Today's discussion:

Canada needs its own CIA

Our country is the only Five Eyes member without a foreign intelligence service. We cannot expect others to keep as watchful an eye on our well-being as they do their own. Our allies simply will not always have the same incentives or motivations that we do. Canada's overall security and interests must ultimately rest in Canadian hands.

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Comments (10)

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Paul Attics

For good and ill, we benefit immensely from the geographical proximity to, strategic alignment, and cultural affinity with, the United States. Perhaps Canada could increase its contribution to Five Eyes and our wider alliances in other ways with more value to us (robust , high profile, and ongoing exercise of our sovereignty in the Canadian North for example)? Yes, this is not an either/or question.

15th February 2024 at 7:57 am
Michael F

I agree Paul. We need to assert our sovereignty in the far north before someone takes it from us. Our armed forces need bases in the far north and the equipment to protect our northern frontier.

15th February 2024 at 12:18 pm
RJKWells

The obstacles of not having our own foreign intelligence service are apparent whenever an event somewhere in the world triggers the need for a response. Ottawa is consistently the last among its allies to issue a statement or take actions that counter the threats they pose to our national security and interests. Relying on the goodwill of allies with credible intelligence services to give our leaders what they need to make informed decisions is hardly the way to independently advance our own interests or proactively reduce the risks posed to Canadians.

15th February 2024 at 3:29 pm
Richard Courtemanche

Before considering anything like this, let’s fix the many problems by establishing competent and accountable governments and institutions. You can’t add good apples to a table full of bad ones. Generally speaking, a CIA might be too extreme for our purpose. Hopefully, Trudeau and his servants are only entitled to minimal sensitive information already.

15th February 2024 at 10:20 am
Paul Attics

Are you willing and able to provide examples of how governments and institutions are unaccountable (which and how)? I am assuming accountable means something like ‘subject to blame and consequences for something that they have responsibility for, authority over, and capability to impact.’

Competency, although just as important, is a much more opinion-based, and likely, much easier to find examples of.

As a general principle, I would agree, adding functionality to a system that is not functioning effectively, let alone optimally, is not a good idea. It could easily make matters worse.

15th February 2024 at 12:20 pm
Michael F

You do this comment board a disservice with your constant unhinged rants. Wouldn’t you be better served posting on the National Post or whatever other tabloid rag that serves your ilk?

15th February 2024 at 12:15 pm
SH

Your MAGA hat is on too tight!

15th February 2024 at 1:13 pm
Dorothy Turcotte

I have often wondered why Canada doesn’t have its own CIA. Now I know. We’re just “too nice”. In these worrisome times, we need to toughen up and start looking after ourselves. If we don’t, we can’t expect our allies to step up and do the job.

15th February 2024 at 7:21 am
Herb Latchko

David Frum: the man who brought us the War in Iraq …

15th February 2024 at 3:57 pm
Michael F

So add another expensive bureaucratic government agency? One week you guys moan about a bloated government and too many many civil servants and the next you’re advocating for more. Let me guess, you’ll happily add spies and cut social programs so we can be even more like the US? A US that happened to have another mass shooting yesterday at a Superbowl celebration? No thanks. How much does Australia spend on their version of intelligence agencies? That would be an appropriate starting point.

15th February 2024 at 12:12 pm