potential involvement of Canadian business people travelling abroad, using your
example, could be greater with the three or four people in Ottawa administering the program.
Ms. Swords: It does not always need to be business people, but using that example, they would often come to our
embassies abroad seeking assistance on the trade side, at times, and at other times simply to say that the situation was
bad in the country they recently left, such as no food in the markets. Those things are relevant to us if we are watching
for potential serious instability in a country.
Senator Banks: Good morning. First, I would ask for another acronym definition: What does ISI stand for?
Ms. Swords: There is a story behind that, senator. In the old days, when we used telegraphs, someone won an award
for coming up with the idea of having three letters to designate each division in the department for sending by telex.
The letters do not necessarily correspond to anything in particular.
Senator Banks: It is not an acronym.
Ms. Swords: Technically, no. We usually say, ISI.
Senator Banks: In answer to Senator Moore's question, you will find out for us whether occasionally there would be
situations in which someone from DFAIT would say to someone they know returning to a place, ``If you happen to
bump into this information, we would be interested in knowing it.''
Can you confirm to us that you have undertaken to get us that information?
Ms. Swords: I will find out what I can advise you on that, yes.
Senator Banks: Thank you.
This committee has been very interested in the question of foreign and security intelligence and the distinctions
between them and who is doing what. We have advocated strongly from time to time, sometimes in our reports and
otherwise, that, to put it plainly, Canada needs to beef up its efforts in those respects for a variety of reasons, including
in its own interests and in order that it can be a player at the table. There is a certain amount of quid pro quo that goes
on in that area.
Efforts to increase our capabilities in those two respects are important to us. We are hopeful when we see moves in
We are also worried, as we have said in the past, about silos and communication and synergy and those kinds of
questions. You were an ambassador, and I note you have said that DFAIT, in the person of head of mission, is
ultimately responsible for what other departments and agencies do in the jurisdiction to which he or she is accredited.
When it comes to an expanded capability in foreign and security intelligence gathering outside of Canada, do you think
that whoever is charged with doing that would be subject to that jurisdiction? In other words, to use the colloquial
word, a spy, an operative who will undertake covert as opposed to overt sources, would that person be subject to the
jurisdiction of the head of mission?
Ms. Swords: Senator, in a way you are asking for a legal interpretation of section 13(2). What it does say is that the
head of mission has supervision of the official activities of the various departments and agencies represented in the
country. In a way the question becomes, if something is being collected covertly, is it an official activity? I do not have
an answer to that. It is a question of legal interpretation of the act. That is what the issue would be.
Senator Banks: That is the question. Do you have an opinion about what that would be? I am assuming that, if an
agency or a function of the government has instructed or required that someone working for Canada goes someplace
to find out something, that is an official function, is it not?
Ms. Swords: I am not sure how one defines ``official.''
The Chairman: Funded with taxpayers' money.
Ms. Swords: I do not know, because it is a bit hypothetical. If it is part of a department's mandate to do that abroad,
properly funded, then perhaps it is official.
I should say that supervision of the official activity does not mean that you are watching absolutely everything that
one does in a foreign mission. It would be impossible to do that.
When I was our ambassador in The Hague, for example, we had two RCMP officers based there, dealing partly with
Europol but partly with criminal investigations that were being done together with Canada, both ends of it. I was not
informed of all aspects of that, nor should I be, because those are criminal investigations. On the other hand, when it
came to the appraisal for that person — were they in the office, were they handling things, was I getting positive
feedback generally from the local police — that constituted supervision.
There are a number of questions buried in what you are asking: What does ``official activity'' mean, what does
``supervision'' mean? It will depend on the circumstances.
Senator Banks: When the capability of Canada to obtain foreign intelligence and security intelligence outside of
Canada is enhanced and improved, will that change the nature of what DFAIT and its diplomats who are posted
abroad do? Will it curtail or enhance; how will that work? Describe to us how you think that will work, wherever those
foreign operatives come from and whatever bailiwick they are in. It will exchange the way DFAIT works in foreign
countries, I presume, because we will be doing things to a degree that we are not doing now.
Ms. Swords: It is a little hard to answer the question because I am not sure what more we will be doing abroad at
this point. Obviously, whatever we do abroad, the ambassador is expected to be representing Canada. If there is a
problem with something that happens abroad, whoever is doing it, if they are a government official, the foreign
government does not go to that named individual or the head of an agency in Canada, they will be going to the
ambassador. There could be positive fallout, but if there is negative fallout it is the ambassador who must deal with
It seems to me that it is important that there be some link and role for the head of mission who ultimately responds
to the minister and cabinet.
Senator Banks: You would expect that, in whatever form it takes and whatever bailiwick it comes from, foreign and
security intelligence gathering outside of Canada will be known to and be, in a sense, supervised by the appropriate
DFAIT person, an ambassador or chargé d'affaires.
Ms. Swords: It depends on exactly what form that takes. We need to understand that when we are talking about
foreign intelligence there is a definition in the act that talks about the subject matter, the intention of foreign
governments and so forth. It does not talk about the method of collection. Very often, when people hear the phrase
``foreign intelligence'' they automatically assume covert, secret, unknown collection.
For us, foreign intelligence has a definition, but that definition does not actually say it is overt or covert. In terms of
foreign intelligence, it is information, however collected.
It is not just a question of collection; it is also a question of analyzing. You can have lots of information, but if you
do not analyze it quickly and well, it is not much use to you. In fact, you can have too much.
What can we collect relatively easily through open sources, or discreet open sources? You do not phone up the
foreign ministry every time you want information, you can sometimes find out information other ways, but
nevertheless open. There needs to be close cooperation in whatever we might decide to do more covertly with what is
already being done overtly.
There is also a resource question. Why collect something covertly if you can get it overtly? It makes sense.
Senator Banks: The landscape has changed in that respect. It is fair to characterize this committee's view as being
very supportive of increasing those capabilities, and some of them will be covert.
I know what the definitions in the respective acts say, but the landscape has changed by a number of events and
situations since those acts have been written. Can you help us out with a definition between foreign intelligence on the
one hand and security intelligence that would be gathered in countries other than Canada on the other hand?
Ms. Swords: A number of the witnesses have discussed the same issue. In the end, we must go by what is in our
legislation. We have definitions of both in the legislation. One refers to the intentions of governments and people
abroad — that is foreign intelligence. One refers to threats to Canada — that is security intelligence. Again, those are
what Canada considers to be statutorily defined.
Senator Banks: I am sorry to interrupt, but in every instance would you be able to clearly say that, in a case of
gathering one or the other of those things in Belarus or Mexico, for example, that piece of information we are after falls
into this file folder and that other one falls into that file folder? Are those definitions clear to you? They are not to us,
or at least not to me.
Ms. Swords: Sometimes, I have the same problem. I think there are circles, with overlap. There are some parts that
are clearly only foreign intelligence and some parts that are clearly only security intelligence. However, there is a part in
the middle that is probably both.
There is a question about immediacy in a way. If there is information about a bomb that is about to go off on an
airplane arriving in or departing from Canada, that would be immediate security intelligence because it is a threat to
Canada. If there is something that relates to a country where they are actually fostering and providing a safe haven for
a particular terrorist group more generally and that situation is enhanced by the fact that there is a lot of poverty,
narcotics or there is generally an unstable situation where the government is not able to handle its own security
situation, that kind of more general reporting, while it is actually related to security, is also related to foreign
intelligence. That is where I see overlap.
Senator Banks: That leads directly to my last question. There is, we understand, a move towards enhancing
Canada's capability outside of the country. Are you confident that there will be an effective sharing of information,
among and between whatever agencies are charged with doing that, and that there will not be conflicts, tensions or
frictions that will get in the way? We have all heard probably apocryphal examples about lack of information trading
between agencies, and we have seen some of them. Do you think the regime under which this will happen can escape
Ms. Swords: Coordination and information sharing will have to be managed in a way that works to preserve the
security of the type of information that is received but at the same time make sure that those who need to know do
know. There are extra challenges in terms of sharing information in the intelligence sector.
Senator Banks: There must be that security, but there must be generosity.
Ms. Swords: Information is of no use if it does not get to the people who need it most. There is also no use if it is not
analyzed properly. Misunderstood information can come in because the context within which it comes has not been
explained and, therefore, it is not very meaningful.
Senator Banks: Information from two places can came in and be found to be useless after analysis but if the two
pieces of information are put together it can be found to be useful. Do you think the putting together part will be put in
Ms. Swords: I hope so, but I do not know. I am not sure what you are referring to in terms of the two being put
Senator Banks: Forgive me, but you will be the people responsible when it comes to this question because the
government has said that it intends to expand our capabilities in terms of getting information outside of Canada. Let
us not even call it intelligence. That information will sometimes be received by functions of the government other than
Are you hopeful, comfortable and confident that the necessary sharing synergies — two plus two equals six — will
happen with respect to that information?
Ms. Swords: The proper structures are being put in place to try to ensure that coordination. The national security
advisor is doing her best to make sure we are all coordinated.
Will a particular piece of information in every case get to all the places it needs to? That is the challenge. The
challenge becomes even greater with the more information you have because not every piece of information is of the
same value, merit or necessity that it be passed somewhere. There runs the risk that you receive so much information
that people start turning off. We must watch that we make sure the right information gets to the right people.
Senator Banks: Whose job will it be to make sure this is looked after?
Ms. Swords: It will likely have to be something decided through a well-coordinated group and with the right kinds of
structures being put in place.
The Chairman: Before we go to Senator Zimmer, perhaps we can come back to the question of supervision that you
had with Senator Banks. If you could maybe go back one step further and describe to us an ambassador's job. What is
the ambassador responsible for in a country?
Ms. Swords: Broadly speaking, the ambassador is responsible for representing the Government of Canada as a
whole. That includes all departments and the provinces. It is a question of representing Canada, advocating Canadian
positions and explaining to Canada what the position of that government is on various issues. That is the broad
Depending on the embassy one is the ambassador of, a variety of different government programs can be operating
there. In some cases, it is CIDA, Immigration, CSBA, RCMP, DND, CSIS and so forth. It is the ambassador's
responsibility to make sure that all those programs are working together and are coordinated as part of Canada's
representation abroad. It will vary depending on the country and what programs are actually represented.
The Chairman: Take us from there to the ambassador's, your word, ``supervision'' of the people that are working in
Ms. Swords: Supervision is actually the word in the legislation.
The Chairman: Yes, but you are stuck with interpreting the legislation that governs it. You have been an
ambassador and the legislation applied to you. When you see the word ``supervision,'' what does that mean with
respect to the various people sent to work in the embassy? Were they working for you?
Ms. Swords: They are obviously working for the department they come from, and their operational daily reports go
to that department. However, the head of mission is entitled to know what is happening in the mission and determine
whether it might have an impact on other programs within the mission.
There could be a situation, for example, where there may be an issue that affects the Immigration Department in a
mission abroad, but it might also affect the RCMP and it might also affect your diplomatic reporting. Therefore, as
head of mission, you are responsible to ensure that the dots are connected and the people are speaking to each other.
At times, you make sure a single report goes forward from the mission rather than three separate ones and all the
appropriate departments are copied on it. It is an integration function at times.
The Chairman: Take us a step further when it comes to the collection of intelligence.
Ms. Swords: Collection of intelligence depends on how you define collection of intelligence.
The Chairman: We are starting off with a broad definition of intelligence and then we can narrow it down.
Ms. Swords: For us, collection of intelligence abroad is all done overtly. That would be a question of me being the
head of mission going in and seeing the defence minister, for example, and we discuss a number of things. A DND
representative is with me. We do a report back on the discussions we had. The report goes to a number of departments
but certainly to our department and the Department of National Defence. Is that intelligence? It is information on
their current views and current thinking on issues that matter to Canada.
The Chairman: You said we collect intelligence overtly, but some of the people in the embassy looking forward may
not be doing that.
Ms. Swords: I guess that remains to be decided. That would have to be a decision to be made by the government.
The Chairman: I guess the question is this: If intelligence were being collected overtly, should the ambassador be
aware of what was happening in the country that ambassador was responsible for?
Ms. Swords: That would partly depend on whether the person was accredited as a diplomat or whether they were
just present in the country. Obviously, Canadian officials go to other countries but they are not formally accredited as
diplomats. It would depend partially on that.
The Chairman: Would the responsibility of the ambassador not cover all the activities the government had in that
Ms. Swords: It does not cover unofficial activities. The ambassador would not necessarily know, in a large country,
if a Canadian official is going for a week to a conference.
The Chairman: Would the ambassador know if a person was working there for a number of years?
Ms. Swords: Yes, with the exception of being on secondment to an international organization. An example would be
customs officers in New York, and part of the Canadian mission. Generally speaking, Canadian government officials
abroad want to have diplomatic immunity. They do not want to be subject to the laws of that country with respect to
their official activities. To maintain that responsibility it is necessary for them to be accredited as diplomats. If they are
not accredited as a diplomat, they do not have immunity.
The Chairman: As we go forward, job descriptions and definitions such as ``supervision'' ``oversight'' and
``responsibility for'' will come back frequently. We must become used to discussing them over the next few months.
Senator Zimmer: Thank you, Ms. Swords for your appearance and presentation this morning.
I want to go back to a question first raised by Senator Moore concerning the global security reporting program that
was established after 9/11. Could the responsibilities of that program have been handled by the existing infrastructure
or capacity rather than by creating a new program?
Ms. Swords: It would be a question of resources. Without obtaining additional resources, we would have had to take
people who were otherwise doing work in headquarters or in other missions abroad and not able to do that work.
Having a special program allowed us to access funds that were given to the various departments after September 11
through Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada funding that was given to various departments. Our
department received funding under that program for the global security reporting program.
Could it have been done? Yes, but at a cost somewhere else in the world or at a cost to headquarters. Having it as a
program helps us to fence the resources to ensure we have dedicated reporting. It helps us attract people with special
language skill that are often needed to ensure the reporting in a particular country is valuable.
Senator Zimmer: I want to follow up on the CSIS mandate and role. If the government proceeds with changing the
CSIS mandate, how would the requirements of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada be communicated to
CSIS and who would ensure compliance?
Ms. Swords: Many different models could be used. Various committees or exchanges of letters could be used. It is up
to the government to decide how it wants to do that.
Senator Zimmer: What risks are associated to Canada of covertly conducting foreign intelligence abroad,
recognizing the political and economic implications?
Ms. Swords: We come back to the question of what we mean by ``foreign intelligence.'' I assume you are speaking of
covert collection as opposed to overt collection. I am not aware of the risks. There could be an impact on the bilateral
relations between two countries if the receiving country feels we are collecting information covertly without their
permission and they do not think we should. There have been cases in Canada, for example, where we have declared a
diplomat as persona non grata. They have been sent back home. I do not know of an occasion when we have closed an
embassy because of that. It can become an irritant in the relationship. There is the issue of cost-benefit. Are we
receiving sufficient benefit? Is it worth that kind of cost?
Senator Zimmer: I want to ask about Canada's international reputation and potential risks. If the role of CSIS is
expanded to include foreign intelligence collection outside of Canada, what potential risks do you see to Canada's
international reputation and the management of Canada's foreign relations? Can you explain which benefits outweigh
the financial and political risks?
Ms. Swords: It depends on exactly what we are talking about in terms of activity abroad and covert collection. Even
within that definition, there is a range of activities that might be done abroad, some more aggressive than others. That
would have an impact on the risks.
It is difficult to say. Many countries already think we do this. In one country, a colleague was detained by the police
because he had gone to see the Leader of the Opposition. They thought that unacceptable. In some countries, the
definition of what constitutes ``unacceptable gathering of information'' already falls within what we would consider to
be regular diplomatic information gathering. Much depends on the individual country and how covert information is
Senator Zimmer: I want to ask you a few questions about your branch and its role.
Based on DFAIT's current report on planning and priorities, one of your branch's activities involves ensuring a
seamless Canada-U.S. defence and security architecture including a more effective Permanent Joint Board on Defence.
Please provide us with an appreciation of the international committee's role on the board's initiatives and the way in
which you collaborate with other departments such as the Department of National Defence.
Ms. Swords: I will get back to you on that, senator. We engage in a variety of activities. Our department co-chairs
that committee together with someone from Parliament. The last meeting was held in the United States. We are dealing
with continental security in the modern age. The Permanent Joint Board on Defence was created a long time ago.
NORAD itself has been extended in perpetuity with a maritime surveillance element. A number of questions face the
architecture of defence for the continent. We are working closely with DND. We participate fully with them. I speak
with colleagues in the Department of National Defence if not daily, almost every second day although not always on
continental architecture. There are other issues.
Senator Zimmer: Can you explain the goal of the International Security Research and Outreach Programme? How is
the information that is obtained by the government utilized? What do they do with it? How do they utilize that?
Explain how that information is obtained, and through the program, how is it utilized?
Ms. Swords: I am not sure what you mean by ``international security outreach?''
Senator Zimmer: I understand an outreach program is attached to your branch. How is that information obtained?
Ms. Swords: A small program operates in the branch. It tends to deal more with assistance in non-proliferation
issues. It sometime helps to fund a conference related to disarmament or non-proliferation. That program is the only
one that may fall into the category you are referring to.
Senator Zimmer: That is the one I am referring to. I want to know how that information has changed and what they
do with that information.
Ms. Swords: I will get back to you on exact details on what has been done in the last year. I took up this function
only in September.
Generally speaking, they fund conferences or a consultation process to bring in people from across the country
engaged in security issues to give us advice.
Senator Moore: The chair touched on your role as an ambassador. I should like to know what the relationship is
between the CSIS personnel who are stationed abroad and Foreign Affairs. As the ambassador, are you in charge of all
intelligence activity? For example, when you were in the Netherlands, did this come under your supervisory role? What
is the relationship between you as an ambassador and the CSIS personnel who may be stationed in the country in
which you are representing Canada?
Ms. Swords: There is a memorandum of understanding between our department and CSIS that sets out some of
those roles and responsibilities. The CSIS officers who are abroad are liaison officers. They are liaising with the local
security agency. Their activities tend to be more in the nature of not running operations but liaison and gathering
information that the local intelligence organization would have. Some of what is in the MOU is very pedestrian. It
concerns which benefits one gets and who has a say in the appraisal. Basically, the liaison officer is to ensure that the
head of mission is informed of any major issues that affect their program but not daily operations by any means.
Senator Moore: Do they report to you as ambassador?
Ms. Swords: They report to the head of mission in the sense that, certainly in the missions I have been in, they would
regularly meet with the ambassador and brief the ambassador on general things they are doing or the situation in the
country. Do they report in the sense that the head of mission would be signing off on everything they write, as you
might do with a foreign service officer? No. It is a different kind relationship than what you would have with someone
who is actually part of the Department of Foreign Affairs.
Senator Moore: To whom would those personnel report? Would it be someone in Canada?
Ms. Swords: Their daily operations would be reported directly back to CSIS headquarters in Canada.
Senator Moore: On page 3 of your presentation, you went through section 16 of the CSIS Act:
Subject to this section, the Service may, in relation to the defence of Canada or the conduct of the international
affairs of Canada, assist the Minister of National Defence or the Minister of Foreign Affairs, within Canada . . . .
You may request the authority for CSIS to do that, and CSIS may do it, but does CSIS still not need to have the
permission of the Minister of Public Safety?
Ms. Swords: Not vis-à-vis this act. I am not familiar with what sorts of ministerial directives they may have. You
would have to ask the head of CSIS.
Senator Moore: So they ``may'' help. It is not a ``shall.''
