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Wed Jun 12, 2013, 03:26 PM

Opposition seeks parliamentary oversight of Canada’s spy agencies

....CSEC has been spared any significant increase in oversight, and faces no parliamentary monitoring, even though it has grown from a staff of 900 and a budget of $140 million in 2001, to 1,950 staff and a $350-million budget in 2012.

..not to mention "Camelot", their new $880-million, 775,000 sq ft. new digs under construction.

Similarly, the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service is overseen by the Security Intelligence Review Committee, but otherwise has no parliamentarians involved in the accountability process.

NDP defence critic Jack Harris said parliamentary oversight is necessary to ensure a proper balance between privacy and national security, and he called for some type of mechanism by which members of all parties could be approved to review secret information.

Such an initiative has been proposed in the past, most recently by Liberal Sen. Romeo Dallaire after the federal auditor general’s report found $3.1 billion in anti-terrorism spending was unaccounted for.

Some bipartisan oversight by our elected officials is long overdue.

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