Briefing Materials prepared for the Director of CSIS: Public Safety and National Security (SECU) Committee Appearance – February 2020

2019-2020 SUPPLEMENTARY ESTIMATES (B) Canadian Security Intelligence Service



The 2019-2020 Supplementary Estimates (B) will result in a net increase of $12.2M or 2.0% to CSIS’ authorities.

Voted Appropriations (New Spending Authorities)

The Canadian Security Intelligence Service has received Treasury Board authority to increase its voted appropriations by $13.4M.

Total Voted Appropriations (New Spending Authorities)                                                                   $13,440,994

Statutory Appropriations

Employee Benefit Plan                                                                                                                                            $46,921


Transfers (From/To Other Government Departments)

The Canadian Security Intelligence Service has transferred ($1.3M) from its appropriations from/to other federal government organizations.

Total Transfers                                                                                                                                              ($1,333,457)

Total increase to Supplementary Estimates (B)                                                                                  $12,154,458

2019-2020 Supplementary Estimates (B)

Issue: What funding is CSIS requesting from Parliament and why? Does CSIS have enough resources to fulfil its mandate? What resources did CSIS receive in Budget 2019?

Key Messages

On why CSIS requires this funding

On whether or not CSIS has enough resources to fulfil its mandate

On the resources CSIS received in Budget 2019

Foreign Interference in Canada’s Democratic Institutions

Issue: What is CSIS’ understanding of this threat? What is CSIS’ role in protecting Canada’s democracy?

Key Messages

On CSIS’ role in protecting Canada’s democratic institutions

On CSIS’ role in the Government’s “Protecting Canada’s Democracy” Initiative

Espionage and Economic Security

Issue: What is CSIS’ role in countering espionage and threats to economic security? What is CSIS’ assessment of this threat? What areas are targeted?

Key Messages

On the targeting of academic research

On CSIS’ role in immigration security screening

On CSIS’ role in reviewing foreign investments

On recent foreign investment transactions

While I cannot comment publically on any specific advice that CSIS has provided or specific transactions, I would note that it is ultimately within the prerogative of the Governor in Council to allow, disallow or impose mitigation measures on investments that would be injurious to Canada’s national security.


Issue: What is CSIS’ role in the ongoing Government review of 5G? Will the Government ban certain companies from participating in 5G implementation in Canada?

Key Messages

On Allied approaches to 5G


Issue: What is CSIS’ assessment of the threat posed by China’s foreign interference activities?  

Key Messages

A 2019 media report revealed that CSIS believes China is aggressively pursuing cyber activities

On the threat faced by universities

Foreign Arrangements

Issue: What is the purpose of CSIS’ foreign arrangements? With which foreign partners does CSIS have an arrangement? How does CSIS consider the human rights records of its foreign partners?

Key Messages

On specific foreign arrangements

On the consideration of CSIS foreign partners’ human rights records

Canadian Extremist Travellers

Issue: What is the threat posed by returning Canadian extremist travellers (CETs)? How many CETs are there? What is CSIS doing to investigate and address this threat?

Key Messages

On the number of Canadian Extremist Travellers and Returnees

On CSIS’ understanding of this threat

Ideologically Motivated Violent Extremism

Issue: What is ideologically motivated violent extremism? What is CSIS’ role and assessment of this threat?

Key Messages

On CSIS’ understanding of the threat

On CSIS’ investigation of this threat

Workplace Climate

Issue: What is CSIS doing to address the workplace issues raised by recent claims from former employees?

Key Messages

On specific measures taken

As the trust of Canadians is essential in order for CSIS to fulfill its mandate, I am committed to keeping Canadians informed on our progress to address these issues.

Community Engagement

Issue: How and why does CSIS engage with Canadian communities?

Key Messages

Lawful Protests

Issue: Is CSIS investigating the protests and blockades currently taking place across Canada?

Key Message

C-59 and Accountability

Issue: Do the additional review and oversight requirements in C-59 – including the creation of the National Security and Intelligence Review Agency (NSIRA) and Intelligence Commissioner –  impede CSIS’ operational effectiveness?

Key Messages

Facial Recognition Technology

Issue: The Privacy Commissioner announced he is launching an investigation into the use of facial recognition technology by the U.S. firm Clearview AI? Is CSIS using this, or other, facial recognition technology?

Key Messages

Security Advice for Travel Abroad

CSIS recently published a document entitled Far From Home which provides security advice to Canadians travelling abroad. What threats should Canadian travellers be aware of?

Key Messages

Privacy Act Breach

CSIS reported a material privacy breach in 2018-19 – how is CSIS protecting the privacy of Canadians?

Key Messages

Reported Mishandling of Documents

Issue: Thirty-eight agencies mishandled a total of 5000 documents in 2019; 52 of them at CSIS – what actions is CSIS taking to remedy this?

Key Messages

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