Ms. Swords: Generally, in terms of legal interpretation, ``may'' is permissive as opposed to mandatory.
Senator Moore: Does this happen often? Can you outline the nature of such a request and the extent of such
Ms. Swords: I believe it is an operational issue as to how often it would happen. I cannot say the number of times. It
relates more to situations where we think there may be value in collecting information here in Canada with regard to
the intentions of a particular government. A request is made to CSIS through our minister that goes through a whole
process. If the issue concerns SIGINT, signals interpretation, then it goes to court and the Federal Court approves it.
There is a whole process to it.
Senator Moore: Does this happen often? Is the frequency once a month or once a week? What has been the history,
say, for the last five years? I know you are new at this, but someone must have that answer.
Ms. Swords: It does happen. As to the frequency, I am not able to say, but I do not necessarily think it is prudent to
say a number of times a month. There may be others who may find that of interest to them. It is not something that we
do all the time. We do it when we think there is particular information that would be of value with respect to a
Senator Banks: To pursue that question, you were careful, in answer to Senator Moore's question, to talk about
those requests made to CSIS in Canada. How about those requests made to CSIS for intelligence gathering and
information gathering outside of Canada? Does DFAIT do that from time to time?
Ms. Swords: Section 16 refers only to a gathering of intelligence within Canada. That is why I was referring to that.
Senator Banks: Does DFAIT ask CSIS to do that outside of Canada?
Ms. Swords: Not the collection of foreign intelligence. There could be security intelligence, as we discussed, that
could be of interest to us from a foreign intelligence point of view that might also be a security intelligence issue.
Senator Banks: Does that happen from time to time?
Ms. Swords: Senator, I honestly do not know. I am trying to think of whether that has happened during my time. I
do not think it has. For the most part, the information that we have needed we have received from allied sources or
from our own reporting, or CSIS is already gathering information on the security intelligence side and it is distributed
to those who need to know within all of Canada.
Senator Banks: It would be very helpful to us in our understanding of the process if you could explain that to us by
sending the information to the committee clerk, specifically, the nature and extent and perhaps the frequency of
requests to CSIS that fall under section 16, or those that are made for activities and information gathering outside the
country, without getting specific as to where, when and what it is about, just how often it might happen. We would be
very grateful if you could undertake to do that.
Some of us on this committee were members of an interparliamentary committee of both Houses of Parliament
involving all parties that were tasked to examine in other countries the question of parliamentary oversight of security.
We took it upon ourselves to include foreign intelligence gathering. Canada is the only country, among any significant
countries in the world, that does not have any significant parliamentary oversight at that particular level. With respect
to the increased robustness of Canada's information gathering outside the country, which we hope very much is
forthcoming, I would assume that DFAIT would have been asked about this by the government, to comment on it and
to give advice on it. Is that the case?
Ms. Swords: The O'Connor report, Volume II, did comment on oversight in connection with our consular activities
where they intersect with security or national security issues. We have been asked for our views on how one might set
that up. There have certainly been discussions at the deputies' level about models of parliamentary oversight, and our
department is part of those discussions.
Senator Banks: In your opinion, is parliamentary oversight of foreign intelligence gathering and foreign information
gathering, foreign security informing gathering, a good idea?
Ms. Swords: Senator, to appear before a parliamentary committee and say that I did not think it was a good idea
might not be well received. Seriously, I think it is more a question of how one does it. How does one preserve the
sensitive nature of the information? What do you mean by oversight? What are you overseeing? Do not forget that,
when it comes to diplomatic reporting, our minister reports to the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs on a regular
basis and is accountable to Parliament daily in Question Period. There are many questions about what is meant by
If there is to be more robust oversight by Parliament, it is important that the appropriate resources are provided to
departments to ensure that they can prepare for that. Sometimes, no resources are allocated, which means that
departments have to do less of something else that you would otherwise be doing in order to prepare the right
Senator Banks: This committee heard those points and took them into account in its report.
The Chairman: Excuse me, Senator Banks. Ms. Sword, you used the word ``oversight.'' Was that the word you
intended to use?
Ms. Swords: I used the word that the senator used.
The Chairman: You then validated his comment. Do you agree that it should be ``parliamentary oversight?''
Ms. Swords: Are you making a distinction between oversight and review?
The Chairman: Yes.
Ms. Swords: I was not making that distinction. I was using Senator Banks' word. Again, there is the question about
what you mean by ``oversight'' — the extent to which the parliamentary committee looks at it, how it affects the
resources and how it is set up.
Senator Banks: Yes, but that is part of the question, although I am not sure that we were to discuss that today. With
regard to the distinction between oversight and review, it was the committee's view, to a degree at least, that it ought to
be oversight, but not in the sense that any parliamentarian should ever know, let alone make public, operational
matters. However, review of what has gone on in the past in determining whether it was either sufficient, correct or
otherwise is a quite different thing from being able to receive an assurance in Parliament that a matter in a country
abroad is being looked after. Those are two very different things, but because we have opened the discussion, what
would your view be in respect of the distinction between ``oversight'' and ``review?''
Ms. Swords: As you said, there is a difference. There are different degrees of resource involvement and of
parliamentary involvement in a process. You would need to think about some of the existing oversight mechanisms
that CSIS has and how parliamentary review/oversight would affect that. In our case, you would have to think about
the operations of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade vis-à-vis parliamentary review that
occurs now on a regular basis by our minister appearing before the committee in the other place.
They are quite different in nature, as you say. The objective of oversight in the past in Canada has been related
mainly to the degree of intrusiveness into individual Canadians' activities as opposed to questions related to what is
happening in foreign countries.
Senator Banks: That is precisely the question.
Ms. Swords: The government will need to make a decision on which way it wants to go.
Senator Banks: We hope they make that decision pretty soon.
We just missed seeing you when we were in The Hague, which is too bad because we had an interesting time. In
respect of the question we have skirted around about whether an ambassador or head of mission would know what is
happening in a foreign country, your response to Senator Moore's question was clear to the extent that it was
understood at the time. However, after this thing becomes more robust and we are receiving more covert information
from another country, would it be the case that an ambassador would know that an operative gathering intelligence
covertly is in the country, not necessarily attached to the mission, not accredited, and therefore at risk? Is it your view
that the ambassador would know or should know that?
Ms. Swords: If there were a risk that what the person was doing would have an negative impact on the bilateral
relations between Canada and the foreign country, it would be important for the ambassador to know that, although it
would not necessarily be the case in every instance. I am thinking of my experience with the RCMP, for example, who
are careful about not telling the ambassador about criminal investigations because they cannot divulge that
information. However, if the RCMP think something might become difficult or an irritant or might attract a great deal
of attention in Canada, they will tell us about an operation, what it relates to — drugs, say — when they expect
something to happen, perhaps in the next 24 hours, and that we need to be ready. The RCMP does not convey to us the
details, however; they do not relay the details of things that do not rise to that level of possible public attention.
Senator Banks: Once you have that information, wherever it ends up, what is the extent of the relationship between
DFAIT and the international assessment staff in the Privy Council Office? Do they produce the assessments at the
direction of DFAIT? How does that process work? How is the information in that process sent out to those who need
Ms. Swords: The international assessment staff at PCO operates both ways. At times, we ask them to prepare a
report on a particular situation; at other times, they are asked by another department to do that. They circulate it quite
widely. It works both ways.
Some of the information they are using for their assessments could be from our diplomatic reporting, or from allied
sources or off the Internet. Some information can help us understand something that comes from an open source. The
IAS pulls it all together, and operates on the bases of specific requests and ongoing interests that they know about. For
example, they prepare a daily intelligence summary containing short briefs on each one, whether or not we ask for
Senator Banks: On my final question concerning that, it appears that we will become more robust in gathering
information elsewhere. We agree with that. Do you agree that, given the constraint on DFAIT — that is, that it does
not operate covertly and that it does not establish unfavourable relations with another country — we need to beef up
our foreign and security intelligence gathering mechanisms and the assessment processes so that the information can be
processed to our advantage?
Ms. Swords: We need to figure out the cost and the benefit, where the existing gaps are in the collection process with
our allies and whether the gaps are significant. We need to ensure that we have the right assessment and analysis in
place to make use of whatever information we gather. There are a number of variables. At times, I am given to
wondering whether we should not simply collect covertly. However, the question is much broader than that and must
include determining what information we need to have, how we should obtain it, what it will cost to do so and whether
we have the right capacity to analyze it.
Senator Banks: Do you think there is a shortfall in the information we obtain as opposed to the information that we
Ms. Swords: You could always have more information, without question. There might be gaps in specific areas, but
I cannot say that I have sensed a huge gap in the past. At times, there are gaps in the timeliness of obtaining the
Senator Banks: You have been at the international negotiating tables. There must be a certain amount of quid pro
quo. If we want to sit at the table and receive information we must be able to give information. If we do not have
groceries to put on the table we cannot attend the whole meeting and hear what we need to. Is that not a factor? We
have heard that it is. Tell us whether that is true.
Ms. Swords: We are a net importer of covertly collected foreign intelligence. At the same time, we produce some in
Canada ourselves, and that is why I keep coming back to some of the diplomatic reporting: the overt. There are times
when foreign-intelligence-gathering agencies find the information that we gather through diplomatic sources or
through our embassies abroad to be almost as interesting to them as something that might be collected covertly.
It is based on people living in a foreign country, gathering information from a variety of sources, and putting it in a
Senator Banks: Into whichever category they fall, can Canada's foreign information requirements be addressed and
dealt with by DFAIT now and into the future?
Ms. Swords: There are questions of resources that need to be looked at. We need to look at what the intelligence
community needs, as a whole, in Canada. If resources are there, how best we can collect collectively. There are
probably roles for all of us.
Senator Banks: If money were not a problem, would DFAIT be the best way to address our requirements?
Ms. Swords: There are roles for all departments to play.
Senator Zimmer: If you look at the other end of the culvert, would the driving force be the need for that
information, which then would create the criteria and mandate to say, we need these resources to fulfil this need?
Would you not do it from the other end? Do you do it only when you have the resources?
Is there a perceived lack of need or not saying what we need? If the resources drive it, maybe there are other needs
you should address rather than relying on what resources are available. Would you not look at the other end?
Ms. Swords: We could look at it from both ends. There are times when, if needs are identified and the resources are
not there to go with them, then we must stop doing something else to meet those needs.
Senator Zimmer: Priorities come into play.
Ms. Swords: Then, there are risks.
The Chairman: In responding to Senator Banks' question about the relationship of the hypothetical ambassador to
the staff and embassy, you gave us the example of the RCMP who said they would bring something to your attention if
they thought there might be a problem. In collecting intelligence, what role should the ambassador play in determining
what intelligence needs to be collected in that country?
Ms. Swords: The ambassador is one of the players, but obviously, others in Canada have an interest in what is
collected there as well.
It is good to set priorities, but there can be intelligence also that is directly related to that mission. For example,
what if there is a bomb threat or a threat against all western missions? That information might come in through the
CSIS person. That is the kind of information that an ambassador would expect to know and be told right away,
irrespective of whether there is ongoing intelligence collection activities in that country.
The Chairman: Thank you very much for coming. We will invite you back again over the coming months. You have
undertaken to provide information to us on a number of items. We look forward to receiving that information.
Our next witness today is Professor Martin Rudner, from Carleton University, who is a professor at the Norman
Paterson School of International Affairs and the founding director for the Canadian Centre of Intelligence and
Security Studies. He is the author of over 80 books and articles dealing with Southeast Asia, international affairs and
security and intelligence studies. He appears frequently in the Canadian and international media as a commentator.
We are pleased that you are here today. I understand you have a short statement for us. You have the floor.
Martin Rudner, Professor, Director, Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, Carleton University, as an
individual: Thank you for the honour and privilege of appearing before the committee on a subject that I think we all
are concerned about, which is the role of intelligence in Canada. I also want to address my comments to the role of
intelligence studies in the universities as a means of, first, educating Canadians about the role of intelligence in
statecraft; second, preparing a cadre of Canadians at the graduate level for positions not only in the intelligence
community, but broadly in government, the private sector and in public civil society organizations, who are
knowledgeable about the place of intelligence in a democracy; and, third, advancing knowledge at a research level
globally as Canadians, as to what we could contribute to understanding the role of intelligence in democracies in
responding to threats to the values of democracies.
I have entitled my brief presentation, ``What is wrong with this picture: The landscape in Canada, in academe, for
intelligence and security studies, where we are at and why we are there.''
In regard to the ``where we are at'' question, it is both a pleasure and a sadness to say that in all the Canadian
university community, there are 13 academics who would be defined by world standards as competent in intelligence
and security studies — competence being defined as having contributed to the refereed scholarly literature so they are
regarded by their peers as colleagues, as part of the collegium in intelligence and security studies. Of the 13, two are
retired; one will retire in five weeks — that is me — which leaves 10 in all the universities and departments across
What do these people do? Again, across Canada, nine universities offer courses in intelligence and security studies.
My university, Carleton, offers courses in three of its units — the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs,
political science and history. In other universities across Canada, single courses are offered here and there across the
disciplines according to whether they have a person who is interested or knowledgeable.
In graduate programs across Canada, there is only one, and it is the Norman Paterson School of International
Affairs, where this fall we will be launching the first and so far only in Canada master's program in intelligence and
In research centres, there is only one, and it is the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, where we have
the Canadian Centre of Intelligence and Security Studies, of which I am the director.
We also have in Canada an immense resource that is being widely accessed by government, private sector and
others, namely, the Canadian Association for Security and Intelligence Studies, CASIS, which is now in its twenty-
seventh year. This year's conference, incidentally, will be held in Alberta at the University of Calgary, which literally
brings together the world of intelligence studies — intelligence academics, officials of government and officials of the
intelligence communities. The sad thing is the paucity of Canadians capable of speaking there, because there are so few
of us, yet the world comes to us to meet on this topic. It is an interesting paradox.
What are the lacunae that I see? First, they are in intelligence studies as such. Most important, I believe I am correct
in saying that we have one or two courses at most in Canadian intelligence history. Frankly, we have a distinguished
intelligence history in this country beginning before the Second World War, and it remains untaught in history courses,
political science courses and Canadian studies courses, unknown to most Canadians. You could pick up any number of
textbooks on Canada and you will not find reference to what we have done well in wartime — the Gouzenko affair, the
beginnings of counter espionage for our allies as well as ourselves, the Cold War and counterterrorism.
We also, frankly, do very poorly on terrorism studies. There are fewer than five courses in all of Canada on
terrorism studies, and one will only be starting this fall, by a graduate of Carleton University, who is fortunately
teaching at the University of Ottawa but sadly not at Carleton University. We cannot even have a capacity in Canada
to teach courses on the topic of the day that concerns and threatens us all.
The protection of our critical national infrastructure is untaught across Canada. There is a single course on national
security law in all law schools across Canada. Journalism schools offer nothing on intelligence or national security. In
my opinion, it is tragic that our media representatives do not have access to knowledge about intelligence and national
security as part of their professional development and coverage of a topic that people are interested in, concerned
about and certainly ought to be made aware of.
There are missed opportunities coming from all of this. There are too many to mention, but two may be of specific
concern to this committee.
Four years ago, we initiated an effort to develop a project addressing something that today is called homegrown
terrorism. At that time, it was unknown. We put together a team of 12 scholars from nine countries, including
professors of psychiatry, sociologist, anthropology and Islamic studies, mainly across Europe as well as North
America. We could not obtain any funding at all from any source for a project on what amounts to homegrown
terrorism. Therefore, others picked it up.
Sweden decided to run with it. While I am sitting here today, my colleagues are over in Stockholm on the first day of
a major international conference — the second one, following up the first — with respect to studies on homegrown
terrorism. How do we understand the alienation and the dynamics that create a pathology in societies of people who
betray their countries for a terrorist cause? We could have had that here. We do not.
The second missed opportunity deals with, interestingly enough, museology or museums. When the new Canadian
War Museum was being designed, we met with the directors of the museum and suggested having a gallery on
Canadian intelligence history as part of Canada's active involvement in wartime, the Cold War, peacekeeping and
other initiatives. The professionals were very interested, but it went nowhere.
Let me give you a sidebar: Among the most attractive museums in the world as we speak for people visiting places is
the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C., which is more of a Disneyland, not in a pejorative sense, but as
portraying espionage. They do not use real artifacts. There is also the Imperial War Museum, in London, which does
use real artifacts in its Secret War exhibition. I think it deprives us all of access to our understanding of Canada and of
intelligence that we do not have, in fact, for public education, a museum of Canadian intelligence and intelligence
Why are we there? To me, the more important question to where we are is why we are there.
A word about challenges facing the Government of Canada as a central government — and research funding is one
of them. Let me quote from Budget 2007, which was presented a while back. Budget 2007 targeted research funding.
Where? On energy, the environment, information and communications technologies, health sciences, management,
business and finance. What is missing? National security is missing. Intelligence and national security is not a priority
equal to what was defined as priority.
The government's Science and Technology Strategy: Mobilizing Science and Technology to Canada's Advantage
was just announced on May 17, this month; $9.2 billion was put forward for research and development of natural
resources, the environment, health and information technology. What is missing? National security is missing.
Frankly, I personally find it distressing that national security is not a national priority for research.
Five or six years ago, Canada established a Canada Research Chairs Program, where 1,650-plus research chairs
have been established under the program across the universities of Canada. In all of those, not one went to intelligence
and national security. In other words, not only is this a low priority, it is a no priority.
The Canada Research Chairs Program says the universities did not ask. That is true, which is why it is such a no
priority. Let me put the question back. Had universities not proposed the Canada Research Chair in, let us say,
environment, Aboriginal study, women's study or trade policy, would the Canada Research Chairs Program have sat
back and said, that is all right, or would they have gone after the universities and asked why they are not responding to
urgent national priorities — and quite correctly so? The sad thing here is that they did not ask those questions.
The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council abdicated any and all responsibilities for the promotion of
research on intelligence and national security.
There is no mechanism on intelligence and national security, for example, equal to the very excellent program run by
the Department of National Defence called the Security and Defence Forum. The Security and Defence Forum has
funded approximately $2 million a year to 13 research institutions across Canada, plus a defence management studies
chair at Queen's University. Nothing like that exists for intelligence and national security. Zero.
I will provide international comparisons. Australia, which is smaller than us, spends Aus. $40 million, equal to
about Can. $34 million, for 143 research projects on intelligence and national security. The United States, through the
Department of Homeland Security Centers of Excellence Program, spends U.S. $83 million for research at six
universities and 23 partner institutions on homeland security issues. The U.K. is into tens of millions of pounds sterling
for languages, area study, strategically important subjects in intelligence, terrorism and conflict. By comparison to
major investments taking place by our allies — zero in Canada.
What about the security and intelligence community as such? The answer here is that there are real constraints to
which I am sympathetic. It would not be appropriate for intelligence agencies to fund academic work on intelligence
agencies, for a whole range of sensitivities that we can understand.
Some government departments have been very forthcoming. Let me cite, in particular, Natural Resources Canada.
Its Energy Infrastructure Protection Division funded a major program of research with us over several years on critical
energy infrastructure protection. It led to 13 research studies, two major international conferences and three major
specialized workshops. One can find avenues on areas of national strategic importance where government departments
have been active; however, frankly, NRCan is a model — but it is also unique; there is nothing else like it.
