CSIS director says foreign influence problem is real

Confidential report to minister warns of 'clandestine efforts by foreign governments'

In a confidential report to Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, CSIS director Richard Fadden warned that “clandestine efforts by foreign governments to influence our officials, policies and communities” are ongoing, adding those targeted by the efforts are “subject to threats, coercion or potential blackmail.” Fadden wrote the report following a controversial interview with the CBC during which Canada’s top spy claimed that public officials in Canada are under the thumb of foreign governments. The investigation of foreign interference presents “several challenges” to CSIS, the director wrote, notably having to distinguish between foreign interference and legitimate lobbying.

CBC News

Looking for more?

Get the best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.