NDP calls for investigation into ‘shocking’ allegations of racist, anti-gay and anti-Muslim harassment at Canada’s spy agency

By Michelle Shephard
Toronto Star | July 14, 2017

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale says he is taking seriously allegations that management at Canada’s spy service operates an “old boy’s club” where employees fear reprisal if they speak out against their bosses’ Islamophobic, racist or anti-gay slurs.

Goodale said in a statement that he will ensure CSIS is a workplace “free from harassment,” but did not directly address calls by the NDP and a Muslim civil rights group to order an immediate investigation into the management culture at the Canadian Security Intelligence Service.

The damning allegations that working at CSIS means enduring a toxic environment surfaced this week as part of a $35-million lawsuit launched by five intelligence officers and analysts.

The Toronto Star first reported Thursday about the 54-page statement of claim about one of the country’s most secretive agencies.

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The National Council of Canadian Muslims also issued a statement Friday demanding an investigation.

“For several years, concerns have been frequently raised about racial profiling and discrimination by CSIS against Canadian Muslim communities, and against other minorities. If proven, these allegations point to a poisonous culture within the Service and raise questions about its ability to carry out its mandate for the benefit of all Canadians without discrimination,” wrote NCCM’s Executive Director Ihsaan Gardee.

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