In Canada, under our Constitution the provinces are responsible for higher education, and they have been highly
neglectful of higher education. Two presidents of Alberta universities accused the Province of Alberta — which is the
most generous, given oil prices — of something they called, quite correctly, ``aggressive frugality.'' Ontario ranks tenth,
out of 10, in funding per student for higher education — and the number is diminishing, not increasing, every year.
The provinces regard higher education as a budgetary liability, not an investment in human resources or national
In the private sector, the media have been free riders. The media have contacted academics in this field quite
regularly for interviews. I have been approached in excess of 300 times over two years for media interviews by the
electronic and print media. The media companies, who charge for advertising and purchase of their products, have not
offered any support whatsoever to the development of the resource that serves their ultimate purposes.
Industry has total indifference. We have this program on energy security. We have spoken to the energy industry
across Canada, at their invitation, and in the United States, at its invitation. No one ever sat back and said, ``If we are
inviting these people because it is useful to us, perhaps we should support them.'' I am not referring to my salary — I
am paid by Carleton University; however, it would not be bad to have a post-doctoral fellowship, to bring back a
Canadian studying for a doctoral degree abroad or in Canada to the university, so they can continue pursuing their
research. For that, one needs external resources.
Philanthropy has been absolutely missing.
The universities on this one have a challenge. First, there is immense student interest in the topic. We are starting
our new program this year and have admitted 27 students at the M.A. level. However, the universities find it extremely
difficult to respond to the market, and they tend not to respond to markets, rather they tend to respond to internally
generated requirements, one of them making up the staffing for previous years of underfunding.
In conclusion, it is sad to have to report to this committee that it is about shoestrings without shoes.
Senator Banks: Professor, I will take your point about post-secondary education in these matters as having been
made. This is a good forum for that, but there is very little that we can do about it. Maybe there is more we can do
about it than we have, and maybe we should.
However, I will revert to the point about the role of intelligence in statecraft and the fact that most of us in Canada
do not perceive it in a way people in other countries do. Why do you think that is so?
Mr. Rudner: It has to do with what we might want to call public culture. For most Canadians, intelligence carries a
pejorative term, which is unfortunate. In other democracies, intelligence does not carry this pejorative term, nor does it
in our past and it should not today. What people do not understand is that we have a need for information. Some of
that information can come from open sources. The problem is that not in all circumstances are open sources candid.
Even in friendly countries, open sources may not be necessarily truthful to us. Friendly countries may have interests
that require them to act in our domain and our jurisdictions in ways that conflict with our interests. In that sense, in my
opinion, we do have a need to steal other peoples' secrets, where those secrets denote intensions, capabilities and
activities that are prejudicial and threatening to Canada.
Senator Banks: You have spent a large part of your academic career examining questions that we are now only
beginning to chip away at. You have raised the interesting point of candour.
We have found when we visit other countries that we receive from the bureaucrats in those places, including at the
highest level of MI5 in London, the Special Branch of the Scotland Yard, and our counterparts in the United States
and in Australia, more candid information than we do in this country. You must have examined that question at some
point or other and arrived at that conclusion. Do you agree with that assessment? If so, why do you think it is true?
Mr. Rudner: I do agree with that assessment. It has to do with an element in Canadian public culture.
In the parliamentary system to which we subscribe, traditionally, it is ministers who make policies and bureaucrats
who serve the minister. But as that model democratized, for example in the U.K. or in Australia, other jurisdictions, it
was understood that a bureaucrat could speak one's mind certainly before a parliamentary committee, but even before
public audiences in ways that differ from the official ``line'' of the minister and the government of the day without
jeopardizing the bona fides of the government or the loyalty of the bureaucrat. We are all mature enough to
understand in Canada and in a democracy that there will be many different alternative assessments of situations, which
ought to be worked out publicly by stakeholders and interested parties, so that decisions arrived at are consensual with
not everyone necessarily agreeing to everything.
The U.K. director of the British Security Service or the head of counterterrorism of the Metropolitan Police makes
speeches and, in fact, urges policies that the government of the day has not adopted and may not adopt. Yet, this is
considered appropriate for the British public to understand, first, the definition of the situation and, second, the
alternatives that are before the government of the day. Hence, at the end, regardless of the decision taken, people have
confidence that issues have been well canvassed, considered and broadly conceived, and here is the choice of the elected
and accountable minister.
In Canada, we are very much in the old-style model, where no one will say anything up until the point when the
government of the day has signalled the minister's interest and the task of the bureaucrat is to protect that interest.
That is the old model and it is not a worthy model in a democratic society facing the kinds of public challenges but,
more important, public interest in the solutions. This is where we are at today.
Senator Banks: We have found that in London, Washington and Canberra, not only with respect to security and
intelligence matters but to other things as well. We have to address that and try to fix it.
Mr. Rudner: I agree. On issues like parliamentary oversight, there are certain very important issues that have to be
addressed between Parliament, the public and the bureaucracy on oversight and review.
One will only come to the appropriate solution for Canada if all considerations are canvassed, all ideas are sorted
through and assessed, and then the most appropriate for Canada is adopted, which may differ from what is being done
in the U.K. through the parliamentary committee or in the Australian model. France does not have at all
parliamentary review or oversight, mainly because, for reasons that we could understand, the government of the day
would not allow the French Communist Party, Parti communiste français, to have any sort of access to information
arising from the Directorate of Territorial Surveillance, DST, or the intelligence services.
Senator Banks: I do not know if you read the report of the parliamentary committee. That report does not contain
that precise concern, but members of the committee, including the chair and I, expressed that concern. There are
parties in Canada to whom you would not want to make all security and intelligence matters known.
Mr. Rudner: Absolutely. There are paradoxes as well. Aside from the party paradox, there is the Member of
Parliament paradox, in the sense that one wants a Member of Parliament capable of speaking in Parliament on all
matters that exercise that Member of Parliament's interests and concern. Yet, if one is sworn to secrecy one is also
attached to the operational side of intelligence, so therefore one cannot speak one's mind in Parliament.
This comes out, for example, in the United States. Members of Congress who are in the circle of secrecy are, in
effect, constrained in their role as senators and congressmen. Every country works out the balance that is comfortable
to their political culture. The United States Congress is a much larger body than, for example, the Canadian House of
Commons and the Canadian Senate. In a smaller body, how do we want to work out the arithmetic of accountability
and oversight and review to ensure that, after all, both are achieved? We do want parliamentary accountability so that
the intelligence services are known to Parliament and Parliament is aware of what happens in the intelligence domain,
but, equally, we want our Members of Parliament to be capable of speaking to the Canadian Parliament.
Senator Banks: It is, as you say, a question of balance. There are things that, however that works out,
parliamentarians will need to know about which they cannot speak. That is a given.
Would you tell us, because you have been observing this and I assume there has been a change, how the intelligence
and security community in Canada, and the things that it does — for example, CSE, CSIS, the RCMP, DFAIT and all
of the above — has changed since the momentous events of 9/11?
Mr. Rudner: They have changed in several important respects. One, of course, is the interest of parliamentarians and
the public in their activity. The Security Intelligence Review Committee reports have a wider readership today than
they had prior. I still think the very valuable reports of the CSE commissioner are not yet given the kind of public
attention they merit.
Let me add, as a sidebar, that they are very thoughtful, almost philosophical, reports by a leading Canadian jurist —
the CSE commissioner is always a judge, by law — in terms of the thinking that goes behind setting up accountability
systems for a foreign intelligence service.
Sidebar: Something that must be remembered is that a foreign intelligence service by definition is not bound by
national law. That is why you establish one to operate abroad, in effect, outside the parameters of our own law because
they are outside your territorial jurisdiction, but also outside the parameters of the laws of the country in which they
are operating because they are supposed to be stealing secrets. That is why we have one. How do you have oversight of
activities that by definition is outside the law but not outside ethics?
Again, another sidebar: We have done work, for example, at my centre, on the issues of the ethics of intelligence
collection. That is a topic of immense interest today. We have had several conferences and research studies on it. One is
taking place now in the U.K., and another one is taking place in the United States to which our people have been
So, yes, foreign collection involves a range of issues that oversight has to address, but it is very different than it used
In Canada, part of the problem is that our review bodies are, strictly speaking, bound by legislation. When SIRC
issues its reports, the reports necessarily have to be constrained by that legislation and cannot go beyond the remit of
legislation. That is the advantage of a parliamentary committee. The parliamentary committee, by definition, has
I am not advocating one against the other. I am certainly not saying that SIRC is not doing a competent, capable,
important job. However, as Canadians, we want to visit all the levels of accountability systems and ask: Who does
what? Where do the comparative advantages lie between the kind of internal perspective the Inspector General of CSIS
can bring, the SIRC could bring the review perspective, and what value added can Parliament bring?
As you mentioned, senator, within the sense of balance, you do not want parliamentarians, in effect, to be co-opted
into the circle of secrecy and unable to share with the public.
Senator Banks: You are right about the increased interest in the public on the reports of the CSE commissioner and
the review that deals with CSIS. Have the operations changed? Has Canada done it differently? Has the threat
environment to Canada changed since 9/11 or in light of 9/11, or have we just been made more aware of it? What are
the current sources of instability in the world that most affect Canada, and how has Canada's intelligence committee
changed in its approach and operations since that event? You would agree that the event changed the nature of things
in the world.
Mr. Rudner: Absolutely. To me, terrorism, as far as Canada is concerned, did not commence on September 11. We
had terrorist attacks in Canada and on Canadians prior to September 11.
Senator Banks: Air India, for example.
Mr. Rudner: Yes, and as in terrorist attacks in Montreal in the mid-1960s.
The Chairman: And in Ottawa.
Mr. Rudner: Yes. One of the tragedies of Canada is that most Canadians think it began on September 12. No, it did
not begin on September 11 or the 12. It began when people used violence against Canadian institutions, values, people
Senator Banks: If we did not wake up then, have we woken up since?
Mr. Rudner: The intelligence services, I believe, have. Let me address three elements that to me are important and
new, and one criticism of our system, which makes this unknown to Canadians.
We are certainly aware that now we have threats of terrorism coming from abroad through networks rooted often
through Europe and into Canada as part of terrorist networks operating against targets in North Africa and the
Middle East and in Western Europe. We also know that this has transmuted itself into home-grown terrorism that has
targeted Canada. We also know that there are explicit and direct threats to Canadian infrastructure, critical national
infrastructure, especially, in my view, in the energy sector. This is not Martin Rudner saying it but Martin Rudner
reading the materials coming out of the adversarial community.
Senator Banks: Those are susceptibilities that we know we have, but you say there are specific and known threats?
Mr. Rudner: Explicit threats, and coming from the sources, not someone saying, ``I think they are thinking.'' We
know they are thinking because we access their sources, and we make this public. The security intelligence community
in Canada is very much aware this.
What is the problem? Why not the public? Let me mention one of the challenges, in my view, about our legal system.
One of the constraints in our legal system is that virtually any element of the legal proceedings can be sealed by a
decision of the bench at the request of either the prosecution or the defence. It is often in the interest of the defence to
suppress the public information, in the interest, so it is said, of a fair trial.
However, let me give you a case in point. An individual here in Ottawa was arrested over two years ago as part of an
alleged co-conspiracy in the United Kingdom. The British trial has already been concluded. The British parties to the
co-conspiracy have been convicted. The evidence has been made public in British court overwhelmingly showing the
elements of the crime or the terrorist act implicating strongly the Canadian individual. Yet, in Canada, it must remain
Picture an ordinary Canadian saying, ``Why is it that I hear of these things there but I hear nothing here?'' People
have been arrested in Toronto — they are going through the bail hearings right now — and the information is sealed.
Most Canadians will be highly suspicious of absence of information. If there were something, we would know.
Again, in my opinion, I certainly would not want to have any legal proceeding that is prejudiced against a defendant
or biased against a defendant. However, I cannot believe that the courts in other democracies, such as the Netherlands,
Sweden, the U.K., the United States, are biased or rigged. Justice is seen to be done in these jurisdictions. Ought not we
to examine the needs and interests of the Canadian public in seeing justice done?
Senator Banks: I think so.
Mr. Rudner: I think so very much.
Senator Zimmer: Mr. Rudner, your interesting remarks get my Sir Stephenson hormones humming. You talked
about universities. I think you know Peter St. John, from Winnipeg, who told me the same story a few weeks ago, in
that there is the need and universities are not responding, for whatever reasons. He has recently concluded and the
university is not replacing him. The numbers are dropping.
Mr. Rudner: He is unique in aviation security.
Senator Zimmer: Yes, he investigated the Air India incident. There seems to be a culture not only with governments
but also with universities. It appears that it is almost taboo to go there because they think we are inciting and
encouraging it by offering those classes, whereas the case is exactly the opposite.
As a case in point, I was in Kingston three months ago to speak to a gathering of 500 students. In my days at
university, it was commerce, agriculture and law, but now universities are adapting to the vocations and the cultures
out there, which is right. I asked one young woman what she was studying and she replied ``Aboriginal governance.'' I
thought, wow, in this day and age, that is what you need. Hence, universities are adjusting to that, but, in this case,
they are not adjusting; they are going the other way. I stress your point, which is very good. I am not sure what we can
say or do from this committee, but it is important that you came today to say that in this open forum because
otherwise it is all under the table and hushed and quiet. They have the classes, but they do not go any further than that.
There should be a further development of this through universities supported by governments, and I totally support
Mr. Rudner: Could I make a suggestion in terms of the committee, senator? Speaking for myself as an academic,
who will retire in five weeks, and about 12 other individuals who work in these fields, we want leadership of the
Government of Canada. We do not want to change the Constitution, because we will not do that, and have higher
education made into a federal jurisdiction. It would not be appropriate and it would not work. This is Canada, after
However, there is an element of leadership of the Government of Canada that could be exercised in three ways:
First, let ministers and senior bureaucrats who attend the occasional cocktail party where they might meet a university
president say that the universities that work in this field are of value to us. After all, this happens when other
departmental portfolios meet university presidents, who are, after all, human. To be told that something has value
helps move the institution to regard that something as something to be done.
Second, Canada has an excellent precedent in the Security and Defence Forum run out of the Department of
National Defence. It has been in place for well over 20 years, I believe; it has been validated by Treasury Board in
terms of the accompanying accountability mechanisms; the forum supports 13 SDF centres across Canada, including
an important one at the University of Manitoba. I believe that every province has at least one and has participated in
national activities. In other words, it works well. Why not have even a modest one for security and intelligence? You do
not need 13 centres. If we had three or four centres to begin with, for the first decade, it would amount to three or four
times what we have now. An acceptable federal solution is possible that will work and will not be expensive. By the
way, the SDF is budgeted at about $2 million per year, which is not resource-intensive in the overall picture.
Third, all of our graduates are employed quickly by the security intelligence community, in particular on the
analytical side. We heard this morning how important analysis is. We do not train operatives — we do not have the
trade craft — but we can train analysts. It would be interesting for government to recognize that publicly, and say that
anyone who wants to be professionally accredited in certain areas of intelligence analysis, whether working for CSIS,
DFAIT, Environment Canada or Agriculture Canada, because they all have analytical units, has to have this
credential. Once again, that sets a requirement in the universities to develop the capacity to meet the requirement, just
as they have done for criminology, law and other academic disciplines.
The Government of Canada can take specific action to exercise leadership in this area without revising the
Constitution or remaking the pyramid, so to speak.
Senator Zimmer: I have done that ambassadorial role with university presidents, and former Minister of Foreign
Affairs Lloyd Axworthy. Many students have asked how they can get into Foreign Affairs. I have told them that such
tools might lead them into the industry once they have acquired those courses.
I wish to get your opinion on some of the things our previous witness, Ms. Swords, said. The Minister of Public
Safety recently announced that the CSIS Act will be amended to provide for an expanded role for CSIS to collect
foreign intelligence outside Canada. In your opinion, do you think that the government's foreign intelligence
requirements can be adequately addressed by CSIS?
Mr. Rudner: I will answer the question directly. The answer is, yes, Canada has real needs and, yes, CSIS can
address those needs. However, at what cost — not in terms of cash but in terms of CSIS, the organization, and Canada,
the country — would the CSIS engagement entail?
Let me mention two kinds of costs: First, the kinds of skill sets required for a foreign intelligence operative as
compared to a domestic intelligence operative are quite different. How do we know that? We know that because every
other jurisdiction in the democratic world has separate services for foreign and domestic security intelligence precisely
because the training requirements, the skill sets requirements and the trade craft requirements are extremely different.
One operates at home under law while the other operates abroad clandestinely. Each is a unique mode of operation.
One reason that foreign services tend to be separate from security intelligence is the problem with intelligence
sharing and what we call the Chinese wall. This arose in discussions in the United States. Security intelligence must
operate within the laws of Canada, and not only does CSIS do this but also the CSIS Inspector General and SIRC
ensure that they comply by way of review. When you operate abroad, you do not operate under Canadian law, nor do
you operate under the law of the jurisdiction in which you are operating. If you are stealing secrets against a foreign
target, certainly you are not operating within their law.
How do you differentiate, within a single organization, the lawful side from the unlawful side and the sharing of
information between them? It is very tricky. In my view, having looked at the experience of many foreign jurisdictions,
the differences in the trade craft requirement and the lawfulness requirement make it desirable to separate them into
two different organizations. That has been the pattern for almost every democracy.
In response to your question, CSIS could do this, but we ought to examine why other countries have chosen to do
them as separate, specialized collection agencies. By the way, we in Canada subscribe to that in the sense that we have a
separate foreign agency collecting signals intelligence. We did not give it to CSIS, precisely because the
Communications Security Establishment, as a foreign intelligence agency, has a different skill set and legal framework
around which it operates abroad.
Senator Zimmer: This morning, I asked our witness about priorities and how they would deal with that, and they
said we would have to take resources from elsewhere. My subsequent question was whether it would not be better to
base it on your needs and priorities — in other words, looking at the other end of the culvert, saying this is what we
need, go to the government and tell them what we require, rather than being fearful that you cannot do that because if
you do you have to go elsewhere and take away from someone else, fight them for the resources. Would you rather not
go with the priorities, list your needs, and say that we need those resources and we will not take it from elsewhere?
What is your opinion on that?
Mr. Rudner: You are absolutely right. Intelligence collection should be needs-driven. For example, if we need to
know about a foreign country's intentions or capabilities to conduct hostile acts in Canada, or activities hostile to
Canadians, it should not be a question of, by the way, can we afford the air ticket to that country's capital? We must
In other jurisdictions, the foreign collection agency would be tasked to get that information. If a minister has drafted
a memorandum to conduct a hostile operation in Canada and you have to break into his or her desk to steal it, so be it.
If you have to recruit someone in that minister's office, so be it. Yes, you are breaking their law, but you are defending
Canada and Canadian interests.
Senator Zimmer: That comes to your point of law versus ethics.
Mr. Rudner: Yes. I would be happy to supply the text of a study done by a colleague on the ethics of foreign
intelligence collection — and that colleague is an ethicist. The study sets out a framework of analysis of when ethics
justify the stealing of secrets. There are times when it is absolutely justified; there are times when it is not.
Senator Zimmer: Is it time for Canada to have a separate foreign intelligence service?
Mr. Rudner: I have to confess to mixed opinions, for three reasons. I believe we must be robust in the collection of
foreign intelligence, including covert means. We must collect human source intelligence by means of espionage. We
have three types of targets to deal with, by the way — people who threaten Canada; the penetration of foreign
intelligence services of countries we know have intelligence services operating in Canada against our interests, and,
thirdly, proliferation, people out to steal our technologies in the areas of chemistry, biology, radiology and nuclear
technology to be used in ways that threaten Canada's global interest. We need to access that information.
