David Vigneault

David Vigneault spoke 236 times across 2 days of testimony.

  1. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    David Vigneault; D-a-v-i-d, V- i-g-n-e-a-u-l-t.


  2. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)



  3. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    Yes. So I’ve been appointed the Director of CSIS in June 2017. In those functions, I have the full responsibility and authority over the organization, and I am supported by a group of senior executives, including Madam Tessier here with me today. And I can go into further details about the mandate or the organization now or later.


  4. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)



  5. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    Yes, it is.


  6. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    So, of course, after reviewing carefully the material, I need to satisfy myself that I concur with the analysis, and I can, you know, agree or disagree with the recommendation to set the threat level. And so I do that, as Madam Chayer described, regularly during the year, or as required if there is a specific incident that, you know, happens in between those set time periods.


  7. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    M'hm. The way it works is that it could be a combination of, you know, regular dialogue, and so while the assessment is being made, you know, Madam Chayer and I will have part of different meetings. We discuss the terrorism issues in Canada and abroad. And so our common understanding it will be formed through those discussions, and it happens also that, you know, when I receive the formal material, I will ask to sit down with the Executive Director of ITAC to formally question some elements, to make sure that I understand exactly what's the basis of the analysis and make sure that I'm comfortable with such analysis, and then I'm the position to make the determination of the threat level.


  8. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)



  9. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    I think that's -- the purpose here is I think is the best definition, unless you want to elaborate more, but totally agree with what was said here.


  10. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    Maybe I will answer on this one. I think it's not just a question of mis-information, dis-information because that is in and of itself not something that, you know, we need to be aware of it, conscious of it, but it's not something that we need to determine ourselves. The -- it's more linking back to the intent and the capabilities of the individual. So unfortunately, social media, internet is full of information that is misleading, that could be mis-information, as Ms. Tessier described, could be also purposefully misleading, so that would be dis-information. So I think, you know, we're more interested in understanding the dynamic and then apply that understanding to our analysis of specific activities, specific individuals. So I think that will be more -- a better description of how we, the Service, would be conscious and aware and apply those principles.


  11. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    Yeah, because what we have seen, unfortunately, a number of the individuals that -- who have perpetrated acts of terrorism, in Canada, we've had, you know, since 2014, we have 25 people who have been killed by terroristic activities by people who were motivated by violent extremist ideologies. And so when you dissect, deconstruct their motivation, often because they left manifestos or writings behind and so on, you see a conflation of different issues, it could be, you know, xenophobic ideology. And then when you start to look at the material and the understanding, you realise that there is a lot of mis-information, dis-information that is weaved into their writings or their understanding that creates that belief of these individuals that they must act. So that's why we, CSIS, will need to have that kind of awareness, not because we will be interested, you know, in every mis-information, dis-information that exists, but that reality informs the threat-related activity of -- that we must investigate.


  12. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    So maybe if I can step back a little bit just to make sure that we provide the Commission with the best possible overview. We, of course, have been, you know, aware, generally aware of, you know, what's happening in our country. We have seen the tension that, you know, was created by reticence or a different perspective on public health measures. We saw, of course, the -- in the mid-January when the government mandate on the -- that will apply to truckers, you know, came -- what was being discussed and what was about to take effect, we saw this kind of, you know, increasing volatility and intensity of being -- opposing those measures. So we kept a general awareness of that. We saw some subjects of investigation of CSIS, so the individuals who were already meeting the thresholds that Ms. Tessier described earlier. Started to get interested in the discussion and discussing potential ways of engaging. And so at that point, we started to engage more resources, both in our Headquarters in terms of analytical understanding, but also across the region. CSIS is an intelligence organisation that has offices across the country and across the world. So we started to engage our regional offices in Canada, and in some stations abroad to better understand the dynamic. And -- so we that evolution, you know, of our -- or the intensity of our work, you know, followed the events of January and February.


  13. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)



  14. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    As was mentioned earlier, we are prevented by law to investigate protests and lawful dissent. We have -- we're not investigating the convoy itself. Our interest is to understand how that dynamic is potentially influencing individuals who may -- individuals that were known already to CSIS, and others potentially to radicalise further and engage in potential threat-related activity. So we were not investigating the convoy.


