Statement by the Hon. David McGuinty on his reappointment as Chair of the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians
February 5, 2020
Ottawa, February 5, 2020 — I am honoured to be re-appointed as Chair of the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians (NSICOP).
I would like to extend a warm welcome to the new and returning members of the Committee. I look forward to working with them to continue the important work of providing a non-partisan approach to the scrutiny of national security and intelligence issues in Canada.
The Committee’s first priority will be to prepare for the tabling in Parliament of the 2019 Annual and Special Reports. The Committee will also work with the NSICOP Secretariat to consider proposals for the reviews it will undertake over the course of 2020.
We look forward to early engagement with senior officials in the security and intelligence community charged with keeping Canadians safe. We will also solicit the views of academics and civil liberties groups, whose perspectives on national security challenges are important for the Committee to hear.
- The Hon. David McGuinty, P.C., M.P., Chair
- Mr. Don Davies, M.P.
- The Hon. Dennis Dawson, C.P., Senator
- Mr. Ted Falk, M.P.
- The Hon. Frances Lankin, P.C., O.M., Senator
- Mr. Glen Motz, M.P.
- Ms. Christine Normandin, M.P.
- Ms. Jennifer O’Connell, M.P.
- Ms. Brenda Shanahan, M.P.
- The Hon. Vern White, C.P., Senator
On Aug. 30, 2019, the NSICOP submitted its second Annual Report to the Prime Minister. The Report presents three extensive reviews conducted by NSICOP in 2019 and related findings and recommendations. Those reviews examined issues of diversity and inclusion in Canada’s security and intelligence community; the government response to foreign interference; and, the national security and intelligence activities of the Canada Border Services Agency. The Committee also submitted a Special Report to the Prime Minister and the Minister of National Defence on the collection, use, retention and dissemination of information on Canadian citizens by the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces. The Prime Minister must table declassified versions of the reports within 30 sitting days following the resumption of Parliament.
NSICOP was established under the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians Act on June 22, 2017. It may review:
- the legislative, regulatory, policy, administrative and financial framework for national security and intelligence;
- any activity carried out by a department that relates to national security or intelligence, unless the activity is an ongoing operation and the appropriate Minister determines that the review would be injurious to national security;
- any matter relating to national security or intelligence that a minister of the Crown refers to NSICOP.
After a general election, the members of the Committee are to be appointed within 60 days after the day on which Parliament is summoned to sit. All NSICOP members hold the highest level of security clearance, are bound by the Security of Information Act and meet in private.