Canadians are not ripe and ready for a separate agency on three levels. Let me go in ascending order. First, we do
not have the trained people. Some colleagues and I did a quick and dirty assessment. Given our knowledge of what it
takes to train people in the U.K. and Australia in these areas, it would take us a decade to get qualified people on the
trade craft side, running agents, recruiting agents, capably, without being detected. Ambassadors do not need to know
this. There is something called plausible deniability.
The second level is finance. Canada is strongly dedicated to robust frugality, in almost everything to do with the
public sector. The Canadian public is not eager to spend money on Canadian public interests.
The third level is political will. We would want to have the kind of leadership that other countries have
demonstrated, and they are no less democratic than we are. Not only the United States and the United Kingdom, but
the Netherlands, Denmark and Norway have robust foreign capabilities and are proud of it. Prime Ministers exercise
leadership, ministers proudly address their capabilities. Obviously, they do not tell you what they are doing to whom
and where, but it is part of their political culture that they have capable, robust foreign intelligence operations and
collections, as democracies.
Senator Zimmer: We have had Air India, situations in Montreal and others in this country before 9/11, as you have
said. What will it take for us to start moving in these areas of the universities and training?
Senator Banks always teases and tantalizes the witnesses with the word ''spies.'' They hesitate and cringe at the
word. It is a reality.
Mr. Rudner: In my view, a large part of the problem is that Canadians cannot imagine that there could be people out
there who wish us harm, who are, in a sense, evil, not in a demonic way but in a value sense. Their values are so
contrary to our values that for them to realize their values requires for them to destroy our value system. Canadians
find that hard to believe.
The Canadian belief would be that if we gave them a lecture, in both official languages of Canada, about sustainable
development, gender equity and regional balance, they would love us and stop being hostile.
Sorry. There are people out there whose values genuinely threaten ours, precisely because they wish to supplant our
value system with something very different and dangerous for us. Canadians find that hard to grasp.
The Chairman: You gave a compelling pitch for more support for academic studies of intelligence. When we talk to
people in the intelligence community, we are almost astonished at how negative they are about academics dealing with
their work. The message almost always is, you can talk to him, but he is 10 years out of date and does not really know
what we are doing now.
It is hard to tell whether this is an effort on their part to confuse parliamentary committees that are trying to study a
topic or whether they want a monopoly on the information themselves. What do you say to the criticism that, good old
Bloggins is a terrific professor, studied under him years ago, but the business has evolved and he is not just with it now?
Mr. Rudner: Yes, the business has evolved. Our job as academics is to capture the evolution.
Let me address the essence of the question, which is important. As academics, I do not believe we could do the
intelligence service's job better than they do. We are not Monday-morning quarterbacks or counter managers. Our job
is to study how they do their jobs, not in order to attack and condemn, but in order to learn, build knowledge and
Frankly, there are people in academia, as elsewhere, who are very strongly against intelligence services. One of the
Ontario academic unions has a publication called Academic Matters. In fall 2006, there was an article entitled, ``New
Challenges to Academic Freedom,'' in which the greatest threat was described as the intelligence community's threats
to Canadian academe, not terrorist attacks or terrorist threats to Canada.
I have met many people in the Canadian intelligence community and many people in academe, and I have never
been threatened by the intelligence community. However, you have a mindset going back to —
The Chairman: Right, but the question really is that they are saying you are not current. Where do you go for your
source data? How do you manage to stay current? How do you get basic material that you use in your classes?
Mr. Rudner: Let me answer that in two forms. First, it is extremely difficult to get information about the Canadian
intelligence services because we are more reticent than our allies. There is much greater openness in the United States,
the United Kingdom and much of Europe than in Canada and I think that is a shame. I try to address that as part of
our attitudes toward museums and openness of the court system. We are very closed. Foreign jurisdictions are much
more open. The Dutch publish appropriately sensitized important reports derived from their clandestine work.
I literally monitor the world of intelligence. I spend two to three hours a day doing so and I share much of this
information with colleagues. One is able to learn much about the intelligence of our friends and allies through open
sources. Then you draw lessons learned and implications for Canada.
The Chairman: We obviously think you are worthwhile because this is not your first visit here. We have had you
before, and if you are prepared to come back as a retired person, we will probably have you again. We do not share
that view; but there is a lacuna where the intelligence communities have a fairly negative attitude about academics and
yet the politicians do not seem to want to use the intelligence communities that much. There is no pull at the top for
You have the intelligence communities being very protective about the information they are giving out, because they
are afraid of the political push back, yet you have not much interest from the politicians.
Mr. Rudner: It is interesting, senators; in other jurisdictions — let us do a comparative analysis — the intelligence
communities tend to regard their academic counterparts as assets vis-à-vis government. Things you want to be said as a
big picture — as an explanation of why, as an explanation of how — they share with academics; academics write
articles and papers, give talks and lectures and build up public knowledge.
Let me use a metaphor. The biggest enemy of the Canadian intelligence community is the Treasury Board. How do
you get the Treasury Board to understand the intelligence community? There are two ways. One way is to try as a
bureaucrat to speak to the bureaucrats; of course, that is self-interest, a vested interest. Another is to create an
academic knowledge base out there, so that people who join Treasury Board are educated in the universities about why
we have intelligence services, what they do and what is the purpose of intelligence. There is criticism, too, but more
important, a legitimate instrument of statecraft. Then the Treasury Board attitude toward the intelligence service is
different. That is what foreign jurisdictions have found. We suffer in Canada because of the reticence.
You have some individuals in the intelligence community who are interested in dismantling this reticence, which is
why CASIS, the Canadian Association for Security and Intelligence Studies, is such a robust organization. The
intelligence community is there; the problem is that the academics are not. We are organizing this major international
conference together; we are there in large numbers — 400 to 500 people — and all we had last year in Ottawa was 500
people in the audience and eight Canadian academics on the program, out of 50. Where is the Canadian presence, from
their point of view?
The answer is we need to exercise better leadership to build up an academic critical mass. Second, in building up the
critical mass, you share information — not secret information, we do not need operational information — give
Canadians what the British are giving the Brits, the Dutch are giving the Dutch, the Swedes, Norwegians, et cetera.
The open source material coming out of the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment on security and
intelligence matters exceeds anything available in Canada. That does not compromise the security of Norway or
Norway's friends. It helps us because we get a handle on Canada through the visions coming out of Norway.
The Chairman: When you were responding to Senator Zimmer's questions about one agency or two, you seemed to
be making a case for two. I got the impression you were not describing to us what the disadvantages and problems were
with two, and I know you are aware that there are some. I know you are also aware that there is a certain fuzziness
between organizations although they tend to be integrating a little more.
Would you tell the committee about some of the disadvantages of having two organizations? Please identify certain
countries where the internal and external apparatus are moving closer together.
Mr. Rudner: Let me answer part two first. In all jurisdictions today, there is not only intelligence sharing, there is a
much more robust interoperability between foreign services and domestic services because the threats cross the
borders. MI5 and MI6 operate in much greater synergy today — also the metropolitan police, who developed a new
instrument in their counterterrorism force, operating with MI5 and MI6, because the threat does not observe the
Then there are different mandates in different jurisdictions, not because they are necessarily encompassed in law,
which they must be, but they are also encompassed in logic. The foreign service can do things that the domestic service
cannot do because they are operating abroad. They also have certain kinds of tradecraft, which they have learned over
the years in terms of recruiting and running agents.
Without going through a lot of detail, in Britain, someone who comes from an interesting jurisdiction to study in
Britain or to visit Britain can be traced from childhood by MI6 — handing over to MI5 while they are in Britain, and
back to MI6 when they return to their home country. You need to know who this person is 25 years down the road.
You have access to a body of knowledge about an individual, their vulnerabilities and their strengths, which enables
you to operate abroad as an effective collector of foreign intelligence. The Dutch are also very good at this.
In Canada, I do not think there is any place in the whole country that has a list of foreign visitors to Canada who
come here to study or otherwise, let alone their strengths and weaknesses. We do not do that kind of thing.
Where does that fit into the first part of the question — what are the weaknesses? The weakness is you must have a
society that says we value our national security, not at the expense of human rights. The British and others are not
compromising human rights or civil liberties in their jurisdictions. What they are saying is there is a difference between
privacy and anonymity.
You have a right to your privacy. People do not break into your hotel room in Britain and beat you up for the sake
of extracting information from you. It does not happen and should not happen. On the other hand, you do not have
the right to be anonymous. When you drive down the street, you have a licence plate on your car; you are not
anonymous. You cannot be stopped to ask why you are on the street; but you certainly can be seen to be driving down
the street and that could be recorded if you break the speed limit.
It is the same thing here, with a slightly different metaphor. The thing is that in Canada, we have not come to terms
with the nature of threat, which is not respecting borders. There is also an important distinction between anonymity
and privacy. We will not violate your privacy; but in this kind of threat situation, you cannot be anonymous. We need
to know who you are when you get on board an aircraft, when you cross into our country, when you register to study
nuclear physics. We need to know who you are. Our weakness is our generous view of humankind.
Senator Banks: And naïveté.
Mr. Rudner: And naïveté about the nature of the threat to a decent society.
The Chairman: Did Senator Banks just go on the record against generosity?
Senator Moore: Mr. Rudner, you just touched on something that I want to ask you about. The April 27 edition of
the Winnipeg Sun dealt with, ``. . . the tug-of-war collective rights of the public versus the civil rights of suspected
terrorists.'' You say that an extreme burden is being put on law enforcement to monitor a person 24\7, and it
sometimes fails. You also say that in Britain, two suspected terrorists being monitored in the community disappeared
and still have not been found.
Mr. Rudner: Yes, and three more just this past week.
Senator Moore: In the same article, you continue to say, ``You can't sue Amnesty International after a terrorist act is
perpetrated by someone who they encouraged to be let out.'' Could you expound on that in terms of the Charter and
our need for better security in meeting that terrorist risk? I know you had a conference on the subject.
Mr. Rudner: In three weeks, here in Ottawa, we are having an international conference on the administration of
justice, national security and democracies. I think 12 Supreme Court-level judges from 7 or 8 international jurisdictions
will be in Ottawa.
Senator Moore: Are there any Canadian judges of that level?
Mr. Rudner: It is jointly us and the Federal Court. Among the speakers will be Mr. Justice Josephson from British
Columbia and Mr. Justice Dennis O'Connor, but many other judges as well.
In answer to your question, to me the problem here is one of accountability. People generally do not want to have
injustices done to others. The problem is there are two purposes of justice. One is to be just to an individual in terms of
if they are innocent, to exculpate them; and if they are guilty, to punish them. Second, there is justice to the society. We
need public safety and security.
The problem is that we have a situation in Canada of people who we cannot let out on the streets because there is
intelligence available about them as constituting a threat to Canada. We cannot deport them because there is no
jurisdiction in the world that will receive them, and they do not wish to go to particular countries that must receive
them because they are nationals of that country.
Senator Moore: You cannot send them back to the country from whence they came?
Mr. Rudner: No, if the country of origin must receive them, they may claim that they could be subject to
maltreatment in that country.
Let me put a slightly different slant on this subject. We have several issues. Who judges that, let us say, Algeria or
Jordan is a country of brutality to people? We have certain organizations which have made that assessment. The
interesting thing is that during the Cold War, these same countries were considered paragons of many virtues and
suddenly they have turned into demonologies.
The British came to a twofold conclusion. Britain certainly signed an agreement with many of these same
jurisdictions, guaranteeing the safety of individuals deported from the U.K. to those jurisdictions.
Senator Moore: Safety in terms of what?
Mr. Rudner: That they will not be abused. Britain has the right to oversee the absence of abuse. The most interesting
issue is that Britain had several people let out on their equivalent of security certificate bail, I believe six people. The
people said that the bail conditions were so onerous that they would go back, and they actually went back to their
countries in North Africa and the Middle East.
From a British taxpayer's point of view, they supported these people, supported their litigation and went through all
the conceivable hoops that a decent society could go through, and suddenly they are discomforted with the outcome
that they requested and they are going home? Something is wrong.
Part of the problem, in my view, is who is accountable for this. The courts have a problem. The Charter says certain
things and the courts say because of the way the Charter has been interpreted, we cannot detain these people
indefinitely, so we will let them go home on rigorous bail.
By the way, what happened, at least in one case, the person went back to the court, saying that this is too rigorous
and sought to soften it. The court remained robust on this one. In another case, the individual concerned actually
broke the law, and the person's lawyer said that was only traffic laws; it is not important. Sorry, but traffic laws are
important. Law-abidingness covers a lot of ground.
The more important point is who is accountable for enforcing those bail conditions? Needless to say, it falls on the
police. But are the police equipped for this? We know that in intelligence, it takes 16 operatives to conduct 24/7
surveillance on a single target.
The Chairman: We heard a higher number from Jack Hooper. I think he said 23 or 22 people, and 16 people for a
Mr. Rudner: Then I stand corrected. We are saying this is a major effort. It is not something you do on a shoestring.
Can our local police services — Ottawa, Toronto and Winnipeg police — afford to allocate these kinds of resources to
conduct surveillance on individuals over an indefinite period of time, if the individual is genuinely suspect and there is
no question about that — judges have said they are genuinely suspect — and if their tradecraft is exactly the avoidance
of surveillance? That is what you learn in a terrorist school, so to speak. We have the terrorist manuals.
Senator Moore: You said the surveillance of a suspect with regard to bail conditions is passed to the municipal police
force, not to the RCMP? They are here on suspicion of doing something against the nation, so why is the nation's force
not given that task?
Mr. Rudner: I may stand corrected on this. There was a reference in one of our Ottawa newspaper articles that
CBSA was involved in such surveillance. There are few law enforcement organizations in Canada that have 22 spare
officers, so wherever it falls, it is a fairly heavy accountability burden. After all, the whole point is that these are
genuine terrorist suspects. The courts have decided that. They will try to evade surveillance.
You cannot make a casual effort. You do not send the person who is not good any more to do the job; you have to
send your best to do the job because that is where your terrorist threat lies.
Senator Moore: Has the court set out any standards as to what is an indefinite period of detention? Dependent upon
what a person is suspected of doing or planning to do, would there not have to be case-by-case consideration and
determination of what is an appropriate period of detention?
Mr. Rudner: They are not on trial.
Senator Moore: I know that.
Mr. Rudner: There is no process through which their degree of actual culpability can be tested and adjudicated. The
problem here is that they cannot see the evidence because the evidence is sensitive.
Whether or not the Federal Court judges will say this person was suspected, for example, of terrorism finance and
five years of detention seems reasonable, whereas it would not have been reasonable in a case where the person was
suspected of setting up the sleeper cell to mount an attack on a Canadian target. This I do not know and the Federal
Court judges cannot say, because to say that would be to disclose the nature of the information, which would disclose
Incidentally, with respect to this, we will be having a full half day precisely focusing on the issues of deportation,
detention and admissibility of evidence at the conference on June 12 with judges from Spain, France, the Netherlands,
United States and the U.K. examining their experience. I think our point here is this: Let us hear how other
democracies have handled this and distill what is applicable to Canada in terms of our Constitution, our Charter and
Senator Moore: Yes. Since 2001, there must be a bit of a body of case law that has developed internationally.
Mr. Rudner: Yes, but not in Canada. We have a single Canadian professor of national security law. He is very
young. I am proud to say he is a graduate of the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs. He teaches at the
University of Ottawa, and his courses began last year. Among the lacunae in our system is how thin it is on the ground.
Senator Moore: Speaking of how thin it is on the ground, there was an article in The Globe and Mail on April 12 of
this year with regard to national security intelligence and the screening. You were quoted in that article:
If there are weaknesses on the incoming screening, there are other weaknesses that not only DND, but all other
government departments, need to build up a capacity to withstand as they face the threat of infiltration by
In 2006, with regard to DND alone, the backlog and screening of DND employees to the 26,000 files, which has
been reduced to 18,000, a maximum 8,000 cases in the screening process at one time is the desired maximum.
Are we still at the 18,000 level? How do we improve upon that? What is the experience in other countries? Will you
look at that during your conference?
Mr. Rudner: That is a somewhat different issue. Let me make two points deriving from your question. First, we
know from al Qaeda sources, that they have targeted sensitive government departments, intelligence and law
Senator Moore: In Canada?
Mr. Rudner: Globally, to place their operatives to infiltrate these organizations and to find their tradecraft, how they
intend to do it, what they intend to do and for what purposes.
In other words, there is no question that we are targets of infiltration. By the way, their tradecraft is at par with the
best of ours; they are not second best.
The challenge, though, is screening. Screening is valid on the day you do it. The day after, it is history. My
colleagues at the centre and I are looking at a research project we call counter-intelligence as counter-terrorism. In
order to withstand the threat, you do not do screening once in a while or once every five years. You need a managerial
structure that is sensitive to the anomalies.
Yes, people are eccentric, and so and so is a disgruntled person. Disgruntled people and eccentrics are not threats.
There is literature completed by psychologists and psychiatrists on when and what anomalies signal security threats.
Senator Moore: Do ``anomalies'' mean personal traits or historic activities.
Mr. Rudner: It could be anything from people who suddenly seem to have more income at their disposal to people
who suddenly have sympathies that demonstrate displaced loyalty to one's country.
Senator Moore: By ``sympathies,'' do you mean participating in public demonstrations and sympathizing with
causes that are contrary to Canadian causes?
Mr. Rudner: It may even be articulated in their work. For example, if someone comes along in a work situation and
says that suicide bombing seems to be an acceptable response to the hard feelings of wealthy people in Saudi Arabia, is
this not something that someone ought to notice? That event in itself is not a crime, but it certainly is an anomaly.
In other words, there is enough literature on counterintelligence derived from the Cold War and updated through
mainly the work of psychologists and people in human organizations that have developed five tests of these types of
anomalies, which signal a risk to national security.
I could site the work by an American retired counter-intelligence specialist by the name of Richard Heuer, Jr. I
believe he is a pioneer in this area.
Senator Moore: Is this a book or report that we could obtain?
Mr. Rudner: Yes. I can send a copy of the article to the committee.
Senator Moore: That might be useful.
Mr. Rudner: You have identified a very serious issue confronting all of us.
Senator Moore: Have the numbers gotten better? Do you monitor that as part of your academic work?
Mr. Rudner: No, this is not something I monitor in terms of numbers.
My concern is not the numbers. My concern is that DND itself would be a target precisely because Canada is active.
The adversary would want, in fact, not only to know our plans and intentions but also to distort them.
Senator Zimmer: I would like to add one final comment with respect to your comments about immigration
Our laws sometimes work against us in that, as you indicated, someone who did not like conditions all of a sudden
could move back to their country. All of a sudden, they would not be persecuted and everything is fine.
They are shopping around and looking for the best place to live in a country, and the people working with them
sometimes work against their cause. That is an excellent point. Thank you.
Mr. Rudner: We have a document that was tested and validated by the British court, by the Old Bailey, and it is the
operational manual of al-Qaeda. There is a chapter in the manual for training al Qaeda operatives on how to
manipulate the court systems in the democracies. I will not go into the chapter and verse, but they are there.
Again, we should never underestimate the capabilities of the adversary. They are as good as we are and they are as
well educated as we are. In that sense, they command professional respect and, therefore, we must be better than what
Senator Zimmer: Through another source, I was able to read the same chapter and verse. Thank you.
Senator Atkins: As I sit here and listen to you, it is all very interesting, but I get a sense that there is disconnect
between the different counter-intelligence organizations and the different agencies in Canada. Do you feel that, or are
you satisfied that they are operating in a coherent way?
