Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Cabinet overhaul reveals he intends to "move and move quickly" with steep public service cuts and plans to extend his notorious personal control over government affairs into a surprising arena-the oversight of national security and intelligence gathering by a range of military and civilian agencies and departments.......the establishment of an entirely new committee of Cabinet ministers responsible for overseeing national security and intelligence agencies, even intelligence and information gathered through delivery of Canadian aid programs....
The Cabinet Committee on National Security will provide "broad strategic direction for security and foreign policy related to Canada's national interest, and [oversee] Canada's national security response activities," its description in background notes says.
The new panel includes Public Safety Minister Vic Toews (Provencher, Man.), responsible for CSIS and RCMP intelligence gathering, as vice-chair.
Other members are Justice Minister Rob Nicholson (Niagara Falls, Ont.), also attorney general and responsible for other intelligence aspects of policing, security and prosecutions; Defence Minister Peter MacKay (Central Nova, N.S.), who is directly responsible for the government's main electronic eavesdropping and intelligence system, the Communications Security Establishment, and also is responsible for defence department intelligence services; International Cooperation Minister Bev Oda (Durham, Ont.), responsible for foreign aid delivery through the Canadian International Development Agency; newly appointed Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird (Ottawa West-Nepean, Ont.); Immigration Minister Jason Kenney (Calgary Southeast, Alta.), whose department routinely gathers sensitive information abroad and, in its immigration screening, potentially valuable intelligence; and newly appointed Transport Minister Denis Lebel (Roberval-Lac-Saint-Jean, Que.), whose department is responsible for a range of entry points to Canada, as well as intelligence and information gathering.
The Opposition is not invited. This is a GOVERNMENT Committee, not a Parliamentary Committee. That way, for example, it's easier to criminalize those who politically disagree with this sinister regime.
"The way he [Mr. Harper] micro-manages things, he's going to micro-manage that, so we're going to have Cabinet ministers involved in things they shouldn't be involved in," NDP MP Joe Comartin (Windsor-Tecumseh, Ont.) told The Hill Times. He noted the Commons opposition recently called for more Parliamentary oversight of Canada's network of intelligence agencies and services, but he said "that's not Parliamentary oversight, that's government oversight. I didn't get an invitation to join that committee, let me tell you."