CSIS Inspector General Certificate – 2000

Below is a copy of the contents of the following Government of Canada webpage as it appeared on May 8, 2012:
http://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/abt/wwa/igcsis/cert2000-eng.aspx.

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Submitted to:

Solicitor General of Canada pursuant to Subsection 33(2) of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service Act

This is the text of the Inspector General of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service’s 2000 Certificate Made Public (January 2001) Pursuant to a Request Under Canada’s Access to Information Act
(The 2000 Certificate was classified SECRET when submitted to the Solicitor General of Canada in November 2000)
(The symbol [––] represents classified information removed from the document.)

Forward [sic]

Section 33 (2) of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service Act requires that I submit to you a certificate stating the extent to which I am satisfied with the Director’s annual report to you. It also provides that I state whether, in my opinion, the Service has done anything, in the time period covered by the report, which is not authorized by the Act, has contravened any Ministerial directions, or has involved the unreasonable or unnecessary use of its powers.

Without belabouring the point, I would like to mention that my first Certificate has naturally enough been constrained by the particular circumstances involved in its preparation: my having been appointed to the office five months after the beginning of the review period, and the time required to staff the Office with a core group of new reviewers and to orient them to our functions. These factors considerably shortened the time available in which to carry out our review and monitoring work. Neither of them will constrain our work in the current year.

Under the Act, the Director is fully accountable to you for his control and management of the Service. In addition, you are supported by the counsel of the Deputy Solicitor General with respect to operational and policy matters. I can best support you in your responsibility for the Service by introducing an independent and external perspective to the Service’s work. My Office will be vigorous in looking at a wide selection of CSIS operational activities and policies. After our internal evaluation, we will determine what issues ought to be pursued with the Service, and what kind of mutually satisfactory options lie at hand for their resolution. I will bring to your personal attention only matters of sufficient gravity that have not been successfully resolved with the Director.

In this connection, the tenor of my Office’s dealings with the Service is critical. That is why I have attached particular priority to developing and maintaining a healthy working relationship with CSIS at all levels of contact, while at the same time always making clear and respecting our separate and distinct roles in the national security system. I have also personally stressed with CSIS senior officials how crucial it is for the Service to be as transparent as possible in its dealings with my Office so that any issues or concerns can be identified and addressed expeditiously before becoming more serious.

Certification: Director’s Annual Report

Subject to the particular circumstances mentioned above, I am fully satisfied with the Director’s annual report to you for the period 1999-2000. In my opinion, the Service has not acted beyond the framework of its statutory authority, has not contravened any Ministerial Directions, and has not exercised its powers unreasonably or unnecessarily.

Future annual reports

This year’s Report contains a wealth of information, often in considerable detail. However, the Director and I are agreed that you would be better served by a modification to the form in which the Report is presented to you. The original intention of the Act was for concise and focused reporting from the Director to the Minister as often as specified by the latter but no less frequently than every twelve months. The Director and I have agreed that in future, Annual Reports will specifically focus on the highlights of the Service’s activities for the reporting period, and include any serious issues with respect to operational activities, public policy, potential controversy, and anticipated challenges in fulfilling the Service’s mandate. Supplementary detailed data and information of the kind contained in this year’s Annual Report will still be available for examination by the Deputy Solicitor General, the Security Intelligence Review Committee, and my Office. In order to keep the Report as concise, focused, and readable as possible, any reporting requirements set out in Ministerial Directions will be addressed separately from the Director’s Annual Report to you.

Inspector General reviews

 

Security intelligence reports & s. 40.1 Immigration Act

I would like to draw your attention to a review conducted by my Office because I believe it might be of particular interest to you. You co-signed a certificate under the Immigration Act, which was subsequently judged to be “not reasonable” and was quashed by Mr. Justice Cullen.

On November 2, 1999, Mr. Justice Cullen of the Federal Court of Canada rendered a decision in the matter of the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and Mahmoud Jaballah under section 40.1 of the Immigration Act. This proceeding sought to have Jaballah, who was not a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident, declared “inadmissible to Canada” because of his past and current associations and activities related to terrorism. This was the first stage of a two-stage process to have Jaballah eventually “removed from Canada” which was initiated by a security certificate signed by the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and the Solicitor General on the basis of a security intelligence report prepared by the Service. In his decision, Mr. Justice Cullen determined that the security certificate was “not reasonable” and quashed it.

The objectives of our review were to determine:

1. whether the Service’s security intelligence report was a credible, balanced and accurate representation of the case against Jaballah; and
2. whether the case against Jaballah was presented well enough to meet the requirements of section 19(1) of the Immigration Act of “reasonable grounds to believe”.

Our assessment of the security intelligence report concluded that it was a well-founded account of an accurate, credible, and balanced case, which also met the legal requirements of section 19(1) of the Immigration Act of “reasonable grounds to believe”. It was difficult to follow the reasoning of the Court in reaching the decision that it did.

Even though this security certificate was an accurate presentation of the facts, we took note of and encouraged Service initiatives underway that would make security intelligence reports more cogent and compelling when presented to the Court. [––].

Conclusions

Important initiatives have been taken to enhance support for you in your Ministerial responsibility for the Service. The Director’s Annual Report will henceforth be submitted in a more readable form, focusing on matters of Ministerial interest, concern, or decision-making. All the additional statistical and factual data now included in the Director’s Annual Report will still be available for examination at the Service. My Office will maintain its efforts to develop a professional and productive relationship with the Service to better support you by resolving issues of concern before they reach serious proportions.

Next year’s Certificate will be based on considerably more information than was the case this year. I expect, therefore, to submit it to you with a high degree of confidence as to its accuracy.

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