Mr. Rudner: I am of the view that they actually operate well together. About 20 years ago, there was a history of
tension and friction between CSIS and the RCMP, and Canada paid a very high cost as a result of certain of the
consequences of that friction. They work very well together today.
In my view, the challenge is where things may not be working as well. Intelligence collection works in Canada and
works well in our security intelligence. That is why we have not been attacked. It is not because the adversary has not
tried. We have been successful in foiling the adversary. If we have weaknesses, in my opinion, it is in the area of
One thing we have learned from all the major reports of our allies, the Butler report in the U.K., the Flood report in
Australia, the 9/11 Commission in the United States, is the importance of robust and capable analysis.
In Canada, analysis takes place in different units. They are small, but they are there. We have two centralized
analytical components: The International Assessment Staff in PCO and ITAC, the Integrated Threat Assessment
Centre, which specializes in counterterrorism. Frankly, both are small.
I am not saying they are not doing their work and they certainly are but they are small. They need to be robust and
large in order to meet the analytical requirements of the current threat environments. They also need to acquire skills,
which currently are not available to them. We need people who have knowledge of Asian studies and the tribal people
of Afghanistan. We need people who understand the regional language and anthropology of the area. We need to
know how to identify a leader and competing leaders so we understand the dynamics of a society that is attacking and
killing us. We need to have the analytical capacity we had in wartime. We need that in peacetime because peacetime
today is wartime; this is a terrorist situation. In that sense, we have to build up that very important analytical capacity.
Second, we still underestimate the threat and need for responses to critical national infrastructures, especially in the
energy and transportation sectors. The British, for example, after the attacks on the London underground and
transport system, issued a major report on resilience planning. It is not only damage mitigation, but to defeat the
terrorists you want a system up and running quickly, because that is how you defeat the terrorist. When the London
underground ran 24 hours after the attacks, Britain won. That is the nature of our struggle. We need a much more
The energy sector is best thanks to the leadership of NRCan and the Energy Infrastructure Protection Division.
Many other sectors are rudimentary. We need to build up the whole envelope and then each part of the envelope so we
are not only capable of preventing attacks, but also capable of mitigating damage in the event of attacks and achieving
resilience immediately after the attacks. That is a secondary initiative we want in Canada.
Last, we do not have a centralized direction of the intelligence services. We have an adviser to the Prime Minister
who does not have levers in the community. We have the Department of Public Safety, which has levers over CSIS and
the RCMP, but not over CSE, military intelligence, which is a very important part of our foreign intelligence
capability, and the other areas. In other words, no one in Canada has the central focus of a director of national
intelligence. I would not call it that because the Americans have called it that and Canadians do not like to use the
same terminology as Americans. Call it something else but have a national coordinator with the levers of budget so if
you need more funds for a priority need, you do not have to go through the circus of an annual battle of the budget
and persuade Treasury Board that national security is just as important, for example, as some health or environmental
or other priority. They are all important, but this is the one where people die if we lose and our country is badly
damaged if we are hit. We need a coordinator with levers.
Senator Atkins: After 9/11, our committee visited the U.S. We met with the chair of the Department of Homeland
Security. He had just come from his daily visit with the President. We do not have a person like him. Should we?
Mr. Rudner: The Prime Minister and cabinet should be apprised regularly of the threat environment, the response
mechanisms to that threat environment and the needs. We need that, absolutely. That is when you have a national
priority. That is what a national priority and leadership means.
Senator Atkins: Do you feel that, because of the Bush administration's strategy on terrorism and its international
impact that the United States has an excessive amount of influence on us in terms of our paranoia about national
Mr. Rudner: Let me answer your question through the lens of the terrorists. They have planned attacks on targets.
Let me give you a number. The Norwegian Defence Research Establishment has identified 30 spectacular attacks
which were foiled from about 2002-04. The Norwegians are good guys, from the northern regions like us and they lose
at hockey to us. The United States does not disclose these things. Canada has signalled that the RCMP has interrupted
12 major plots. In Britain, the Home Secretary has announced over 30-plus priority one investigations are currently
taking place. There are over 2,000 current surveillances. In other words, the terrorists are attacking and they have not
succeeded except for singularities. The reason they have not succeeded except for those singularities is that they have
been defeated by our counterterrorism and law enforcement efforts.
We must be aware of that. Part of the problem is the nature of the victory. I do not want to use that phrase. The
nature of the successes against the terrorist operatives is such that you cannot disclose the details. Canada could
disclose more than it does. The British certainly disclose more than Canada. The British public is aware of the number,
nature, and means of attacks attempted by the attackers. We should be given the same information. We would then,
not, in a sense, be asking that question of our intelligence community. We would say, ``Yes, we have been targeted and
the targets in fact were sufficiently capable that it did not happen.''
Senator Moore: It also gets the public involved.
Mr. Rudner: Yes.
Senator Moore: It is part of being aware of what is going around and getting more involved in the community.
Mr. Rudner: I am not suggesting we should compromise the things that cannot be compromised nor should we
target innocent people and innocent communities. The British and Norwegians do not do this. People are not out to
pick on anyone. We are out to build a robust capacity to withstand a very severe threat to our own values and our
safety. Democracies have not well given the nature and intensity of the threat.
Senator Banks: Professor, you commented on a lack of capacity for central control and direction. We understand
that various parts of the intelligence community provide information to the National Security Advisor to the Prime
Minister. I assume that is not the control that you are talking about. Where should the control come from? Where
should it be?
Mr. Rudner: It is not, in the sense that the National Security Adviser to the Prime Minister has the ability to exercise
moral suasion, make a phone call and plead, please do it this way because I think it should be done this way. The
operating agency can say, ``Listen if you are asking us to do it that way, who should pay for it?'' You are into an inter-
bureaucratic dispute. In wartime, in Canada and elsewhere, we had an intelligence committee that had financial
resources. You required resources on the North Atlantic based on need. That committee made the decision to apply
resources to signals intelligence in the North Atlantic based on the need of the battle of the Atlantic.
Senator Banks: In your view, we are now at war and we have to start acting like it.
Mr. Rudner: Yes, the adversary is saying we are at war and I am responding with law enforcement and intelligence
to what amounts to a war-like terrorist threat.
The Chairman: Thank you, professor. It has been a very helpful morning and we appreciate your assistance to the
committee. We are very grateful.
Honourable senators, we have before us again Mr. Jim Judd, Director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service.
Mr. Judd joined the Department of External Affairs in 1973 and has had a long and distinguished career serving as
Secretary of the Treasury Board and Deputy Minister of Defence, amongst many other positions.
Mr. Judd, welcome back. We are grateful that you are able to spare the time to be with us. We assume that we are
following Judd rules, so we will begin with questions.
Jim Judd, Director, Canadian Security Intelligence Service: Thank you for the kind introduction and your
assumption is correct.
Senator Banks: Welcome back, Mr. Judd and thank you very much for answering our request for reappearance so
quickly. We got halfway through the questions that we wanted to ask you last time. You told us then that in the
present circumstance and with present mandates and the like, Canada had a shortfall in terms of its intelligence. I think
I am paraphrasing this fairly in that the need that Canada has for foreign intelligence that has been taken in foreign
places is not up to where it ought to be. Now, there are news reports that the government is moving in the right
direction, and what this committee believes is the right direction, in closing that gap or filling that need. The news
reports are to the effect that CSIS will be given that job.
I will ask you two questions. First, I am assuming that the government, as well as heads of other agencies in this
respect have consulted you, and that the news reports are making you more or less happy. Second, will that new
responsibility, should it come to you, fill the gap that you referred to in your last appearance before us?
Mr. Judd: On the first question, the issue of addressing the question of foreign intelligence outside of Canada,
specifically I would qualify what I would refer to as human intelligence collection as opposed to signals intelligence
Senator Banks: You have made that distinction.
Mr. Judd: It has been under discussion and review within the government for the better part of a year. The
government has yet to take a final decision on the issue, as there are still some questions to be addressed. The news
reports you refer to may have indicated a certain direction of thinking, but the decision has not yet been taken. Prior to
any decision being taken, there would be a requirement for the cabinet and the Prime Minister to consider and agree
upon a course of action, and then there would be the attendant requisites to be dealt with, including changes to
legislation or the introduction of new legislation or whatever was required.
Were Canada to move in this direction, it would largely fill that lacuna that I would describe as being one around
the collection of human intelligence outside of Canada because, as you know, the CSE collects signals intelligence and
we collect foreign intelligence but only in Canada, so there is one part of the map that is essentially blank at this
As regards the relative state of my contentment, I would just say that, if in fact a decision were taken to that end, we
would obviously want to do our very best to ensure that it was implemented effectively, and it would take time to do
that in terms of building up the requisite capacity and methodologies and so on. I suspect you would not see anything
substantial or dramatic happening overnight, given the time that would be required to address issues of resources,
technology, methodology, policies and so on.
The Chairman: Mr. Judd, we have before us, and we can provide you with a copy of it, Mr. Day's testimony before
the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security where he comments on a question asked by Mr.
Could you make that available to Mr. Judd? He talks about the last campaign, the need for it, and then he goes on
The research we've done, the discussions we've had with a variety of groups, lead us to think that starting a
separate agency would not be in our best interests. The cost of that, of course, would be huge. It would be a
number of years . . . just to get set it up, and it creates the possibility of yet another silo of information storage,
which could be difficult, as organizations, just by their nature, are sometimes difficult, as we've seen in the past,
with the RCMP and CSIS. I don't think they have that problem now, but in the past they did.
What you're going to see, in our discussions with CSIS and with our other partners on foreign fields, is that we
will have the ability to change legislation, subject to obviously what this committee and Parliament says . . . .
After some months of looking at it, this is the direction that we believe is the best way to go, and having
determined that, we'll be presenting for consideration at some point, whether it's spring or fall, our approach to
that . . . .
We have the impression that, at least in the minister's mind, there is a decision in principle to move forward.
Mr. Judd: Heaven forbid that I would contradict the minister, especially my own.
The Chairman: We know that would never happen. You would simply amplify and assist us in understanding these
Mr. Judd: As the minister says in his statement, he is indicating a direction. There are still a number of steps to go
through, but certainly that reflects his views.
The Chairman: That is why I was wondering whether we were getting off on the wrong foot.
Senator Banks: Assuming it goes there, will it fill the gap?
Mr. Judd: Yes, presuming that whoever is charged with the responsibility does it effectively.
Senator Banks: Let us talk about the time it will take to do that. You just talked about the fact that it will take quite
a bit of time to rev that up. You said that CSIS does not do foreign human intelligence at the moment. Does it not
sometimes a little bit? Has it not a little bit sometimes done some of that outside of Canada? Does CSIS not do some
human intelligence operations outside of Canada?
Mr. Judd: It is a clouded picture, if you will. We certainly collect foreign intelligence within the borders of Canada,
and we certainly do conduct intelligence operations outside of Canada, but I guess I would differentiate them on the
basis of the objective. To the extent that we conduct operations outside of Canada, it is now done only clearly linked to
our national security mandate relating to the protection of Canada or Canadians, so we are not so much collecting
foreign intelligence as collecting national security intelligence outside of Canada. It is a bit of a confusing distinction.
Senator Banks: I gather that part of what you are talking about in terms of the amount of time it would take to get
up and running, is that there is a difference between what a CSIS operative does in Canada, and the skills that requires
as compared with the kind of operative you would need to do the new job outside of Canada. Is that part of the reason
for time it might take?
Mr. Judd: A number of the basic skills would be transferable from domestic to foreign. What is referred to as
tradecraft, much of the basic training and the more advanced training done for our staff today would be as applicable
to operating outside of Canada in a foreign intelligence fashion, as it would be to our normal current operation. It
depends on what we were asked to do. Obviously, we would be looking at language capacities and a variety of other
factors that are not necessarily currently in stock. We have many people with foreign languages that are already
engaged in doing their business, so we would have to increase the number of staff, change some of the training and
work out different policies. My presumption is that there would be accompanying changes in the review regime that
would apply and that some issues, possibly around technology, would have to be addressed on secure mobile
communications and other areas of technical operations. A capacity-building period would be required in terms of
methodologies, people and some other areas as well.
Senator Banks: It might take that direction and go to CSIS, according to the news reports referenced by the chair of
the committee. Assuming that you will give a different set of skills to some people in human intelligence outside of
Canada, bearing in mind that CSIS operators in Canada are bound by the laws of Canada and that there might be
circumstances when you are asked to do something with respect to a CSIS person in a country outside of Canada who
would not be bound by some Canadian laws and perhaps not be bound by the laws of the country to which they are
going, what would be the relationship between CSIS, the person in country X, the Canadian head of mission in that
country, the ambassador or the High Commissioner or the consul or whomever? Would the head of the mission know
Mr. Judd: I have two comments on that. Obviously, there would have to be a strong relationship between this kind
of operation and the foreign policy establishment in Canada or those parts of government that have strong
international interests, such as DFAIT.
My understanding of the operations of other Western services is that the heads of mission or the ambassadors in
countries where foreign intelligence operators might function would be relatively au courant, although not necessarily
to the nth degree of detail on every operation. Certainly, there would be a close relationship in the field with the
ambassador and in Ottawa with DFAIT, as exists in virtually all Western services with which I am familiar.
Senator Banks: The extent legislation, absent the changes you said would be necessary, DFAIT and its officers can
ask CSIS to do some things in foreign countries, which CSIS might do. Can you tell us whether those requests have
been made and, if so, what the frequency would be and whether CSIS has said from time to time that it would not
comply with a certain request? Would a request like that be honoured as a matter of course?
Mr. Judd: Currently, the legislation provides for either the Minister of Foreign Affairs or the Minister of National
Defence to make a request of CSIS that it collect so-called ``foreign intelligence'' under section 16 of our act, which is
inside Canada. This is subject to the concurrence of the Minister of Public Safety. Of course, regarding our capacity to
do what we are being asked to do, I cannot think immediately of an instance where such a request was denied, but that
does not reflect an extensive file review. By and large, these operations have worked out satisfactorily.
I do not want to confound you, but as to the numbers, I would say that we are talking about low double digits per
Senator Banks: That would imply one every two weeks on average.
Mr. Judd: If that many.
The Chairman: To have a reasonable foreign intelligence capacity, what is a reasonable size in terms of human
intelligence? How many people does it take for a country the size of Canada? Is it 50, 250 or 300 people?
Mr. Judd: That is a good question and the answer is partly a function of expectations of the service. What would the
government be asking it to do? It goes back to the very good point made by Senator Banks when I last appeared on the
distinction between Australia, which has what I would call a ``well-defined neighbourhood,'' and our situation, where
we have a well-defined neighbourhood but it is different in that it is blurred. It is probably fair to say that we have a
broader range of international interests than the Australians have by virtue of trade and demography and our history
of military engagements with the United Nations. I suspect that it has been much more international than that of
The size would largely be a function of the expectations, what we are being asked to do and where to do it. It would
not be our role or decision to determine what we would collect and where we would collect it. The government would
make that decision and then tell us to go out and do it. We are in the collection business only, so to speak.
The Chairman: Clearly, your writ-limiting step will be your capacity and your ability to increase your capacity is
somewhat limited. When you were last before the committee, you said that you had brought in 100 new recruits this
Mr. Judd: We are hoping for 100 recruits this year and we took in 100 last year.
The Chairman: As I understand the issue, it takes these people 10 years to become proficient. It takes 10 years before
they can take any serious responsibility. Is that right?
Mr. Judd: That is an interesting question. I have been reviewing the issue in my mind and discussing it with some of
my foreign Western partners because we face the same demographic situation.
The Chairman: People are getting old.
Mr. Judd: It is the down-sizing that occurred in the 1990s and then the post-9/11 ramping up combined with the
baby boom generation retiring. I think all Western services have been recruiting heavily to deal with the baby boom
attrition and the growth. In the process, they are starting to rethink some of their basic operational policies to the
extent that some of my Western partners are now putting people out of their own country within a year of entry
following initial training. It is an issue that we are looking at because of our own operational and resource pressures.
It may be that you could unroll something faster, but because of the level of risk involved in this kind of thing, we
would probably want to heavily emphasize the due diligence portions of the operations.
Senator Moore: In response to the chairman's question regarding Minister Day and the quotation in terms of
starting a separate agency, you said that is how he reads the situation. Did you mean that just rhetorically speaking?
I do not imagine this comment would come out of the blue without there having been some previous discussion with
you and your officials. Can we presume that, or did this come out and now we are trying to catch up and put it
Mr. Judd: Let me give you a two-part answer. First, there obviously have been discussions on the issue within the
government over the last year or so. Second, it is a long-standing and wise policy that public servants do not comment
on the advice that they give to ministers — at least, they do not comment publicly.
Senator Moore: With that, should I let him off the hook?
The Chairman: You have the floor, senator.
Senator Moore: Do his comments reflect where you think we should be going in terms of a separate entity under
Mr. Judd: As I said in response to an earlier question by the chairman, I make it a rule never to disagree with a
minister publicly unless I am in search of a career change.
Senator Moore: Okay. With regard to the requests you might get at CSIS from the Department of Foreign Affairs
and National Defence, are any or many of the matters that you are asked to investigate or to obtain intelligence on
terrorist- or threat-related?
Mr. Judd: No. Most of the issues that we deal with that are terrorist-related, we deal with under the course of our
normal mandate, as defined in section 2 of our act. The requests from the ministers of Foreign Affairs or National
Defence would come under section 16 of our act, and generally relate to other issues or questions, not terrorism. We
essentially cover terrorism as a matter of course.
Senator Moore: When you are sent a request, do you have to have the approval of the minister before you can act on
Mr. Judd: Yes.
Senator Moore: Which minister is that?
Mr. Judd: It is the Minister of Public Safety. It has to be a request from one of the other ministers, an assessment of
whether or not it is doable or feasible, and then our own minister would have to concur.
Senator Moore: You would do a briefing and a recommendation, I would expect, as the Director of CSIS.
Mr. Judd: Yes; that is correct.
Senator Moore: With regard to CSIS personnel working in other countries, we had former ambassador Ms. Colleen
Swords here earlier today. She said that as the head representative of Canada in the country in which she was working,
she would expect to be advised and in the loop on matters that were of significance and were being reported back to
Canada. Is that your understanding of the relationship between our head of mission in a country and your agency?
Mr. Judd: Yes, very much so. Our officers at Canadian missions overseas are part of the embassy or High
Commission, and work closely with other personnel in the mission and with the head of mission. In some places, the
relationship is fairly intensive by virtue of the environment and the issues that may be going on at the time. It is a close
working relationship that seems to work well.
Senator Moore: If the proposed structure happens, with a foreign intelligence gathering agency entity put in place
and with more working people abroad, would those people come under that same rubric, that they would be respecting
the head of the mission of Canada in a country? It might be more sensitive information but that ambassador would still
be our lead person who would be advised of things that were of significance to our country, is that right?
Mr. Judd: That would be my presumption as to how things would operate. I understand that to be the case with our
principle Western foreign partners as well. It would not represent a significant change in how we function now.
Senator Moore: In the relationship between CSIS and Foreign Affairs, would Foreign Affairs have the capacity to
do a covert collection of foreign intelligence?