  15. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    I would maybe clarify, Commissioner. I would say, you know, we were of course, you know, focussing on our subject of investigations, but also, the dynamic of such events is that you have people, sometimes it can refer to lone wolves or individuals who might be further radicalised by the protest. And so our work was to engage with our federal partners, with law enforcement at the federal, provincial, municipal level in Ottawa and across the country to understand how potentially what was happening in the protest world, if I can put it this way, could have an influence on individuals who may -- those who were known already to us, are subject to investigations or others who could be radicalized. So it was essentially a two-fold analysis, making sure we understood what our subject investigations were doing, associating with and so on, but also understanding who were others who could potentially radicalize, who could potentially start to recruit and meet others to further threat-related activity. And so that focus is one that we maintain from the beginning till the end. And to a large extent that’s what we continue to do, is we always make sure that, you know, we don’t have tunnel vision in our analysis; is that we challenge ourselves on an ongoing basis to make sure that our perspective of threat-related activity is not just, you know, linear and doesn’t change. We were, on an ongoing basis, because of that exchange of information with other organizations, challenging ourselves to make sure do we really understand well the dynamic here, and how does this apply to the CSIS Act, and how are our intelligence professionals are executing.


  16. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    Our -- yes. Our targets, but also looking at the broader perspective to see if others would eventually engage in such activity that they could become subject of investigations.


  17. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)



  18. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)



  19. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    As per the title, these are notes that were prepared for a senior executive in the organization, Ms. Tessier or myself, to brief outside partners; in this case would be Minister Mendicino, Minister of Public Safety, who I report to ---


  20. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    --- as Director of CSIS.


  21. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    Yeah, well, I think we can describe it.


  22. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    Yeah, I trust that those dates are accurate, yeah.


  23. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    So, I think as we were just describing in the previous exchange is that we had already an awareness of a number of individuals in Canada, were engaged in activities that met our threshold for 2(c) investigations. And so we were aware, we -- that some of these individuals were interested in the -- paying a lot of close interest to the convoy, and trying to understand, you know, what it meant, saw potential opportunities, and so we were looking at those individuals. So these are the knowns -- known actors, if you want. Our work as well is to make sure, as I mentioned, that we don’t have tunnel vision; that we just don’t look at what we know, but also in this context of other people who might be influence by the events, by some specific decision, by the government, some specific radical rhetoric online to say, “It is my time; I need to do something.” So our professional’s thesis and in ITAC are trained to really understand well the distinctions we’re talking about, about 2 (c)and so on; about what is lawful dissent and protest versus what are activities that could be potentially, you know, threat-related activity under the CSIS Act. So this is a description of that -- at high level of that type of work that was ongoing during that period.


  24. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    Yes. Essentially at that point, you know, late January, we’re looking at such an activity because, based on, again, experience of our professionals, we have seen individuals who seize opportunities to engage in those acts, either because they had previous beliefs, or by -- because they are in events or activities, or what they might read, consume, in terms of information, is radicalizing them extremely quickly. And some ---


  25. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)



  26. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    I would not necessarily character -- say there’s no risk, as just that we’re not aware of it. And so I think, you know, it is a -- I think Ms. Tessier used the expression earlier, “It’s not an exact science”. And what I think is very important to remember as -- in this event and other events of the sort that we’ve seen in the US, in other -- in other democracies is that there could be a very quick turn of events, you know, there could be very -- could -- radicalization or shift in the dynamic of these. So at that point we did not see, so the 27th when this -- the report was written, we were not seeing any tangible plots of violence, but that’s not to say that there was no risk. And that’s why we were, as I said earlier, engaging all necessary resources in Ottawa and across the country to understand what was happening.


  27. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    Yes, I do.


  28. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    Yes. This is a -- as the title explains, “Analytical Brief,” so it’s prepared by a senior analyst -- intelligence analyst within CSIS to try to contextualize, provide an assessment of some information or facts that may -- that appear. And it’s to use their expert knowledge and apply analytical tradecraft to take facts and events and try to make some sense out of them, so that we have an understanding within the Service and ITAC of what this means. And this distribution here also means that it would have been shared more broadly, across government. So it’s to have CSIS, you know, share our analysis with other members of the government about a specific event.


