Tories would create security czar post
By KATHLEEN HARRIS, OTTAWA BUREAU
OTTAWA -- Canada needs an arm's-length security czar to fend off terrorist threats, says Conservative Leader Stephen Harper.
Addressing delegates of the International Democratic Union in Washington yesterday, Harper announced a Conservative government would create the office of a Commissioner of National Security to co-ordinate Canada's security agencies.
He also vowed to "reverse the record" of Liberal governments that have gutted funding to military, peacekeeping and foreign aid programs.
"A new Conservative government will do significantly more to contribute to its own national security, to continental security in alliance with the United States and to global security in concert with all free nations," Harper said.
Conservative party spokesman William Stairs said details of the commissioner's job would be fleshed out in coming months, but the primary mandate is to pull together efforts to protect Canada from terrorist attacks from abroad and from within.
The commissioner would draw on resources of police and intelligence agencies to develop "overarching" plans to strengthen and better integrate Canada's security network.
"The main idea is to have someone there overall, someone co-ordinating everything," Stairs said.