Canada gets its first ever intelligence commissioner

Canadian Media Fund

Canada has appointed the Honourable Jean-Pierre Plouffe as the nation’s first Intelligence Commissioner to oversee intelligence activities.

“It is an honour and a privilege to be appointed as Canada’s Intelligence Commissioner. This is a new role in Canadian law, and an important one to Canada’s national security framework, that aims to provide greater transparency, better accountability and, ultimately, bolstering public confidence,” Plouffe said.

As part of a restructured national security framework and under the Intelligence Commissioner Act, the new Commissioner will provide “independent quasi-judicial review of the conclusions made by Ministers” regarding intelligence activities.

Upon receiving the notice, he has thirty days to review and greenlight intelligence operations within the legal confines of the Communications Security Establishment Act and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service Act.

The new job title comes with a lot of paperwork. The Commissioner has to “set out his reasons for doing so in writing.” He must also supply a copy of his writings to the eyes of involved parties and the National Security and Intelligence Review Agency.

On top of that, the Commissioner must provide an annual report, which contains statistics of activities and decisions, to the Prime Minister who then must reveal it to the Parliament.

Aside from seeing new members joining Canada’s intelligence community, the old Office of Communications Security Establishment Commissioner(OCSEC) will make way for the new department called the Office of the Intelligence Commissioner.

OCSEC will also relinquish its review power to the National Security and Intelligence Review Agency in accordance with the National Security and Intelligence Review Agency Act.

Source: Office of the Communications Security Establishment Commissioner