Canada's spy watchdog mired in controversy

Doctor appointed to spy review board under scrutiny

An oncologist and hospital administrator federally appointed to head Canada’s Security and Intelligence Review Committee was reportedly involved in a business deal with a Montrealer allegedly connected to coup plots and arms deals in developing countries, the Globe and Mail reported on Tuesday. SIRC’s chairman Arthur Porter allegedly wired $200,000 to Montreal-based consultant Ari Ben-Menashe for him to secure millions of dollars in infrastructure investments in Porter’s native Sierra Leone. Though the deal is neither illegal not an obvious conflict of interest, it does reflect at least bad judgement by a federal appointee with access to highly classified information held by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service. In a further development bound to raise eyebrows in Ottawa, the National Post reported today that Dr. Porter offered Canadian Senator David Angus the position of honorary consul general to Sierra Leone in casual conversations. Angus is chairman of the McGill University Health Centre, a role that essentially puts him a notch above Porter, who is the organization’s chief executive.

National Post

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