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CSIS warrant examination of ‘critical importance’ to Canadians: watchdog chair

OTTAWA — The national intelligence watchdog has begun its look into the failure of Canada’s spy service to disclose crucial information when seeking warrants.

Murray Rankin, chairman of the National Security and Intelligence Review Agency, says two of the agency’s members are planning how to go about the study.

In an interview, Rankin says the examination is of “critical importance” to Canadians and the agency has the tools to get to the bottom of the matter.

A federal judge called for a comprehensive review after ruling the Canadian Security Intelligence Service failed to disclose its reliance on information that was likely collected illegally in support of warrants to probe extremism.

In his ruling released Thursday, Federal Court Justice Patrick Gleeson found the spy service breached its duty of candour to the court, part of a troubling pattern dating back years.

Rankin says there’s a sense of urgency about the review agency’s study but added the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic make it difficult to say when the work will be done.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 17, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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