Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Bill C-51 Backgrounder #2: The Canadian Security Intelligence Service's Proposed Power to "Reduce" Security Threats Through Conduct that may Violate the Law and Charter
"If bill C-51 passes, CSIS will be expressly authorized to 'take measures, within or outside Canada, to reduce' very broadly defined 'threats to the security of Canada'. Where authorized by Federal Court warrant, these 'measures' may 'contravene a right or freedom guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms' or may be 'contrary to other Canadian law'.

The CSIS changes are dramatic, even radical. In 1984, parliamentarians granted CSIS a very broad mandate – found in the definition of 'threat to the security of Canada' in s.2 of its Act – but were careful to accord it very limited powers. It has been an intelligence service – it collects and analyzes information and supplies assessments to the government.
That will change in Bill C-51.

The government proposes radically restructuring CSIS and turning it into a 'kinetic' service taking physical action well beyond intelligence collection — and competent to act beyond the law and even the constitution. We doubt the legality of this proposal for a number of reasons explored in detail in our backgrounder."

Read the Full Analysis

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