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NSIRA considers transparency and independence to be fundamental values at the core of its mandate. While safeguarding information that could compromise national security, NSIRA is committed to transparency and promoting democratic accountability in every possible way through its work. Through its reviews, NSIRA acts as proxy for the public and serves to enhance the trust in Canada’s oversight and review mechanisms. NSIRA has designed, scoped, and begun its review on foreign interference in the 43rd and 44th Canadian federal elections exercising this independence. In the spirit of transparency and clarity, NSIRA underscores that while the subject matter of NSIRA’s review overlaps with matters contained in NSICOP’s ongoing review and the Independent Special Rapporteur’s (ISR) report of 23 May 2023, NSIRA’s review has a different scope and follows NSIRA’s own methodology as demonstrated by its published Terms of Reference . While there may be an opportunity in NSIRA’s final report to note any observations or findings related to the ISR’s work, the purpose of NSIRA’s report is to present findings and recommendations from NSIRA’s review.
NSIRA notes that the ISR suggested that “all the documents that were provided to (him) should be provided to NSICOP and NSIRA for them to review comprehensively and identify any different conclusions than (his).” Subsequently, the government provided NSIRA with a limited number of documents originally withheld for Cabinet Confidence. In all its reviews, NSIRA requires reviewees to adhere to the NSIRA Expectations for Responsiveness in Reviews. This expectation goes to NSIRA’s independence and to the integrity of its reviews. If NSIRA is to review Cabinet confidences, it must be able to review all Cabinet confidences relevant to its review. The NSIRA Chair has sent a letter to the Prime Minister requesting that all Cabinet confidence documents related to NSIRA’s review be released to the Review Agency, and that all documents provided during the course of the review be without redaction for Cabinet confidence. A copy of that letter is published on NSIRA’s website, available online here.
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