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Fact Files

Saturday, Feb. 4, 2006



Department: Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS)
Lawrence MacAulay
MacAulay at a glance:
• MP for Cardigan in Prince Edward Island
• Appointed Solicitor General in 1998
• Previous cabinet appointments include Minister of Labour, Secretary of State (Veterans) and Secretary of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency).

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Lawrence MacAulay
CSIS
Security

Web links
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• Solicitor General Canada - home page
• CSIS - home page

Minister in charge: Lawrence MacAulay

What happened: The Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) will receive $1.6-billion over five years to train, equip and deploy more intelligence forces and front-line officers. CSIS' share is the largest single infusion in its history and will be spent on upgrading technology and equipment for intelligence gathering and analysis.

Financial details: In October, the federal government added $10-million to CSIS's $200-million budget. The agency's director has said that it is in negotiations with Ottawa for more funding. In the last budget and since then, Ottawa has spent about $2-billion on national security, Mr. Macaulay has said.

Responsibilities: Often called Canada's spy service, CSIS is a government agency dedicated to protecting the national security interests of Canada and safeguarding its citizens. The main objective of the service, according to its Web site, is to investigate and report on threats to the security of Canada, an objective that it pursues while respecting the law and protecting human rights.

What to expect: After September's terrorist attacks in the United States, fears for this country's security have skyrocketed. In a report in October, the Security Intelligence Review Committee - which acts as a CSIS watchdog - said the agency was struggling to do background checks on immigrants and refugee claimants even before heightened security measures following the assaults. CSIS, the report said, is so overworked that it can take years to determine if a potential newcomer poses a security risk. Look for a firm commitment by Ottawa to security measures to bolster confidence both inside and outside Canada's borders.

Critics:
Canadian Alliance: Kevin Sorenson
Bloc Québécois: Pierrette Venne
New Democratic Party: Bill Blaikie
PC/DR Coalition: Jay Hill


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