  29. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    This would have been shared -- actually at this level of classification, it would have been shared very broadly across government -- federal government. So we’re talking, you know, most departments across the federal government, and many individuals within each department ---


  30. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    --- and specifically -- sorry; specifically that would have been for sure the analytical intelligence branches of the key government departments involved in the monitoring of the activities of the Freedom Convoy and associated demonstrations.


  31. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)



  32. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    I’m not sure that this is - - I think the purpose of this was more to, again, use the expertise of CSIS IMVE analysts to try to share with other groups, individuals, organizations, that may not be as familiar as CSIS is on these issues, to say that, you know, we have seen in the past, you know, people waving flags at different demonstrations, and when you do the analysis, it’s not to say that, you know, there were a large number of people associated with those flags. It could be here it is essentially there was a number of commentary made in the media and other places that trying to draw an inference between if there is such a flag that means there are lots of people associated with this cause? This was to do -- use the best analysis possible from our intelligence experts to contextualize this information, to try to make sense for people who are not experts of what we saw and what we analyzed this event.


  33. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    It’s not to say that it’s not the case, but it’s to not -- to be more nuanced in the analysis, because this is very complex and people who are not experts, you know, may draw conclusions, and our intent with these types of reports is to say based on our analysis, based on the information we have, based on all of the knowledge that we have, this is the context and how we are interpreting this. It doesn’t mean that CSIS is right, but I think it’s very important to share that analysis with others.


  34. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    Yes. I don’t see the date on it though.


  35. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)



  36. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    So essentially, the first line above the outlook you mentioned is that at that point, CSIS’ assessment was that we did not see specific actions being taken that would characterize a threat to the security of Canada associated with the events.


  37. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    No, because that would -- it’s not the criteria we’d be looking at per se. It’s, again, related to violence. So we’re again going back very closely to the 2(c) definition we’ve talked about earlier. So a declaration of an event that is unlawful. For example, you know, you can have a permit for a demonstration and then, you know, there’s too many people, therefore your demonstration is outside the bounds of the permit. It could be unlawful, but that would not engage us. So the unlawfulness in and of itself alone is not just a criteria that would be determinative for CSIS.


  38. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)



  39. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)



  40. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)



  41. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)



  42. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)



  43. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)



  44. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    Both of them. Ms. Tessier attended a couple as well.


  45. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)



  46. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    Yes, I do.


  47. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)



  48. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)



  49. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)



  50. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)



  51. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)



  52. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)



  53. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    Yes. And maybe if you allow me, Commissioner, I just want to go back to the first element that you took me through, Mr. Cameron, which was the -- that, you know, when I learned that the Emergencies Act was to be invoked, I, you know, informed myself. So this, I think, is the crux of the issue. So as Director of CSIS, we are very familiar, you know, my colleague and I, you know, we know the Act fairly well, the CSIS Act. I was not familiar with the details of the Emergencies Act. So when that was first brought up, the fact that the Emergencies Act was using the same words as the CSIS Act to define the threat, so imported into the Emergencies Act, I needed to understand for myself and for, you know, the course of this, what was the implication of that. And that's when I was assured that, you know, they were -- it was a separate understanding. You know, the confines of the CSIS Act, the same words, based on legal interpretation, jurisprudence, Federal Court rulings and so on, there was a very clear understanding of what those words meant in the confines of the CSIS Act, and what I was reassured by, is that there was, you know, in the context of the Emergencies Act there was to be a separate interpretation based on the confines of that Act. And that it was, you know, instrumental starting on the -- on that -- the 10th, I believe, when we discussed that, to make sure that we understand, you know, and how we would be, not informing, but you know, using the words very carefully and very much specify, you know, when we were providing advice and information it was based on the CSIS Act definition. So I just wanted to maybe contextualise this a little bit, so thanks for that.


  54. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    Yes, that's exactly it.


  55. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    Yes, it is. And this is really when, you know, we feel that it is our responsibility, a little bit like when Ms. Khan walked me through the -- another of the assessment in relation to the flags, it is we have experts, we have people inside organisations that, you know, really well understand those dynamics. And in this context was to make sure that the Government, yes, within the confine of the -- the reflection on the invocation of the Emergencies Act, but also more broadly about, you know, what is happening in the country and what could be -- how could the dynamic change, we felt it was important that, you know, we took that expertise within the Service and we shared that more broadly with partners, with the Government to -- so that everybody had that understanding that we had at the Service. So it is within that spirit, so both in the context of the Emergencies Act, but also in the context of what we see, what we potentially see in Canada.


