Letter to the editor of the Toronto Star


To the editor:

Re: What to do if CSIS comes knocking

I wanted to take this opportunity to respond to the portrayal of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service in the opinion piece written by Nader R. Hasan and Anver Emon, What to do if CSIS comes knocking, that was published on August 12, 2019.

In the piece, what’s most troubling is the sentiment that Muslim students are being singled-out and have something to fear. This is categorically false.

As Canada’s national intelligence service, CSIS regularly engages with Canadians on issues related to our national security mandate. When we seek cooperation or assistance from Canadians, we emphasize that discussions are voluntary. Our approach is lawful, ethical, necessary, and proportionate. In instances where CSIS investigations cross paths with individuals associated with Canadian fundamental institutions such as religious institutions and academia, additional safeguards and requirements are put in place.

At CSIS, building and maintaining the trust and confidence of Canadians is something we strive to do each and every day. It is fundamental to our legitimacy, operational effectiveness, and institutional credibility. Frankly, we would have it no other way.

David Vigneault
Director, Canadian Security Intelligence Service

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