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CSIS director Richard Fadden. (Bill Grimshaw for The Globe and Mail)
CSIS director Richard Fadden. (Bill Grimshaw for The Globe and Mail)

CSIS boss to explain allegations of foreign espionage Add to ...

The head of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service will be asked to publicly explain his allegations that two unnamed provincial cabinet ministers and a number of municipal politicians from British Columbia are being influenced by foreign governments.

Richard Fadden has been summoned to appear before the Commons Public Safety committee on Monday.

Mr. Fadden caused an uproar last week when the CBC aired an interview in which he talked about the alleged influence and said he had discussed the matter with the Privy Council Office, which is the bureaucratic arm of the Prime Minister's Office. He retracted that statement the following day.

Mark Holland, the Liberal Public Safety critic, then circulated a motion to all members of the Public Safety committee asking that it be recalled so MPs could question the CSIS head about the statements. Members of his staff said that, in the end, all parties including the Conservatives agreed that a special meeting should be held and that Mr. Fadden should be called as a witness.

Mr. Fadden did not mention China during the interview with the CBC but did not deny that China was the country that is alleged to be exerting its influence.

Some pundits have speculated that he will lose his job as a result of the loose-lipped remarks. But others say that would be irresponsible given Mr. Fadden's long and distinguished career as a public servant.

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