  56. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    No, absolutely not. It was really much, you know, again, based on the expertise and understanding of the IMVE milieu is to see how some of these elements can be interpreted. And then Ms. Khan asked us earlier about this information/mis-information, and that would be a good example of how some objective decision could be misconstrued, deliberately or not, and what is the impact on potential threat activity in Canada. So that really was the spirit in which we produced the document.


  57. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    Yes. It essentially is to use the expertise, the knowledge, and to try to bring a level of understanding of -- bring a light into very complex, dynamic issues that are, in the case of IMVE, fast evolving in our country. So we try to bring that level of understanding, yes.


  58. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    No, we were not.


  59. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)



  60. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    That’s accurate, but it’s also broader than that. We also share information with many other partners. We -- on the federal level, that would be accurate.


  61. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)



  62. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)



  63. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    Yes, I would say that that’s what we endeavour to do, to make sure all relevant information is available to decision makers.


  64. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    Yes, I believe I testified earlier to say that we -- you know, what we advise is what we’re aware of, and we endeavour to make sure that we are fulfilling our investigations to the extreme degrees, but we will never have the hubris to say that we know everything.


  65. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)



  66. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    I think it’s maybe taking a second to speak to that, is that, you know, there is -- there are different levels. You know, Ms. Tessier’s role, my role are somewhat different, and we have, you know, people involved, you know, at the operational level, and at the regional level. So I think, you know, there is -- it’s clear there is a lot of information that is accumulated and there is a process of analysis and distillation of that information when it comes to our level.


  67. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    I would say that as a general statement there’s a possibility everywhere, not more specifically at CSIS or in intelligence, but I would say, yes, it’s an accurate reality when human beings are involved.


  68. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)



  69. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    I would say -- I would not want to speak to other law enforcement agencies but, you know, from the CSIS point of view, we’d say that’s an accurate description of a theoretical issue, yes.


  70. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    I think it’s, again, you know, the same thing. I would say that’s accurate, yes.


  71. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    Can I -- yes. I think the witness -- the interview process, I think that’s an accurate statement. But I think in summary of the information that was provided later on, we confirmed that, indeed, CSIS was receiving Hendon Reports. It’s just that Ms. Tessier and I had never heard that nomenclature. But it was shared with, I know for a fact, with our regional people in Toronto in our regional office in Toronto.


  72. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)



  73. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    It’s fair, but I would -- for the Commission’s sake, I would say that collectively, individually, as organizations, we have learned a lot of lessons over the years and to make sure that we move away from the risk of information being siloed, what was introduced in evidence today, CSIS and other organizations were part of groups like ADMNSOPs, the Combined Intelligence Group, INTERSECT, INSET, as you mentioned, sir. And so these are processes put in place to ensure that we reduce the risk to the maximum possible that you’ll be in information silo.


  74. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    I would say that to a broad dissemination of the information to people who need to know, because when you have, in the context -- concept of need to know is important, but in a case like this, and I think, you know, as we’ve seen and we may speak to that later, CSIS took a very open approach to share a lot of our information with the maximum people possible. So those who need to know specific details, we endeavour to share those details with them. And -- but the same thing with criminal investigations and national security investigations, you just need to make sure to maintain the integrity of those investigations, that you, you sometimes, you know, will -- you know, you take the two concepts of sharing as much information as possible, while making sure that those who need to know have the same information. And that's what our experts are doing on a day-to-day basis, on an ongoing basis.


  75. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    Well, in the case, specifically, of when we talk about intelligence, there is a concept called intelligence and evidence, which means that if you were to use information collected by CSIS, for example, on an intelligence basis, share with law enforcement, there is a process of inerrant complexity for law enforcement, and eventually Crown prosecutors to use that information in open court. So there are a number of rules that are -- have been put in place having learned over times what the pitfalls were, and Ms. Tessier referred to earlier as the one vision process, which is an elaborate process that has been in place with the -- between the RCMP and CSIS to make sure that we are sharing all of the information, you know, relevant, in the right way, to enable law enforcement.


  76. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    I don't have personal knowledge of that, so I can't speak to that.


  77. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)



  78. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    That's fair.


