Liberals raise concerns about handling of Delisle spy case – call for improved Parliamentary oversight


For Immediate Release
May 30, 2013

OTTAWA – Liberal Public Safety Critic Francis Scarpaleggia M.P., Defence Critics Senator Roméo Dallaire and John McKay M.P., and Foreign Affairs Critic Bob Rae today voiced their deep concern about the Delisle spy case after media reports recounted the frustration of the FBI over the handling of the case by Canadian officials.

Said Mr. Scarpaleggia: “There was a clear lack of coordination and collaboration among Canadian authorities at CSIS which led the FBI to take the dramatic step of informing the RCMP about Mr. Delisle and even to devise a plan to lure him to the U.S. for arrest. Canadians are justifiably concerned about the apparent mishandling of this file.”

Said Mr. McKay: “Delisle should not have been allowed to continue divulging important information and the American authorities are rightly furious. Our colleague in the Senate, Roméo Dallaire, has proposed a motion which would empanel a Special Senate Committee to ‘examine and report on the creation, role and mandate of a potential National Security Committee of Parliamentarians.’

This is a prudent measure which will help Parliament ensure that Canada’s national security infrastructure is functioning as it should and problems are being addressed. I hope to work with fellow Parliamentarians in the House and Senate to study this measure.”

Sen. Dallaire added: “In the end, Canada is lagging behind the rest of the world when it comes to oversight for our intelligence, public security, and anti-terrorism activities.  Parliamentarians lack the tools and the venue they need to do our jobs properly, and to hold these institutions to account on behalf of all Canadians.”

Said Mr. Rae: “Every other major breach of security in Canadian history has been followed by a Judicial inquiry. This should be no different. The Air India reviews clearly pointed to the problem of barriers between CSIS and the RCMP. If this is still the case, we should know about it, and the Harper government should fix it.”