COMMONS
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When CSIS Comes Knocking
Vicky and Supriya talk to human rights activist Monia Mazigh about CSIS's unannounced visits to Muslim men's homes and workplaces.
July 12, 2016

A number of Muslim men have reached out to Monia Mazigh after having CSIS show up unannounced at their homes or workplaces. The intelligence agency has been doing this for years and says the discussions are voluntary, but some people see them as intimidation techniques.

Monia is the national coordinator for the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group. She joins Supriya and Vicky to talk about these CSIS visits, as well as the government’s tabled legislation–Bill C-22–that would create parliamentary oversight of national security agencies.

Read Monia’s Huffington Post article here.

Here’s the full statement we received from CSIS in response to Monia’s concerns about unannounced visits, racial profiling and diversity within the organisation:

Intelligence officers from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) build relationships with individuals and human sources to collect information to advise our government about possible threats to the country.  When it seeks cooperation or assistance of Canadians, CSIS emphasizes the voluntary nature of discussions. The Service ensures that its approach is lawful, ethical, necessary, proportionate to the threat in question, and an effective and efficient means of meeting the operational objective.  We do not employ racial profiling as an operational strategy.

With regard to your question about employment equity and diversity at CSIS, our 2014-15 Employment Equity report identified that visible minorities at CSIS made up 14.8% of the organization, a figure which we are working to improve.  At CSIS, diversity is not only part of the culture, it is a core business strategy. The diversity of the CSIS workforce helps support the achievement of our objectives. It allows us to better understand the demographics of the Canadian communities we protect, therefore better equipping us to collect relevant and accurate intelligence.

Collectively, CSIS employees speak 106 languages.

At the request of the CSIS Director, a gender equity analysis was undertaken in 2015 to determine if there are barriers to female progression into the senior management levels of the organization and, if so, to establish an action plan to address the issues. As of March 31, 2016, females occupied 33% of all CSIS executive level positions, with females accounting for 42% of the senior executive committee.

Kind regards,

RO

Roxanne Ouellette

A/Chief, Public Affairs|Chef intérimaire, Les Affaires Publiques

Communications Branch|Bureau des communications

Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS)|Service canadien du renseignement de sécurité (SCRS)

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