Watchdog: Intelligence Gathering Unit Puts Canadian Diplomats in Legal 'Gray Zone'

    Photo: President of Ukraine [via Wikimedia Commons]

    The Facts

    • Canada's National Security and Intelligence Review Agency said in a newly released report that a controversial intelligence unit within Global Affairs Canada (GAC) operates in a "gray zone" between an intelligence service and regular diplomatic reporting, potentially exposing diplomats to retaliatory measures abroad.

    • According to the watchdog, the Global Security Reporting Program (GSRP) could cause unnecessary reputational harm to Canada due to inadequate training and insufficient understanding of diplomatic conventions.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    Global Affairs Canada has irresponsibly put Canada's interests and security, as well as its diplomats and GRSP contacts in danger, as the department wrongfully insists that diplomatic personnel could gain access to protected or classified information without violating the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. The GSPR must have its operational basis properly reformed to avoid becoming an even bigger problem for Canada.

    Narrative B

    It would be foolish to change a decades-old, successful program that delivers high-quality political reports, such as the GRSP, based on media hysteria and ill-founded allegations. The fact that China detained Kovrig and Spavor as hostages to be exchanged for a Chinese national arrested in Canada has nothing to do with this alleged "gray zone," as neither of them enjoyed diplomatic immunities.

    Nerd narrative

    There's an 80% chance that Pierre Poilievre will become Prime Minister of Canada before 2026, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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