  79. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    Yes, it's much more complex than that.


  80. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    I would say that depending on the --what the purpose of looking at what social media is, but if the purpose is to enlighten CSIS, for example, in our mandate, absolutely. And they are another level of complexity of who should have the authority, who should have the mandate to look more broadly at social media, I think it's something that we testified in our ex parte hearing as well as in interview summary, there are some challenges with social media analysis in Canada.


  81. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)



  82. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    Yeah. I believe that the statement I made was related to that the analysis continued to be that there was no threat to the security of Canada. That's the concept that we'll be normally using in our normal vernacular.


  83. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    Very -- yes, very much within the concept of the CSIS Act.


  84. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    It was our advice or assessment, I would say more than our advice, our assessment was that given everything that we know about the dynamic nature of IMVE milieu that yes, some individuals might, you know, seize on such a government measure to further inflame the rhetoric and potentially, you know, push them to act violently, yes.


  85. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    An absolute concern, and if may add, Mr. Champ, I would say that the fact that from early in January to throughout the period in question we mobilised, you know, our Headquarters and our regional offices because we were concerned about the situation, absolutely. So I think, you know, there are different aspects of how we are segmenting this information that I think it's important here, yes.


  86. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    If I may add, Mr. Commissioner, I would just say that as was described by Ms. Tessier and myself earlier, we have -- we're participating in all of these different groups, including INTERSECT and the combined intelligence group, where we would be sharing information ourselves, our information, but also receiving information from other law enforcement. In the specific cases where you may have public safety issues versus, you know, a threat to the security of Canada, that you know, might be in the same kind of dynamic environment, and that this is where, you know, by being at the same table and exchanging that information, we inform ourselves. The second point is that this was a very dynamic threat assessment that we’re doing throughout this period, so by all means, if we had seen specific information about, you know, individuals wanting to engage in a way, often, you know, the -- that flash will be more of a police investigation because of the specific threat that will be criminal in nature as opposed to an individual that might want to engage in a terrorist activity. These are not perfectly, you know, black-and- white issues, and this is why we are working to exchange information very dynamically.


  87. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    I think that if you -- that’s why we’ve took a lot of pain to -- inside the service and working with partners to better understand how the IMV phenomenon was interacting with the CSIS Act. And Ms. Khan walked us through, you know, earlier, you know, a description of how we go through the process of understanding this, what will be the sphere of CSIS responsibility, what will be the sphere of the law enforcement responsibility. And that’s why I’m saying is that this is not black and white. It’s dynamic. And this is why people talk to each other on an ongoing basis.


  88. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    Each case is looked on a case-by-case basis and it would not be, you know, a default proposition.


  89. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    Yes, it is.


  90. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    Sorry. If I can just add, I think as we’ve walked through, there are a number of other criteria that are necessary to be in the CSIS Act. There is, you know, the testimony that Ms. Tessier gave responding to Ms. Khan’s questions about that placement earlier, I think is how we are understanding and how we are exercising our authority. So I understand, Mr. Champ, you’re looking for something specific, but this is -- we’ve described very well, I think, the process by which we’re looking at these issues. And it’s not because someone would only write online that they want to kill someone that it mean it automatically be a threat to ---


  91. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    If we have -- and we have done that in the past.


  92. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    Since -- probably since the mid-January until, you know -- and we continue to today. We continue to look at specific information in context of IMV actions, blockades and the Freedom Convoy, so we have done that very intensely throughout that period.


  93. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    I think it’s -- Mr. Commissioner, it’s hard to speak, you know, at large about general threats. I just provided an answer to the question about -- to Mr. Champ about the threat to public officials, and so if you have a specific threat, unfortunately, we’ve provided very detailed testimony to the Commission in camera about specific activities that CSIS performed during that period.


  94. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    No, what I’m saying, Mr. Champ, is that we have -- we’ve described how we have -- you know, how we are assessing the information that comes to us in the context of IMV. We’ve walked through the 2(c) analysis earlier and that is -- that analysis, that expertise combined with new information that will come to the attention of CSIS in whatever form, you know, exchange of information, that’s essentially what we would be doing on an ongoing basis. So I cannot be more specific than that.


  95. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    I did not say that, Mr. Champ. You know, what I’m saying is that we have been looking at information that came to our attention through different fora, different venues, different platforms, throughout the investigation and that includes information like you mentioned. But I cannot be more specific than that.