Mr. Judd: I do not believe they have the capacity to do covert collection like we do covert collection. The reality,
though, is that in the course of their work, Foreign Affairs personnel are often privy to confidences of some sort that
are shared with and by a foreign government that would not be public. I would not refer to it as ``intelligence,'' strictly
defined. I always use the term to describe information that is obtained through covert means; but very often in the
course of their normal duties, they can collect information which is given in confidence by someone in the foreign
government and not made public — information of considerable import, I would suggest. If you will, it is another
category of information that we acquire or can acquire.
Senator Moore: Would they continue to do that work? I am trying to establish what the relationship might be down
the road if this additional mandate is given to CSIS.
Mr. Judd: I presume that Foreign Affairs would continue to do that. In many respects, that is their bread and butter
business as far as political reporting goes overseas, which is trying to figure out what is happening in a country or
region and getting the views, impressions and insights of members of that government or people who are familiar with
that situation. In many instances that information is not made public because it is given in confidence to the diplomats.
The Chairman: Mr. Judd could you outline the trade-offs between one organization and two organizations? There
are obvious benefits and we understand that there is no perfect solution. Could you give us an overview of the
advantages and the disadvantages in having both the foreign and domestic intelligence dealt with by one organization
or having two separate organizations?
Mr. Judd: Having two organizations would provide greater clarity in the mandates for each of the organizations. It
would mean a greater operational focus in each agency on what they were responsible for doing.
The minister referred to a couple of issues that might be considered a downside when creating a new agency,
including the cost, start-up time required and the risk of creating yet another silo of information. An advantage to
going to a single agency is that it would recognize the reality, the increasing insignificance of national boundaries and
many of the issues with which we deal. Putting both functions in one agency would allow one to better build on the
existing methodology, strengths, technologies, and expertise that already exist in one agency.
Senator Banks mentioned the McDonald commission addressed the issue of having people operating under one
mandate subject to Canadian law and other people operating under a different mandate, not necessarily subject to
foreign law in what they do overseas. This could create a kind of organizational schizophrenia or to some extent a legal
I think there are advantages and disadvantages on both sides of the equation. The least costly and fastest way would
be to add the function to an existing capacity in terms of getting a faster bang for your smaller buck than you would
creating a new organization. Creating new organizations always has birthing pains associated with it in terms of time,
effort and start-up costs.
The Chairman: Yet, most of our allies have gone the way.
Mr. Judd: Yes, that is correct. It is an interesting issue. I have often wondered about this myself when I travel
abroad. I have not seen a standard model. Most countries divide their responsibilities for domestic security, foreign
intelligence and signals collection into separate entities as is the case in the United States, the United Kingdom and
Australia. Some other countries mix and match the three functions. The two new entrants into the field amongst
Western jurisdictions, New Zealand and the Netherlands, both went for a merged foreign and domestic model.
Historically, and certainly this is true in the majority of cases in the West, you are dealing with multiple agencies,
domestic, foreign and signals.
The Chairman: As a senior manager with scarce resources, how do you trade-off between spending money on
analysis of open sources and spending money on human intelligence that you retrieve in a covert manner?
Mr. Judd: The bulk of our resources are devoted to covert intelligence collection. We are avid consumers of open
source information that is either provided to us voluntarily or acquired in the same fashion as anyone else. In resource
terms, most of our collection is on the covert collection side although when going to court for a warrant for intrusive
power it would not be unusual for a warrant affidavit to include a mix of both covert and open source intelligence. It is
a mix and match, but it is predominantly covert intelligence collection.
The Chairman: You surprise me by the way you chose your words. When you say ``the bulk'' is it 80 per cent covert
or is it 90 per cent?
Mr. Judd: I do not know that I have ever looked at it with that degree of precision. Off the top of my head, it is
roughly 75 per cent covert and 25 per cent overt.
The Chairman: We are told repeatedly that there is an incredible amount of information valuable to a country that is
available from open sources. What is lacking is the capacity to process that information in a way that is useful to the
country. It would also seem very expensive to send someone overseas with the attendant costs. Someone overseas
would cost two or three times as much as keeping someone in Ottawa. If you are not managing to process the open
source information that you have available to you, why would you invest in covert operations?
Mr. Judd: Covertly acquired intelligence can provide you with information that you otherwise would not be able to
get and which is of such relevance to what you are trying to do that you have no option but to focus on covert
intelligence. I will try to put it in the context of a contemporary counterterrorism operation.
Something in the order of 5,000 Internet websites are somehow terrorist related. There is obviously a great deal of
material in the public domain about terrorism and so on. In our case, we focus on the broad phenomenon. The
specifics of the cases that we deal with are about specific individuals who try to ensure that they are never identified or
identified in advance. The only way that you can really get at them is through covert intelligence activities, whether it is
telecommunications interceptions or the use of human sources. You can build up a wealth of information through
public sources but, at the end of the day, you still require a covert intelligence capacity to reach the highest-level
threats. You require that capacity because of the extent to which they try to cover their tracks, operations, identities
and so on.
The Chairman: You referred to how lucky Australia is because they have a clearly definable backyard and an area of
focus. Would you describe for the committee what sort of process you or CSIS would go through to match Canada's
interests geographically? How does an organization determine where it wants to put its assets? How does it create a
hierarchy of national interests, and how do you determine your focus?
Mr. Judd: We try to determine where we focus based on the priorities we are given by the government and ongoing
program operation requirements. For example, we are responsible for security screening of immigrants and refugees.
The bulk of the immigrants that come to Canada come from readily identifiable countries year after year. You will not
be surprised that there is a relationship with those countries where we have some of our people who are engaged more
than anything else in security screening activities.
Where that is not a factor, we tend to focus on key partnerships for us where we have significant intelligence sharing
arrangements with foreign governments. We also focus on high-risk environments where there may be a particular set
of issues related to, for example, terrorism that is such that we find it helpful to have someone posted in the country to
try to get a better handle on the development of issues. We do the assessment on priorities and distribution of resources
all the time, annually at a minimum, but throughout the year as well in response to changing circumstances.
In the next year or two, we are probably planning to actually close down some of our presence overseas and open in
other places to reflect changing circumstances. It is an ongoing process, if you will, that tries to balance the priorities
we are given and the risks or operational imperatives that various countries pose for us.
The Chairman: Is it a fair assumption that if you are talking about human intelligence overseas, you have much
longer lead times, greater requirements for developing language capabilities, developing contacts in the countries you
are going to, and that, in effect, you have to play a much longer game than you would in Canada?
Mr. Judd: I think that is a fair comment. You can show up in a foreign country, walk into the capital the next day
and try to start recruiting people on the street absent a full understanding of the culture, the political dynamics, the
language, and so on. From what I have seen, the collection of human intelligence is a time-consuming business. It takes
time to develop the relationship and the confidence and the assurance that the information you are getting out of the
individual is actually value-added and is not tainted in some fashion by personal motive or other factors. Yes, your
characterization would be correct in terms of the longer lead times involved.
The Chairman: Are you referring to a 40-year-old who has been in the field for a decade or a 26-year-old who just
went through training last year that you discussed some of our allies are looking at now?
Mr. Judd: In an ideal world, yes. The reality is that my colleagues elsewhere just do not have 40-year-old people with
10 years of experience ready to put out anywhere or everywhere at the drop of a hat. In our case, historically, we have
never put anyone overseas without five years of experience. Bear in mind that most of our positions overseas are
declared to the foreign government — liaison, security screening and so on; they are not operational. Demographic
realities and growth are such for some of my colleagues internationally that they have no choice but to do this.
The Chairman: Your numbers now are less than they were in 1990. Your budget is perhaps 25 per cent higher than it
was then, but your actual numbers are about 200 to 300 less than they were then. You are only adding 100 a year. Of
that, what percentage is going out the door?
Mr. Judd: We are hiring above attrition rates. If we hired 100 last year, we probably lost 45 to 50 officers. We are
hiring at double the attrition rate. Given the budget resources that we have been accorded in the last budget, we
anticipate growth into the future as well.
The Chairman: At that rate, it will be another four years before you reach the number you had in 1990.
Mr. Judd: Yes, that is correct.
Senator Atkins: When you hire 100 and you bring them in, how do you start training? Do you mentor them? Do you
put them with partners? How do you integrate them into the system so that not only can you train them but you can
Mr. Judd: There are a couple of points on that. One is that we have a slow recruitment process. Part of that is
because there is such a heavy upfront set of assessments associated with it. The security screening for applicants is more
rigorous than it is for most other people in the government. A number of psychological assessments, suitability
assessments, are done as well.
An individual who is hired by the service has probably been interviewed at least three times by personnel already in
the service. By the time we offer someone a job, we are already confident they will be able to do the job. On entry,
having met official languages' requirements, they would spend the first six months of their career in basic training,
which is in-house, tailor made. That is only the basic training.
Depending on what they will do subsequently, there will be even more training involved. A completely different
program is used to train people who may go overseas. Chances are that an individual going outside of Canada as a
foreign intelligence service officer would have had up to a year of training of various sorts before that officer left the
country, not including things like foreign language training.
We also try to ensure that mentoring continues from senior officers after the recruits have finished the basic training.
We have a training and development system that is such that as individuals move through the organization, they
receive more training and development with changes in levels of responsibility. I do not know that we are as intensive
on training and development as the Canadian Forces, which is a remarkable lifelong situation, but we would be
probably close to that. A lot of time, effort and attention goes into training and development, and then the ongoing
Senator Atkins: I want to take a step backwards. Universities now are training students in different areas of security
and law. If one of these students were to run into you, knowing what your position is, what would your advice be to
that person if they were trying to apply to CSIS? We receive that question often and it is hard for us to tell them what
Mr. Judd: There is no magic academic qualification for CSIS. We hire from across faculties. Last year's intake
would have included lawyers, engineers, scientists, social scientists, liberal arts graduates, social workers and teachers
— a whole range of people. We are satisfied with the quality of people who apply.
Senator Atkins: Is there a registrar or is there someone to whom you apply?
Mr. Judd: Most of our applicants come to us over our website, which is how most young people find jobs these days
in either the private or public sector. The overwhelming majority of applications we receive are web-based applications.
We are active participants in career fairs on university campuses across the country. We recruit literally from
Memorial University in Newfoundland to the University of Victoria on Vancouver Island and everywhere in between.
Last year, we might have participated in something in the order of 50 to 60 career fairs at universities across the
Senator Atkins: How many applications do you receive?
Mr. Judd: Last year, we had over 14,500.
Senator Zimmer: In relation to your human resources and recruitment, do you feel that you can meet your
requirements within Canada? You sort of answered that. If not, would you recruit internationally also or would you
stay within the country?
Mr. Judd: Unlike some other services, we do not insist that people be born in Canada to be hired. We have a number
of staff in the organization, including intelligence officers, who were born elsewhere, and we recruit Canadians
studying in foreign institutions as well. We are also starting to recruit outside the normal entry level recruitment
pattern to take in people who have experience elsewhere — in law enforcement, the military or something that is
somewhat analogous to what we do. However, we would not hire an intelligence officer who was not a Canadian
Senator Zimmer: Would you hire from another intelligence agency in another country or is that not proper?
Mr. Judd: No, we have exchange officers — some of ours working elsewhere in the world and we have one or two
foreign officers working with us — but it is fairly limited.
Senator Zimmer: In what ways would CSIS collaboration with its counterpart organizations in other countries
increase as a result of the expanded role?
Mr. Judd: We currently have formally agreed arrangements with about 240 agencies around the world in about 140
countries. These arrangements are entered into only with the concurrence of our minister and the Minister of Foreign
Affairs. The level of activity with the agencies varies dramatically from one to the next. In some cases, it is active and in
some cases, far less so. I am not sure that a change in our mandate would affect the number or range of foreign
agencies with whom we deal now.
Senator Banks: Going to the other end of that continuum of service, when you recruit people to do the putative new
job, you train them to do things that are different from most of your present complement. Some of those things will be
greatly different and some will deal with ways in which one can avoid detection by the law in operating covertly in
undercover, surreptitious espionage. When such people have finished their service with CSIS for Canada, they will
come back to the agency in a kind of streamed envelope whereby their skill sets are clearly identified, and they would
not be sent to Toronto to obtain public information. Is that right? There will be different kinds of people?
Mr. Judd: That is a good question and I have wondered about that myself. I raised the question with my Dutch
counterpart who runs a joint service. I asked what happened when someone who had been overseas for a time came
home. Were they put in one part of the building while everyone else was in the other part of the building?
Senator Banks: Under lock and key.
Mr. Judd: He said that did not happen and that his office deals with them interchangeably. I was a little surprised by
the answer. I had no idea where they functioned overseas but I suspect that their work in Amsterdam would be
considerably different than their work in the Middle East. However, he said that they treat them as a single
Senator Banks: They would be ``super officers'' in that they would be able to engage in domestic overt and foreign
covert activities, whereas you would still have people in the agency who would work at only domestic overt activities.
Would you train everyone to become a cloak-and-dagger officer?
Mr. Judd: Currently, we have intensive training for people who serve overseas and that intensity varies depending on
where they are going, obviously. We do not offer that training to everyone in the organization because it is tailor-made
and directed only to the people selected for the assignments. Offering it generally would be costly and probably
unmanageable because we would have so many people tied up in training. My guess is that if there were a move to a
new operational mandate for the organization, the training and work associated with it would be focused solely on
those who were destined to do that kind of work, as opposed to dealing with everyone in the organization in the same
Senator Banks: When people are posted to other countries, it is likely at times that the destination country will have
Canadian Forces operating. In fact, that has happened. Canadian Forces have human intelligence undertakings where
they are of necessity.
Mr. Judd: Yes.
Senator Banks: Is there any bumping into one another?
Mr. Judd: I do not think so. We work closely with Canadian Forces, as you might know, and our activities are a bit
different. The relationship is about as good as you could want and largely problem-free in terms of activities. We do
not step on their toes, they do not step on our toes and we work well together in the field.
Senator Gauthier: Does the synergy work well?
Mr. Judd: Yes, it works well.
Senator Banks: I have a diversionary question. Mr. Judd, you talked with your tongue only partly in your cheek
about not publicly disagreeing with the minister. We have taken note of that practice, although not only in your case,
but you are more forthcoming than many people are. This morning, we heard from Professor Rudner who made a
comparison, perhaps odious, between the candour with which bureaucrats and heads of agencies in other jurisdictions
respond to questions and, at times, of their own volition make public statements and present views that are not always
those of the government. At times, they go far out in front of their governments and voice what they think government
ought to do.
We have noted and have commented in the past in this committee and in other committees that in Canada, that is
not the case. Canadian heads of agencies and bureaucrats in general are highly circumspect when it comes to answering
those kinds of questions with candour. Is that a written practice? Is it a convention? I know you are aware of the
difference in the way that is dealt with in Canada and in other jurisdictions.
Mr. Judd: It is a long-standing convention in Canada that public servants, as a rule, try to adhere to. I did not hear
Professor Rudner's testimony so I do not know who he was comparing us to.
Senator Banks: When we have spoken to your approximate counterparts in other countries, we found them to be
forthcoming on issues that were not always precisely reflective of their government's determined direction. Am I safe so
far because I have been careful?
Mr. Judd: Those interactions were probably not on television with recording devices attendant, either.
Senator Banks: That is true. They were not.
Mr. Judd: They were in the vein of what I might call, ``privileged communications.''
Senator Banks: That is correct. You are right because none of those interactions were public meetings. Is that the
Mr. Judd: I suspect it has something to do with it. I know that much of what transpires in the United States or the
United Kingdom, for example, in terms of dealing with congressional or parliamentary review agencies is largely
conducted in camera. I suspect that if you looked at the activities of the House or Senate committees in Washington,
you would find that the bulk of their interactions with their agencies occur in camera. That is almost always true of the
United Kingdom as well.
Senator Banks: That is true but the heads of some of those agencies make public pronouncements at times on the
ways in which they believe the government should go, or a direction they urge the government to take. I find that is
rarely the case with Canadian heads of agencies.
Mr. Judd: I can only assume that it is because we are much more polite.
Senator Banks: Politeness is a hallmark of Canadians.
The Chairman: Mr. Judd, how is your product evaluated? Is there a process?
Mr. Judd: Yes, it is a normal part of collection activity. There is collection assessment as to the weight or value it is
given, and whether it is corroborated or not. It is unusual for our organization to act on single source information. We
would always try to corroborate its validity. The question you ask is an interesting one at this moment because we are
looking at this question internally.
The Chairman: That is what our briefing note said.
Mr. Judd: You are well briefed then, maybe too well briefed. We are in the process of taking a new hard look at the
cycle of requirement definition — collection and assessment — and how that changes the requirements to see whether
we have it right.
The Chairman: What about customer satisfaction?
Mr. Judd: That is another good question. We seek customer feedback. It is a hit-and-miss exercise. If we have
something wrong, we usually find out about it quickly. If we have something right, we may not hear from people.
Even absent of a formalized system of customer satisfaction surveys that are ''check this box if you are happy or
not,'' we have a sense as to whether we are on the mark. It is part and parcel of this process where we are look back at
requirements, collection, assessment and the degree to which we are doing it well.
The Chairman: Do you think in the Canadian system and in such a small community as Ottawa, people are inclined
to be candid when they are not well served? People know they must live with you for a long time afterwards.
Mr. Judd: In the senior levels of the public service, there is enough mutual understanding for adequate amounts of
The Chairman: In the past, I asked one of your predecessors about the service provided to the Department of
National Defence. His answer was, ``We provide them with a lot of service and a great deal of product.'' A week later I
asked the same question of the Chief of the Defence Staff. His response ``Oh really: I ought to have a chat with him.''
He clearly was not sure.
Mr. Judd: That may well be true. In the current construct, our colleagues are satisfied with what we are doing,
particularly in one part of the world. I do not want to put words in his mouth but the current Chief of the Defence Staff
would not repudiate me publicly or privately.
The Chairman: That is my point. Publicly would be counterproductive. If someone wanted to comment about what
you were doing, the last place to make criticism that is useful would be in public.
Mr. Judd: Yes.
The Chairman: It is hard to get a fix on a matrix of performance in a secret organization.
Mr. Judd: I know. I will invite you along some time for one of my in-house discussions on the importance of
performance measurement to give you some idea of how invigorating an opportunity this really is.
The Chairman: I would welcome that experience.
Senator Moore: Recently, a ship landed in Halifax that was supposed to have 150 or so stowaways. It did not prove
to be the case. Was your agency involved in that investigation?
Mr. Judd: No.
Senator Moore: You were not?
Mr. Judd: No.
Senator Moore: Do you know who was involved from the Canadian side? Was it the RCMP?
Mr. Judd: I do not know the genesis of the information.
Senator Moore: Thank you.
Senator Atkins: You are responsible for the clearance of immigrants and refugees. That list must be fairly long.
Mr. Judd: We do that for all refugee applicants, but not all immigration applicants. All immigrants to Canada are
Senator Atkins: Are all of them screened?
Mr. Judd: They are screened by Canada Border Services Agency and Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
Criminal checks are done by the RCMP. There are checks by the Canadian Border Services Agency on matters such as
associations with war criminals. There is a health portion to it as well. In a proportion of cases, which averages
annually about 10 per cent of cases, we receive referrals on specific individuals to provide a security assessment.
We also prepare security assessments for individuals seeking employment in positions in the federal government
where clearance is required. We prepare them for the nuclear industry and analogous government positions in Alberta
and New Brunswick. These assessments may be extended to the Atlantic Provinces later this year. There are a few other
Last year, we did about half a million security assessments in all those categories.
Senator Atkins: That would require a lot of staff, would it not?
Mr. Judd: Yes, and it requires a lot of technology and databases.
