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Harper Gov't Cuts Independent CSIS Watchdog To 'Save Money'


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Axing CSIS watchdog 'huge loss' for Canadians, says former inspector general

OTTAWA - The former inspector general of Canada's spy service says the government's decision to abolish her office is "a huge loss" to the important task of keeping an eye on CSIS.

Eva Plunkett retired last December and the Conservative government subsequently scrapped her watchdog role, saying it would save money and eliminate duplication. The government says the Security Intelligence Review Committee — a panel of appointees that reports to Parliament — will take over the inspector general's functions.

In her first public comments on the matter, Eva Plunkett says it is "ridiculous" to think the review committee could do the same job of probing the Canadian Security Intelligence Service.

She says the two watchdogs were different bodies with distinct roles.

As inspector general, Plunkett served as the public safety minister's eyes and ears on the intelligence service — a sort of early warning system to point out brewing problems.


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