  96. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    No, I will stand by the answer I just provided, Mr. Champ.


  97. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    Yes, I would say that.


  98. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)



  99. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    To initiate investigations, yes.


  100. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)



  101. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    I’m not sure the context of your -- the previous -- the premise of your question, but I would say that we try to be thorough in what we do, yes.


  102. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    I would say that investigating threats to the security of Canada is a very complex issue. Missing, you know, signs, missing information and having incorrect assessment is, indeed, something that we are very careful about and as a learning organization, we try to make sure that we learn from the past and that we are trying to come with the best possible assessment on an ongoing basis.


  103. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    Something similar to that. I would say it’s accurate, yes.


  104. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    This is based on expert analysis by CSIS, by ITAC and other organizations that -- to understand the dynamic environment and where violent rhetoric can push individuals to act. And unfortunately, we’ve seen a number of people who were not on the radar of anyone who were consuming this type of information and, indeed, you know, committed act of terrorism or extreme violence, so we are, unfortunately, the -- it is a very complex dynamic environment, and we have to be careful about people who would be very quickly moved from just being a recipient and consumer of information to someone who would radicalize to violence.


  105. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    So as we've said in our public testimony, we have -- we were aware of -- we already had subject of investigations who we assessed were interested in the protest. We used different techniques to assure ourselves of their activities. And we also continued to look for other individuals that might be recruited, or might be approached, or might want to radicalize throughout the events in question, obviously, respecting the mandate of CSIS.


  106. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    I -- actually, unfortunately, with the dynamic of what we see, IMV, the threat is persistent. This is why the national terrorism threat level is set at medium. It means that, you know, today, here in Canada, there are individuals with the capability and intention to engage in an act of terrorism. And so I would say, yes, those larger events, but also, more broadly, it is a dynamic that exists throughout our society, irrespective of those large events as well.


  107. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    That's correct.


  108. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)



  109. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    We have -- I think it's in our testimony that we have said that we investigated foreign interference in relation to the event, including foreign funding, and we did not see these activities amounting to a threat to secure of Canada.


  110. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)



  111. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    I would not say that.


  112. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    That's not what we're looking at. We're looking at, you know, how these events, the - - or individuals, you know, might engage in activities that meet our threshold, that this is where I was answering questions earlier about, you know, distinction between what law enforcement would be doing in terms of serious violence versus what we would do as CSIS under the confine of the CSIS Act.


  113. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    Yes, and we've testified to that earlier, I think.


  114. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    2(c) was not met.


  115. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    I can say that we have not investigated under 2(d).


  116. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    Well, we are on the record to say that we already had individuals what met the 2(c) threshold, you know, that were subject of investigation that were involved, and that -- so we had legitimate grounds to be looking at what was happening. As we've said based on our expertise, we have seen, unfortunately, events like that where individuals were radicalized and mobilized to violence extremely quickly. So that's why we continued to expend those resources throughout the -- those events, to make sure that we, again, did not miss something.


  117. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    What we've testified to is that we did not made a determination that the event itself -- we -- and I think it's part of our testimony, yes.


  118. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    Yes, I did.


  119. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    I think my testimony was in part that, but it was also based on all of the other information that, you know, I became aware of during all of the interdepartmental meetings and Cabinet meetings I participated in. So it was -- I was provided -- that opinion was provided, if you want, as a national security advisor as opposed to a -- the Director of CSIS specifically.


  120. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    I was referring to that, but also more specifically to whether events in Canada, events, you know, in Ottawa that, you know, convinced me to say that, you know, the powers under the Act would be necessary.


  121. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    That's correct.


  122. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    So I asked for a legal interpretation.


  123. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    I did.


  124. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    I’m not sure, ---


  125. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    --- honestly.


  126. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    Yeah. I think ---


  127. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)



  128. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)



  129. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    Yes, that’s accurate.


  130. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)



  131. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    Yes, I believe it is, yeah.


