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Canada's Conservatives to Set up New Anti-Terror Spy Agency
2006-1-7 8:52:23
Canada's Conservative Party Leader, Stephen Harper, said on Friday his government would set up a separate foreign spy agency to "independently counter threats before they reach Canada."

"We're going to create a distinct organization through legislation," Harper said at a campaign stop in Bolton, north of Toronto.

The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), the country's existing civilian spy agency, operates on the domestic front, has mounted specific operations in other countries.

Harper said that the Canadian Foreign Intelligence Agency, when created, would fall under the guise of a new security czar, who would co-ordinate the activities of CSIS, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Canadian Coast Guard and the Canada Border Services Agency.

Since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on Washington and New York, the Liberal government has debated whether to redefine CSIS' role -- or simply create a new, stand-alone agency.

Harper said the time for discussion is over, given the precarious state of international security.

Yet he said he was not prepared to create a whole new bureaucracy the way the Americans did with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Testifying before a Commons committee in 2004, former CSIS director Ward Elcock predicted terrorists would eventually strike at Canada and that his operatives had prevented two such attacks.

(Source: Xinhua)
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