The Chairman: This came up with Jack Hooper's testimony a few months ago. You came back a couple of weeks
later and said everyone was screened. We understood the question referred to the security assessment. It was his view
that CSIS did not have enough resources to do the security assessments he thought necessary for Pakistan and
Afghanistan refugee applicants.
You came back and made the point that everyone was screened and went through the screening process. What
about his concern that you do not have the capacity to prepare the security assessment? This assessment is far more
time-consuming, going over a significant number of years and requiring a detailed matching. It requires an individual
to go back and match what the applicant said they did each of those years, with personal interviews and so forth.
Senator Atkins: It could take months to clear a person?
Mr. Judd: It can.
We have made some internal reallocations on resources. It is not an issue.
The Chairman: Is it not an issue? I did not hear you, I am sorry.
Mr. Judd: Resource scarcity is not an issue. We intended to obtain additional funding for future screening capacity
in this year's federal budget.
The Chairman: The budget has gone up, but your budget is not up. How many organizations are still functioning
with 15 per less than they had in 1990?
Mr. Judd: In the federal government, I suspect there might be a few, given what happened with deficit reduction
efforts in 1990.
The Chairman: Yes, that happened with the military, the border services, the Mounties and you.
Mr. Judd: Point taken.
The Chairman: There are more customers?
Mr. Judd: Yes.
The Chairman: I do not think they think of themselves that way, but we think of them that way.
Mr. Judd: I understand. It is always a challenge to balance the service and the requirements, but I think we are doing
not too bad a job so far.
The Chairman: When a senior official says it is always a challenge, it means that the official is running as fast as
possible and hopes that the treadmill does not speed up at all.
Mr. Judd: That may be true, but I am also blessed by having people working for me who are a lot smarter than I am
and work much harder than I do.
Senator Atkins: On the immigration issue, we have been told that over 20,000 people come into the country illegally
and there is no way of identifying these people across the country. Is there any way that you become involved in
tracking down these people?
Mr. Judd: My understanding is that, for the most part, they tend to be people who have come here on visitor,
student or other visas and then overstayed, if you will. They are largely the responsibility of the Canada Border
Services Agency. We would take an interest in them if any of the individuals were thought to be associated with core
mandate issues for us, namely terrorism, espionage or something, in which case we would take an active interest in
finding them as well. I do not know how frequently that has been an issue for us, though.
Senator Atkins: Does it surprise you that a large number of people come across the border that are not identified?
Mr. Judd: I think the numbers are modest relative to many other Western jurisdictions. If you look at the level of
illegal migration in the United States or in some parts of Western Europe and other countries, it is much higher. For a
country such as ours, which is relatively open and welcoming of foreigners, I am not sure that the number astonishes
The Chairman: What is the situation with Australia?
Mr. Judd: They have more ocean.
The Chairman: They have other methods, too.
Senator Banks: We have heard from you, Mr. Judd, and others, but most importantly from you, about how
important the analysis of information is. I will not use the word ``intelligence'' because that is confusing. It is all
This is a chicken-and-egg question. In your shop, does the analysis drive the collection and say where the collection
needs to come from next, or does collection drive the analysis? Is there a clear answer to that question?
Mr. Judd: This answer goes back to what I said to Senator Kenny earlier. We are looking at that in the present. To
some extent, we have a situation in which both occur. The analysis drives some or, if I could say, analysis gaps drive
some, and some are driven simply by operational requirements. It is a highly operational organization. To give you an
example, if we are told that five individuals are reputedly associated with something untoward, much of the focus
operationally is on identifying those five individuals and gaining a better sense of what they are up to. There is a kind
of ricochet effect between the operations and analysis part of the organization. It is a bit of a ping-pong effect, if I
could put it that way.
Senator Banks: Bearing in mind that one missing piece of the puzzle could either screw things up or lead to a happy
outcome, if there is such a thing, are you confident that every piece of collected information is somehow subjected to
analysis and is put into the picture?
Mr. Judd: Pretty much, I think. I cannot say with my hand on my heart that I can guarantee you 100 per cent
accuracy on that, but we have a fairly sophisticated data management system that brings together bits and pieces from
disparate sources to help provide a composite picture, if you will. The system was developed some years ago and, so
far, works effectively in that respect.
Senator Banks: I ask you that question because sometimes a little piece of information sits out here that, by itself,
does not seem to be relevant but which, put into the right place, becomes relevant. This is the subject of all kinds of
stories. A piece of important information is sitting in someone's inbox. I know that is a bad analogy. Can we rest
assured that it does not happen much?
Mr. Judd: No, CSIS is an IT organization. The inboxes tend to be electronic so that the facility is there to pick up
issues that might be related to a common individual or common issue.
The Chairman: Thank you, Mr. Judd. We have run past our allotted time. We had a few other questions. Can we
send them to you in a letter and you would give us a reply?
Mr. Judd: I would be pleased to try to answer as best as I can.
The Chairman: On behalf of the committee, thank you for coming here today. You have been helpful, and we are
grateful to you for assisting us.
Colleagues, our next witness is Daniel Giasson, Director, Integrated Threat Assessment Centre. He joined the public
service in 1985. Before joining the Integrated Threat Assessment Centre, ITAC, in January 2007, he held positions as
Corporate Secretary, the Canada Border Services Agency; Senior Director, Policy and Strategic Management and
Planning, IT systems, Human Resources Development Canada; Director of Operations, Security and Intelligence
Secretariat, Privy Council Office; and Director General, Government Online, Canadian Heritage.
Mr. Giasson, welcome to the committee. We understand you have a brief statement to make.
Daniel Giasson, Director, Integrated Threat Assessment Centre, Canadian Security Intelligence Service: Thank you,
Mr. Chairman. I do not have the abilities of the previous witness, so I will open with a brief statement in both official
languages. After that, I will be happy to take your questions.
The Chairman: We would like that. Mr. Judd comes and brings Judd rules. The rest of the witnesses do as you are
doing. Please proceed.
Mr. Giasson: Thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today.
I was appointed Director of the Integrated Threat Assessment Centre on January 22, 2007.
At this time, I would like to present an overview of the origins of our organization, its mandate and structure, its
governance, and the links we maintain with key international partners.
I will then outline some key challenges that we are still facing, and how we are addressing them.
Canada's national security policy, released in April 2004, called for the creation of an Integrated Threat Assessment
Centre to allow for the sharing of intelligence amongst government departments in order to protect Canadians and
The centre's mandate is to produce comprehensive integrated assessments with respect to terrorist threats. The
centre has been operating since October 2004. Its first threat assessment was issued in the same month of the same year.
Since its inception, the centre has produced over 200 threat assessments for distribution within the Canadian security
and intelligence community, Canada's first responders and key international partners.
The centre is a component of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and is subject to the provisions of The CSIS
Act. It is also a community resource and is staffed with representatives from federal government departments and
agencies, including the Canada Border Services Agency, the service itself, Public Safety Canada, the Communications
Security Establishment, the Department of National Defence, the Department of Foreign Affairs and International
Trade, the Privy Council Office, Transport Canada, the RCMP, Correctional Service Canada and the Financial
Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada, FINTRAC.
The Ontario Provincial Police and the Sûreté du Québec are also represented in our organization. These officers
serve as a liaison function between the centre and the first responder community. Through their contacts, they are able
to maintain a valuable link to provincial police forces to obtain information from them and to obtain feedback as well
on the timeliness and relevance of our products.
These 13 departments, agencies and police organizations make up the centre's core participants.
Under the current human resource model, analysts are typically seconded for a period of two years. This may be
extended at the discretion of the analyst's home agency.
Early in 2006, ITAC reached its full analytical capacity and is now undergoing its first rotational cycle. Original
analysts are now returning to their home department with new analysts being identified as replacements.
In addition to its analytical and liaison personnel, the Centre has its own dedicated support staff responsible for
partnerships, dissemination of its products and its day to day administration.
The Integrated Threat Assessment Centre is housed within the headquarters of the Canadian Security Intelligence
Service and is subject to its policies and procedures. Following a recent review of our governance, I report to the
Assistant Director of Intelligence who, in turn, reports to the Director of CSIS. The Director of CSIS is accountable to
the National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister of Canada for the centre's performance. In recognition of our
mandate as a security and intelligence community resource, I also report to an assessment management committee
comprised of assistant deputy ministers of organizations represented at the centre. The committee acts as a forum to
provide advice on the effectiveness of the centre's production. In turn, it supports a management board consisting of
deputy ministers or equivalent from participating departments and agencies. The board establishes requirements and
priorities and reviews the centre's overall performance. I act as the secretary of that board.
On the international front, Canada's major allies have all recognized the need to establish their own integrated
threat assessment centres. We cooperate closely with the National Counterterrorism Center in the U.S., the Joint
Terrorism Analysis Centre in the U.K., the National Threat Assessment Centre in Australia, and the Combined Threat
Assessment Group in New Zealand.
As a result of this cooperation, the centre was able to provide its clients with over 1,700 assessments produced by
our allied threat assessment centres. These assessments offer an international perspective on worldwide terrorism
events and provide insights not previously available to Canada's security and intelligence communities.
We are now in our third year of operation. It is a good time to look back and reflect on our accomplishments and
our challenges. Under the leadership of the previous director of the centre and with the support of CSIS, the
organization has grown from an initial complement of 11 in October 2004 to its current complement of over 50
personnel. We are at the capacity envisaged to carry out our mandate and we can now dedicate our efforts to
improving our products and making them increasingly relevant to their readership.
The organization must serve a large and varied readership consisting of senior government decision-makers, policy
advisors and first responders. Therefore, a remaining challenge is to ensure that the solid planning process is in place to
target those audiences and to prepare products that are relevant to their concerns. We have initiated a strategic
planning process that will assist us in meeting that challenge.
While our mandate is precise, other organizations are involved, whether in assessment of threats or in assessment of
risks, giving rise to potential duplication of products. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police is mandated to support its
police operations through the timely production of threat assessment, as is the case with the Department of National
Defence to support its military operations. We are cognizant that in meeting their respective mandates, the assessment
function of some organizations might be duplicated in some instances. To mitigate the potential problem, ITAC
distributes its production schedule widely to its partners. When potential duplication appears, we engage with our
partners to harmonize or differentiate our products.
The dissemination of our products remains an ongoing challenge that we are actively addressing. For the most part,
distribution within the federal government environment is not an issue as there are established lines of communication.
Nevertheless, we are actively seeking ways to improve distribution, particularly to law enforcement agencies.
Distribution to the private sector is more difficult because it represents a wide and diverse readership, and
requirements for security clearance must be considered. We are working on three fronts to resolve that issue. First, we
are increasing our production of unclassified products to reach a wider audience. Second, we are looking at ways to
streamline our distribution to key stakeholders, such as the emergency management infrastructure in Canada or to
associations representing first responders, such as police, fire or security personnel of critical infrastructure sectors with
a view to involving them continuously in the feedback mechanism. Third, we are experimenting with a ``pull'' strategy
instead of a ``push'' strategy that would allow our readership to choose the assessments selectively that are relevant to
ITAC is an essential component of the Government of Canada's efforts to build an integrated national security
system. To date, we have built a solid foundation and we will continue in our efforts to protect Canadians and
I would be happy to answer your questions.
Senator Moore: Mr. Giasson, in your comments you talked about the reporting alignment. Who is the ultimate
boss? Is it Mr. Judd, Director of CSIS, or is it the National Security Adviser to the Prime Minister of Canada?
Mr. Giasson: The boss is the Director of CSIS and I report to the Assistant Director of Intelligence, who reports to
Senator Moore: Mr. Judd.
Mr. Giasson: Yes.
The Chairman: When ITAC was originally set up, did its director not report to the head of CSIS?
Mr. Giasson: In the initial reporting relationship, a link was created with the national security adviser. The
governance of the centre is consistently renewed in response to requests from our community. The reporting
relationship recognized initially with the Director of CSIS has been strengthened.
The Chairman: How is it strengthened when someone is put between you and him?
Mr. Giasson: I believe that the reporting relationship is strengthened because all the services required to make ITAC
function properly are provided by the service. All the human resources, plans and IT support required for the proper
functioning of ITAC are provided directly by CSIS. As well, for my day-to-day operations I have a place to carry the
various issues required to make the centre function properly.
The Chairman: I understand that but you are carrying them to a third party and not directly to the Director of CSIS.
Before, your position answered directly to the person that ran CSIS and now it is to someone who works for him. It
does not sound like it is a better communication arrangement.
Mr. Giasson: I would say that it is a better reporting arrangement because for all of its operations, ITAC needed a
place to grow up and that place is well established within CSIS. I had the opportunity when policy direction was being
provided to have access to the Director of CSIS as required, on a regular basis.
The Chairman: Thank you, Mr. Giasson.
Senator Moore: ITAC has been in operation since October 2004. Prior to that, there was the Integrated National
Security Assessment Centre, which became operational in February 2003, not long before ITAC came into existence. It
was replaced by ITAC. Do you know what made that change necessary? I realize you have been director only since
January 2007, but do you have any history as to why INSAC was replaced by ITAC? Why was it necessary and what
does the new centre do that the old entity was not able to do?
Mr. Giasson: I cannot really comment on the history of the INSAC organization. However, I will try to distinguish
how it was created, from my perspective. Essentially, INSAC was first an idea generated by the service itself in trying to
Senator Moore: The service meaning CSIS?
Mr. Giasson: Yes. Second, I believe that the resource requirements to fund that particular initiative were not
appropriated outside of the service. The service used its resources to set up the organization.
Senator Moore: To set up INSAC?
Mr. Giasson: Yes, the initial one. The change occurred in terms of establishing ITAC as a community resource,
where the impetus to establish it was generated by the intelligence community as a whole. ITAC was appropriated
resources specifically to carry out its mandate. That is how I would distinguish between the two.
Senator Moore: You made the point that the funding to establish the Integrated National Security Assessment
Centre came from the CSIS budget. Does the funding for ITAC, which you head, come within the CSIS budget?
Mr. Giasson: It was a funding decision made by the government as a whole. The money that was established to set
up ITAC is now funnelled through the service but initially it came from outside CSIS appropriations. That is the
Senator Moore: It is outside CSIS, but CSIS is the administrator of the funds. Is that correct?
Mr. Giasson: It was initially appropriated from a decision of the government to establish ITAC, and that decision
was made out of the National Security Policy of 2004.
Senator Moore: You list the 11 representatives from federal government departments and agencies and the two
police forces. How many people from each of those 13 entities are involved in ITAC?
Mr. Giasson: It varies by organization. I can tell you that we have one analyst right now from FINTRAC that is
looking at financial terrorism specifically. In other organizations with a larger mandate, we would have more than one
analyst embedded within ITAC. It is a variation that mirrors the relative size of the various organizations that are
represented within ITAC. We have a number of analysts from the Department of Defence, for example.
Senator Moore: Will you run through your list and tell us how many are from each organization? Is that a good
question to ask or is that security we cannot know? How many people are involved?
Mr. Giasson: Yes, I can. From an analytical perspective, we have seven representatives from CSIS; we have four
from the Department of National Defence; we have three from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police; we have two for
Transport Canada; we have two from the Communications Security Establishment; we have two from the Department
of Public Safety; we have three from the Canada Border Services Agency; we have one representative from FINTRAC;
we have two from the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade; and we have a representative that
comes from the Privy Council Office. That list represents the analytical capacity of the centre.
Senator Moore: I am sorry, was that three from the Communications Security Establishment?
Mr. Giasson: We have two.
Senator Moore: And the Ontario Provincial Police and the Sûreté du Québec?
Mr. Giasson: They have one representative each.
Senator Banks: Is there one from Correctional Service Canada?
Mr. Giasson: Yes, I believe we have one. Let me verify my list, senator, if I may. Somehow that has not been
provided here, but I will double-check that statistic and will update it for the committee. You are correct, senator, there
is representation from that department.
Senator Moore: These people are seconded for a two-year cycle. I know you have been the director only since
January of this year. However, when you took on this job, I expect, like any other new executive, you had some ideas,
some direction, some priorities that you wanted to set, and some benchmarks you wanted to achieve. Can you tell us
what your priorities are and what you aim to do to make ITAC better?
Mr. Giasson: Thanks to the previous Director of ITAC, I believe I inherited an organization that now operates at its
full capacity. There is always movement of personnel as people are seconded to ITAC from their various home
organizations. They are replaced by others who will be seconded to the organization to work for another two and
maybe three years.
Since the organization is established and is running at almost full capacity, given its resource requirements initially
and where we are at, my priorities are to look at the quality and relevance of the products that we have released to date.
The centre's unique contribution is that it comes from many members of the community. As such, I believe that we
provide comprehensive threat assessments because we have access to information coming from a number of
organizations. It is integrated because our analysts are able to gather that information and put it into an assessment
that provides a valuable perspective.
I think this particular trait of the centre is its greatest asset. However, we need to look at it on a constant basis to
determine whether the products we are releasing are of high quality: are the assessments relevant, how are they being
read, who reads them and who is looking at them in terms of their content per se?
Second is its relevance. I alluded in my opening remarks to the various issues or challenges that are related to the
distribution of our product. That is where I would make my second comments in terms of priority — establishing the
relevance of the product. We serve a wide variety of readerships, from government decision-makers to first responders
— first responders being defined here as police departments, fire departments —
Senator Moore: Search and rescue.
Mr. Giasson: Yes, they include emergency management organizations, whether provinces or cities, and some
members, provided that they are security cleared, from the private sector that operates in various areas — whether the
energy sector or transportation sector. It is wide and diverse, so we need to ensure that the products are relevant to the
specific requirements of those readerships.
In some instances, it will be and some it may not. My challenge and priority is to review constantly, assess and see
that downstream the products produced are the right and relevant ones.
Senator Zimmer: Thank you for your presentation this afternoon. Does ITAC receive intelligence product produced
by other governments, and if so, how do you use this product? Is it simply repackaged and forwarded to other ITAC
Mr. Giasson: ITAC is not a collector of information. Therefore, we assess the information received from other
partners. We receive assessments from other governments including foreign governments. I named the privileged
partnership we entertain with some countries and we redistribute products to those who wish to see them. It is
primarily a final product. It is an assessment made and redistributed.
Regarding dissemination, we are reviewing this issue to the extent that various assessments can be numerous. How
relevant are they again to the readership of the ITAC membership or family? How can we collect those various
assessments from our international partners and see if trends emerge from them? Can we organize the information
thematically to provide better direction in terms of what the readership is expected to look at? I alluded to a ``pull``
strategy, which is doing that with our own products. By that, I mean, being able to say to a reader, ``ITAC has been
doing those assessments and you can find them here if you require them.''
We want to do the same with international products or assessments. The difficulty is balancing the level of resources
dedicated to those products, given that, in some instances, the production of other fusion centres can be fairly
overwhelming. I use fusion centres to describe the other organizations that look like ITAC. How many resources can I
dedicate to thematic organization, providing trend analysis on international assessments products and informing the
readership about those products? It is a challenge.
Senator Zimmer: How do you verify intelligence products provided by other governments?
Mr. Giasson: Can you explain what you mean by verify?
Senator Zimmer: How do you ensure that the information you receive is validated and is good information?
Mr. Giasson: As a matter of course, we do not verify the specific information contained in those assessments. This is
because the production of those assessments is based on the same rigorous rules that are required to produce a threat
assessment. Those rules are established by looking at the information, and I believe the director alluded to this in his
presentation this morning, that it is validated by more than one source.
I am confident, because those rules are in place in the other fusion centres, that the information I receive is
information I am able to pass on to the readership. It would not be possible for us to redo it.
