National Newswatch

The terrorist threat posed by lone actors is ‘difficult to detect,’ says federal report

May 19 2022 — Catharine Tunney — Violent extremists in Canada have the “intent and capability” to commit acts of terrorism, but detecting attacks by lone actors or small groups before they happen is “difficult,” says an internal threat assessment conducted for the federal government last year. The warning is found in a threat analysis prepared by the federal government’s Integrated Terrorism […]

CSIS was concerned about extremist violence, recruitment amid Freedom Convoy: top spy

May 11 2022 — Catharine Tunney — Canada’s spy agency was concerned extremists might commit violence and recruit members when the Freedom Convoy rolled into Ottawa earlier this year, its director told lawmakers on Tuesday night. But David Vigneault, director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), said he could not provide specific examples, citing classified intelligence. “We have seen a number […]

RCMP officers quit after being asked to arrest national security target with no details, report says

Apr 28 2022 — Catharine Tunney — Information-sharing between intelligence officers and police needs an overhaul — and it could start with informing police of the reasons behind national security arrests — says a newly obtained internal report looking at the often fraught relationship between Canada’s spy agency and the RCMP. In one instance, officers in one of the RCMP’s national security […]

Ottawa needs more codebreakers — but spy agency says finding them isn’t easy

Apr 24 2022 — Catharine Tunney — The federal government has pledged nearly a billion dollars to strengthen its cybersecurity capabilities — but even the security agency tasked with the bulk of that work acknowledges that recruitment is challenging. Canada’s electronic spy agency, the Communications Security Establishment, is set to receive a large influx of funding to launch cyber operations and ward […]

Federal department gave money to magazine publishing pandemic misinformation

Mar 11 2022 — Catharine Tunney — As the federal government was promising to tackle harmful false claims about the pandemic spreading online, it was giving thousands of dollars to a magazine spreading vaccine misinformation — including unsubstantiated claims that COVID-19 vaccines could cause cancer in children. The Department of Canadian Heritage, which helps to oversee the government’s response to a rising […]

Mounties used emergency powers as a ‘big deterrent,’ says head of RCMP

Feb 25 2022 — Catharine Tunney — The head of the RCMP says the powers given to her officers through the Emergencies Act served as “a big deterrent” in policing anti-vaccine mandate protests that occupied the streets of downtown Ottawa for nearly a month. Commissioner Brenda Lucki’s remarks before a parliamentary committee Friday afternoon come during a heated political debate over whether […]

Trudeau government invokes Emergencies Act in response to protests

Feb 14 2022 — Catharine Tunney — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has told his caucus he will invoke the never-before-used Emergencies Act to give the federal government extra powers to handle anti-vaccine mandate protests, sources say. Those sources, who were not authorized to speak publicly, said the prime minister informed the premiers of his decision this morning. The Emergencies Act, which replaced […]