“These are all exceptional employees of CSIS. They’re the people that we need on the ground dealing with national security issues, representing minority populations that are so important. And it’s a catastrophe for Canadians that we aren’t able to keep these people in place.”
John Phillips — Lawyer
Five employees of Canada’s spy service have launched a C$35m lawsuit against their employer, seeking damages after years of alleged bullying in a workplace. Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY
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The allegations against the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), documented in a statement of claim filed this week in Federal Court.
The agency is the latest Canadian security force to be rocked by accusations of inappropriate behaviour.
“In November, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police formally apologised and earmarked C$100m for payouts to hundreds of current and former female officers who were subjected to sexual harassment and discrimination, while a 2015 investigation into the Canadian armed forces uncovered widespread sexual misconduct and hostility towards minorities and women.” [Guardian]
Statement from CSIS director on allegations of harassment
Ottawa, ON – The Director of CSIS, David Vigneault, made the following statement today in response to allegations of harassment of CSIS employees:
“The Canadian Security Intelligence Service takes any allegation of inappropriate behaviour very seriously. I believe strongly in leading an organization where every employee promotes a work environment which is free from harassment and conducive to the equitable treatment of all individuals. CSIS employees are proud to be entrusted to carry out the very important work that we do. The Service prides itself on being a top employer and creating a healthy and respectful workplace of inclusion, where diversity is representative of our strength.
I would like to reinforce that, as an organization, CSIS does not tolerate harassment, discrimination or bullying under any circumstances. The Service’s values and ethics must be reflected in all of our behaviours and decision-making, and reflect the CSIS Employee Code of Conduct principles of respect for democracy, respect for people, integrity, stewardship, and professional excellence.
Employees are always encouraged to report any real, potential or perceived incidents of harassment, without fear of reprisal, to their supervisor or senior management.
As this matter is now before the court, CSIS will not make any further public comment regarding these allegations.”
About David Vigneault
In June 2017, David Vigneault became the ninth Director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS). Mr. Vigneault returned to a leadership role at the Service after serving in a number of posts across the greater security and intelligence community.
Professional Experience — Prior to his appointment as Director, Mr. Vigneault served as Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet, Security and Intelligence, Privy Council Office from 2013-2017.
From 2010-2013, Mr. Vigneault served as Associate Vice-President, Program Operations, Canada Border Services Agency. Prior to that, he held senior executive positions at CSIS, serving as the Assistant Director, Intelligence, and Assistant Director, Secretariat.
Mr. Vigneault also served as Director, Transnational Security at the Communications Security Establishment, and at the Department of National Defence as the Executive Assistant to the Deputy Minister.
Education — Mr. Vigneault has a Master of Arts (Political Science) from the Université de Montreal and a Bachelor of Arts (Political Science) from the Université Laval. [CSIS]
CSIS is at the forefront of Canada’s national security establishment, employing some of the country’s most dedicated and capable men and women.
The Service’s role is to investigate activities suspected of constituting threats to the security of Canada, and to report on these to the Government of Canada. CSIS may also take measures to reduce threats to the security of Canada in accordance with well-defined legal requirements and Ministerial Direction.
CSIS collects and analyzes threat-related information, which is typically disseminated to government partners though intelligence reports and other intelligence products. Key threats include terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, espionage, foreign interference and cyber-tampering affecting critical infrastructure. CSIS programs are proactive and pre-emptive.
Through its Security Screening Program, CSIS prevents non-Canadians who pose security concerns from entering Canada or receiving permanent resident status or citizenship. The Service also safeguards the confidential information of the Government of Canada from foreign governments and other entities that may present a risk.
However, countering terrorist violence is the top priority for CSIS. Terrorism, which has become a global phenomenon, is a very real threat to our national security. Terrorists and their supporters come from a variety of countries, cultures, political systems and socio-economic backgrounds. They include both highly educated elites and more humble “foot soldiers.”
Followers are recruited from around the world, including our own country. CSIS strives to prevent terrorist acts from being planned in Canada, from occurring on Canadian territory and from affecting Canadian citizens and assets abroad. [CSIS]
CSIS activities and services can be grouped in the following categories:
Intelligence Collection and Analysis
Sharing Information with the Public
Reaching out to Experts
Canadian Security Intelligence Service | CSIS
Statement from CSIS director on allegations of harassment — Canadian Security Intelligence Service
Trudeau taps career security official to head Canada’s spy agency — CTV NEWS
Canada spy service workers sue agency over alleged racist, sexist bullying — Guardian
CANADA — Statement from CSIS director on allegations of harassment