Senator Zimmer: You mentioned that you are able to handle the volume. What is the volume ITAC produces and
what is the volume of assessments received from others? Do you have any idea what your volume is?
Mr. Giasson: The current ITAC production is just over 200. That is product generated by the Integrated Threat
Assessment Centre. The volume of other assessments is over 1,700. I will not say it is a misleading statistic but
obviously it recognizes the different sizes of organizations in other countries. For example, the National
Counterterrorism Center in the U.S. is ten times larger than ITAC. That is why a large volume is produced by
other assessment centres.
Senator Zimmer: What process is in place to review and evaluate intelligence product produced by ITAC? Do you
have a process in place to review and evaluate it?
Mr. Giasson: Yes, and if I may highlight that process, a topic for assessment is determined by the threat. A specific
threat is determined by world events. It could also be determined by a client request. A client of ITAC may request a
It must fit under our mandate. If so, then we assign an assessment to the appropriate sector or analyst. That analyst,
in turn, determines the requirements for the project, and I define the project as the assessment, the final product with
partners. The benefit of having ITAC is, we are able to go to a number of partners embedded in the organization,
consult with them and prepare a project plan.
Then, we add this product to our production list and inform our various partners of the incoming threat assessment.
Then the analyst will conduct research, seek partners' input, review and prepare drafts, bounce it around with other
partners to see how it fits, incorporate information or intelligence obtained by the various partners within ITAC and
come up with the first draft of a product. This draft is rigorously reviewed for factual accuracy. The analysts ensure the
information provided is accurate, verified and contextualized properly. Then, a draft assessment goes through a variety
of approval processes. This leads to a final product, and is adjusted accordingly as it is reviewed by a variety of people.
The advantage of that process is that it bears in mind the specific characteristics of ITAC. Usually, the intelligence
will be contextualized further, added with other pieces of information coming from other analysts and brought
together in a comprehensive product at the end. I am sorry if the answer is long.
Senator Zimmer: It is a solid answer. You have a process in place.
Mr. Giasson: Yes, senator.
Senator Zimmer: My last questions pertain to the website. Your staff has been seconded to the centre for a period of
two years. Is it arranged that every two years you bring in a whole new team comprising representatives from each
organization, or are the terms staggered? Are you responsible for maintaining the corporate memory? Do you bring in
a whole new team or do you stagger the terms? How do you do that?
Mr. Giasson: The centre has ramped up in terms of resources, which means that people come in at different dates.
Therefore, we have a list of personnel that is staggered because of when they come in. We try to keep our analysts for at
least two years. In fact, we try to keep our analysts for a longer period if we can, because it provides for a better
development of their analytical skills. It provides as well for corporate knowledge to be passed on to others.
When we have new analysts, we establish sessions with the current ones, for a changeover period, to enable the new
analyst to come in and benefit from that corporate knowledge. New analysts go through orientation and training in
order to take their place within the organization. I am confident right now that we are in a position where we can
impart that corporate knowledge properly to new analysts coming in. It is not a perfect solution, but it serves our needs
Senator Zimmer: For continuity, it is staggered. There is a continual flow. There is not a drop and then new ones
come in. Based on when they arrive, you add on two years, and that provides continuity.
Mr. Giasson: Correct.
Senator Zimmer: Does ITAC's staff of 53 include the 30 from other departments?
Mr. Giasson: Yes, it includes the 30.
Senator Zimmer: It includes that amount?
Mr. Giasson: Yes.
Senator Banks: On that question, in the last few weeks of our study on intelligence, we have heard from many people
about how important analysis and assessments are. Is there a process of analysis and assessment that a piece of
information goes through before ITAC receives it, or does ITAC, in effect, do the assessment and analysis of the
information? My corollary question is, how many people are in CSIS: several hundred?
Mr. Giasson: Yes.
Senator Banks: There are 52 people in ITAC, 30 of whom are analysts and 20 of whom do something else. You
gather information from all sorts of places, but the processing, we have been told over and over again, is the most
important part. There are 30 analysts dealing with the information that comes from hundreds of different places in
CSIS, and then from many more places outside CSIS. I assume that there must be some analytical or assessment
process that the information goes through before it comes to ITAC, or are 30 people able to do all that?
Mr. Giasson: It is a good question, and I do not think I will be able to tell you, as the director said, that a hundred
per cent, for example, is the mark. First, ITAC's mandate is mainly interested in the terrorism threat. Second, analysts
have at their disposal those information tools, essentially, that the director of CSIS alluded to: to extract information
from various databases, both service and in-house, and to be able to look at and assess the information.
On the other side, as I mentioned, we usually have information already assessed from the other fusion centres in
terms of a final product. Does that cover all pieces of information? I believe it covers a large number, but I would not
be able to tell you definitively that it covers all information.
Senator Banks: I asked Mr. Judd this question as well. If a piece of information, which, by itself, does not mean
anything and appears irrelevant, but which when connected with certain other pieces of information becomes
important indeed, can it escape the attention of the 30 analysts and assessors, and we could miss something? He gave us
assurance that it is electronically kept, gathered and noted.
Mr. Giasson: Correct.
Senator Banks: A piece of paper will not go astray, and someone will not have something in their inbox for a week
before they look at it? I will put the question another way: You said you have reached your full capacity, by which I
take it to mean that you are now functioning on all cylinders. With the 52 people, everything is working.
It also could be taken that you have reached your full capacity and the pipeline is full and cannot take any more.
Could you use more than 52 people to do the job? Is there a shortfall that is the result of not having enough people to
do the job that ITAC is supposed to do? Bear in mind that terrorism, as you have said, is the main point, but it is not
the only point, nor is it the only place from which threats to Canada's interests can come. I am sorry for asking you a
three-pronged question, but there you go.
Mr. Giasson: I am confident that, with the current level of resources that ITAC has at its disposal to meet its
mandate, it is meeting it properly.
I am confident also that we have access to a number of sources of information and that we are processing the
information and we are able to look at and extract what I call a rich picture out of it, or an assessment. That is my
answer to the second part of your question.
Could I use more resources? Other witnesses have been in front of you, sir, to tell you that yes, we could always use
more resources to carry our mandate, but I think that under the current resource level that I have, I can carry it.
Senator Banks: Is there a shortfall? Is stuff not being done that ought to be done?
Mr. Giasson: You mean in all the threats?
Senator Banks: Yes: ITAC is responsible for, if I understand it correctly, assessing and analyzing information from
whatever source, and making sure that, with respect to Canada's national interests, the people who need that
information have it. I cannot think of anything more important for a state than that. It is not good enough to say that,
given the resources we have, we are doing the best job we can. The question is, are the country's interests being fully
served with respect to analysis, assessment and distribution of information that we receive from whatever source?
Mr. Giasson: You are putting it in a broader context, I think, in terms of national security. Let me try to provide you
with an answer. Terrorism threat analysis covers many areas of national security interests, by the nature of our
mandate. We look at national security through the terrorism prism, or the terrorism lens, but we provide analysis on
methods and trends. Let me give you an example.
The weaponization of biochemical agents is something that ITAC is interested in. In that sense, ITAC covers, from
a national security perspective, issues relating to chemical, biological and radiological threats.
If we look at a particular threat, or even a trend related to an element of critical infrastructure in Canada, for
example, we will also, through the terrorism prism, look at critical infrastructure, which is another part of the national
security piece. Through our analysis, we touch on many fronts.
I will leave my answer at that.
Senator Banks: Does the mandate of ITAC specifically say that it will look at everything through the lens of
Mr. Giasson: To answer that question, I would need to review specifically the kind of documents that look at ITAC,
the genesis of the mandate.
Senator Banks: Will you do that and let us know, perhaps, by sending those documents to the clerk of the
Mr. Giasson: Yes.
Senator Banks: That might be the focus at the moment, as a matter of policy, but is that the focus of ITAC? Is that a
right, full and complete job or have we taken this focus because of a policy?
Mr. Giasson: I will do that.
Senator Banks: I would be grateful. When Canada becomes a more robust collector of foreign information, which
we will applaud, that information will also find its way to ITAC. Do you anticipate an increase in human resources to
deal with that additional information?
Mr. Giasson: It might require further policy discussions and decisions. You heard the Director of CSIS talk about
this matter and, essentially, it might mean more information for ITAC to assess. If that is the case, then it becomes a
new element to consider under policy direction.
Senator Banks: I assume that whereas one truckload of information pulls up to your door every day now, there will
be two truckloads each day so it will take more staff, or some of the work will not be done.
Mr. Giasson: I am not able to comment on what it would mean in terms of additional influx of information or
intelligence. I would not diminish the current ability of the service through its information management technology. I
do not know what it would mean. I suppose it could mean additional discussions, decisions and, perhaps, resources.
Senator Banks: Earlier, Senator Zimmer asked you a question about the reporting group. Who is the assistant
director of CSIS?
Mr. Giasson: Mr. Flanigan is Assistant Director, Intelligence, at CSIS.
Senator Banks: We have met him. You said that you have direct access to the director when you need it.
Mr. Giasson: Yes.
Senator Banks: When you have information that needs to be passed to Mr. Flanigan, do you assume that it goes to
the right place, which one presumes to be Mr. Judd? Would you know if it did not go to the right place?
Mr. Giasson: Would I know if it did not?
Senator Banks: I am not questioning Mr. Flanigan but do you have a means of knowing whether a piece of
information that you thought to be important went to the right place?
Mr. Giasson: I believe I have that means. I am talking about a piece of information that is an assessment, for
Senator Banks: Yes.
Mr. Giasson: What goes from my area is distributed as a matter of course through various protocols and channels to
senior decision makers, including Mr. Judd. When a particular piece of information requires specific attention, I have
the ability and the access to signal that.
Senator Banks: Who gives you a report card on the efficiency, thoroughness and usefulness of your assessment? I am
sure you have internal measurement and evaluation systems but are you subject to scrutiny, oversight and testing,
other than by the deputy director and the director?
Mr. Giasson: We are subjected to scrutiny and oversight as any other part of the service would be through the
Security Intelligence Review Committee, SIRC.
Senator Banks: The concern of SIRC is mainly to ensure that CSIS does not overstep its bounds concerning the
rights of Canadians, and that it does not go too far without receiving proper authorization to do so. I do not think that
SIRC concerns itself with whether we caught a threat in time or whether we know enough about a particular problem.
Mr. Giasson: You are right. Its mandate is not that.
Senator Banks: With respect to that kind of efficacy, is there a measurement by which one could determine
objectively whether the work is objective, useful, complete and thorough?
Everyone knows the problem that former CIA Director George Tenet faces in the United States because of the
reporting route he chose with respect to speaking to person A as opposed to person B. There has been much argument
about how things might have been different had he gone to person B, as opposed to person A. His argument was that
the convention and regime at the time were such that he reported to person A, and that is what he did. Then, the wall
fell down. I guess that is the landscape in which I ask the question. Are you subject to scrutiny testing to ensure that the
function that you are presumed to perform is performed to the best of everyone's ability?
Mr. Giasson: ITAC's overall performance is being looked at, which is through the report of governance that I
alluded to initially. I report to the Assistant Director of Intelligence and then to the Director of CSIS. That issue is
being reviewed by the national security advisor and a committee of deputy ministers, who are looking at the overall
performance. I would give that part in answer to your question.
Senator Banks: Is that done on an oversight basis or on a review basis?
Mr. Giasson: I would not use ``review'' in the same way. It is done annually but I would not use the word ``review'' in
the same terms as the committee, for example. As part of the initiative brought forward for the organization when I
arrived is the development of specific indicators to look at the production of our products and measure it, as much as
we can measure a threat assessment, by the number of indicators that we look at to make that decision. This ongoing
process and project is being developed through the organization. We expect it to yield results by the end of 2007.
Internally, we will have some indicators to allow us to answer the question as precisely as possible.
Senator Atkins: I will ask you a couple of questions about the committee. Are the members of the committee full-
Mr. Giasson: Which committee are you referring to?
Senator Atkins: ITAC.
Mr. Giasson: The personnel at ITAC are full-time.
Senator Atkins: How are they selected from the different agencies?
Mr. Giasson: That is a good question. Selection will be based, first, on what I would call the overall analytical
capacity described in broad terms by the home agency — a combination of training, formal development, formal
academics, and any specific training undertaken with the previous agency.
Those elements are included in the selection process. With the cooperation of the various organizations that are part
of ITAC, I am developing an analytical profile. That profile will indicate to the home organization what kind of
analytical proficiency we require. They will make a selection based on that profile. When a person is seconded to our
organization, this analyst goes through a variety of training and orientation sessions to hone in on the specific products
and what we release from ITAC. Does that answer your question?
Senator Atkins: Yes, although I have one additional question. Would anyone who is seconded from any of the
agencies consider this something that is of real interest and a challenge?
Mr. Giasson: I certainly do. Once an analyst comes to ITAC, my goal is for that analyst to deepen their analytical
capacity. They would be trained to carry out their functions with regular contact with their home organizations,
including training that may be offered, and they build a network of relationships within the security and intelligence
community of the Government of Canada that becomes an asset to the home organization when they return. From my
discussions with the various stakeholders that are part of ITAC, everyone has the same wishes.
Senator Atkins: To what degree is ITAC independent of CSIS decision-making?
Mr. Giasson: ITAC does not deal with operations of the service. In that sense, we are independent. The
dependencies are established usually at the human resources, information management or information technology
support level. If it is something that is not related to threat assessments per se, I would not be directly involved. I
participate in a variety of management meetings within the service so I am generally aware of what the service does. I
am well informed. I will not be impacted by some of those decisions or necessarily have a say in them.
Senator Atkins: Are you physically located in the same location?
Mr. Giasson: Yes.
Senator Atkins: As Director of ITAC, do you have the capacity to produce and disseminate intelligence assessments
within and outside of Canada without specific approval from CSIS?
Mr. Giasson: Are you asking if I have the ability to release an assessment without the specific approval of CSIS?
Senator Atkins: Yes, or do you go through the deputy?
Mr. Giasson: I have the independence to do that barring the approval process that I described earlier. That approval
process insures that the information is collected, looked at and analyzed the proper way. I can release an assessment on
my own volition. However, the information is part of the ITAC report and is part of a good assessment process. It
must be verified, checked and approved by the sourcing organization. If we use information that comes from one of
our organizations, as represented, then we ensure this information can be properly released. Once that step is taken, I
have the authority to release that information.
Senator Atkins: To put out a product that ITAC has put together, do you need the approval of the department or
the Director of CSIS?
Mr. Giasson: For the release of ITAC assessments I do not need their approval.
Senator Atkins: CSIS has its own intelligence assessment branch. To what degree does the work of this branch
conflict with the work done by ITAC?
Mr. Giasson: If it has conflicted in the past, it conflicts less and less now. In my opening remarks, I raised the issue of
duplication. We are extremely well aligned within CSIS in terms of ensuring that the products we release are unique or
differentiated from the service. We share whatever projects we have on the books with the service when they are
looking at an issue that may touch or impact on ITAC assessments. This sharing works well in terms of ensuring that
the products we release are not duplications of the products the service may release. I will not pretend that it may not
happen but we have the mechanisms in place internally to ensure that those products are differentiated, unique or that
they support each other, as required.
Senator Atkins: Is it necessary to have two organizations housed within CSIS that produce intelligence assessments?
Is this a duplication of effort and resources?
Mr. Giasson: I do not believe so. I believe that ITAC looks at tactical information. I do not mean that as the military
or police would describe it but in the sense that we release products that tend to be relatively short, that look at a
specific threat over a medium term versus long term while other organizations within CSIS look at the long-term
strategic papers that might support our own assessments but that might not necessarily be the same. In that sense, we
are complementary and becoming more complementary as we operate within the realm of CSIS.
Senator Atkins: If ITAC comes up with an intelligence threat that in the judgment of some of your people is real, is
there a system within CSIS for a red alert or a process like that to capture peoples' attention?
Mr. Giasson: Yes, we have the means to distribute threat assessments that may be short term where we need to focus
the attention on a particular threat. We have the means to communicate that information to the people that need it
when they develop the response side of a specific threat.
Again, the threat assessment centre is interested in the assessment of the threat. In that sense, we are in the
mitigation part but if required, we can provide information to a police force through links and communications that
are established that the police force may use in responding.
Senator Atkins: Is it an alert system?
Mr. Giasson: No, I would not define it as an alert system per se. I do not know what you mean by ``alert system.''
Senator Atkins: The Americans have a different category system: They have the red, yellow and green system to
capture people's attention.
Mr. Giasson: I understand. Within our threat assessment capability we have the capability to release low, medium,
or high threats.
Senator Atkins: Are you satisfied that if you had something that was a hot item, you could get it through in a hurry?
Mr. Giasson: I am satisfied.
The Chairman: Senator Banks, do you have a follow up question?
Senator Banks: I do. First I have an apology to make. I stated wrongly that you report to the deputy director but
you report to the assistant director of intelligence and the assistant director reports to the deputy.
Mr. Giasson: Allow me to check that but I do not think so.
Senator Banks: So the assistant director might make a jump there?
Mr. Giasson: Yes.
Senator Banks: Will you find that out and let us know?
Mr. Giasson: Yes. I apologize. I should have the answer to that question at hand.
Senator Banks: It was I who made the mistake.
Following up on Senator Atkins' question, we understand assessments and analyses are prepared for intelligence
matters that would include terrorism matters that are still prepared independently. Senator Atkins asked you about
assessments in CSIS, RCMP, Canadian Border Services Agency, Transport Canada, Citizenship and Immigration
Canada and the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. These organizations continue to do their own
analysis and assessment to some degree. You talked earlier about overlap, and another way to look at that might be
thoroughness. A way to look at it might be overlap and silo-building.
When the British government established the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre in the U.K., they brought together all
the analysts from all the departments and put them together in one place in the headquarters of the British Security
Service, which reports directly to the Director General of MI5 and through the Director General, to the Home Office.
That approach seems efficient on two counts. One, all analysts are in one place instead of different offices. The
likelihood of a piece going astray or some synergy not happening is less likely. Is that not a simple example to follow?
Mr. Giasson: It could be a good example to follow. There are different models. All the other fusion centres have
their different models. Some have differences. We are looking at the model closely.
Senator Banks: Is it one that someone in the intelligence community suggests might be followed?
Mr. Giasson: I have not participated in discussions since my arrival on that particular question. I know that the
model prevailing in the U.K. is an interesting model. Some discussions have occurred asking if it is a model that we
need to strive for, establish or look at. We are discussing that with the Americans and with the other centres.
I do not want to be disingenuous on your question but this particular model tends to be operational in nature in
terms of getting all the intelligence analysis including first responders within the centre. That may require further
discussion, and direction from the current mandate, because it is a different proposal.
Senator Banks: I hope that the discussion takes place.
The Chairman: Mr. Giasson, I appreciate you coming before us today. It is our first opportunity to have a witness
from the Integrated Threat Assessment Centre. It has been instructive and helpful. We hope to have the opportunity to
talk to you again in the future. We also expect some information to be provided to the clerk.
Mr. Giasson: Yes.
The Chairman: On behalf of the committee I thank you. We are grateful for your assistance. It was a pleasure.
For members of the public who are viewing this program, if you have any questions or comments please visit our
website by going to www.sen-sec.ca. We post witness testimony as well as confirmed hearing schedules. Otherwise, you
may contact the clerk of the committee by calling 1-800-267-7362 for further information or assistance in contacting
members of the committee.
The committee adjourned.