  132. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    What I wanted to be very clear, Mr. Commissioner, is that because it was very dynamic environment, very -- you know, a lot of moving parts, as we say, and I wanted people to be clear about how CSIS, we were analysing the situation. And so people were talking about using different words in the media, everywhere, and we just wanted to bring a level of clarity. So that’s why we said our assessment was very dynamic, and we continued to assess, but throughout that period, we wanted to make sure that people did not misinterpret based on everything that, you know, was being mentioned, that CSIS, we saw a threat to national security based on our Act. So that was the purpose of us being very deliberate about that approach.


  133. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)



  134. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    I think there are probably two reasons. I would say one is that very simply the question was not asked, and so just, you know, when you go through the dynamic, you know, process of the interview, so it did not -- I was not specifically asked. But it was also at that point, you know, lack of clarity in my head about what still a Cabinet confidence and what would be what I was able to say as a participant in Cabinet meetings. So that was further clarified throughout that period. And that’s why I think, again, Ms. Zwibel, you mentioned, you know, the nature of this Commission. As a senior official in government, you know, we’re never allowed to speak about Cabinet confidences. We’re never allowed, in the case of CSIS, to produce, you know, a number of the information that has been, you know, put in front of -- in public for Commission and for Canadians to see. Normally that would not be public. So just needed to ascertain, you know, what were the limits of what we’re able to do. And when it was clarified with me that indeed I was able to speak to that, I did.


  135. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    That had been clarified with me, yes.


  136. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    I understand that analysis, but I would say that this referred back to what I said, we never discuss Cabinet confidences and, you know, the information, the way that the information was communicated to witnesses in terms of what would be possible to disclose and not, in terms of Cabinet confidences, just became clearer with the passage of time, you know, between, you know, August and our ex-party interview.


  137. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    I briefly saw some of the key extracts, yes.


  138. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    I would say that the CSIS Act was enacted in 1984 and I think that the world has evolved considerably since then, and that looking at the threat environment today is indeed, you know, requires probably a new look, modernizing, you knew, view of this. That’s one thing. The second thing is that we also, through jurisprudence, through Federal Court rulings, Commission of Inquiries, and review bodies who have access to all of our information, that understanding of the Act was very much more clarified, and so very -- with a lot of specificity, if you want, in many aspects. And so between, you know, experts at CSIS and DOJ counsel, I think, you know, there is a very specific interpretation of the Act which is, in this specific case with the Commission, different than the Emergencies Act.


  139. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    Yes, I do agree.


  140. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    Absolutely not. And I would say that there is an expression that we use, which is awful but lawful. And that means that some of the opinions expressed verbally or online, you know, are not, by default, even if they can be extremely violent, are not, by default, something that, you know, would allow or necessitate CSIS to investigate.


  141. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    I would say that with anything, any exercise of power by the state, you know, there is a high threshold. I’m not a legal expert to say, you know, what should be the threshold of the Emergencies Act.


  142. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    I do.


  143. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)



  144. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    That’s my understanding, but again, I do not want to give the Commission the impression that I’m an expert on the Emergencies Act.


  145. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    I would say yes, with the same caveat I just provided.


  146. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    Do you have something specific you can refer to?


  147. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    We always have concern when we see information that is, you know, unauthorizedly, you know, made public. I don’t know where the source of that -- of those unauthorized disclosures are, so I do not have a specific view on your premise. I’m concerned when I see unauthorized disclosure.


  148. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    I’d like to think that, you know, we have an organization that, you know, has a very high standard for that, but, you know, I would not want to speculate as to the source of potential authorized [sic] disclosures.


  149. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    Well, I’m looking at the screen now.


  150. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    I’m not sure I understand your question. I’m sorry, counsel.


  151. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    Commissioner, there’s a lot of information that has been put to us now. I have not read those tweets before. I could not make any informed, you know, opinion of what this information is, in the context of today’s hearing.


  152. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    Mr. Commissioner, I will have the same answer. You know, there’s a lot of information just been put to us for the first time. There are acronyms that were mentioned, I don’t know what they refer to. And I think, you know, I could speak to information I’m aware of, privy to, but unfortunately ---


  153. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    --- not this one, counsel.


  154. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    Not the specific acronym, maybe if you spell it out.


  155. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    Yeah, I know about the Liberal Research Bureau.


  156. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    Mr. Commissioner, I would say that, you know, this is not something that would be of interest to CSIS as we -- my colleagues and I have testified, we very much, you know, since the beginning, mid-January on, we have been looking at this -- these issues and the developments and potential threat to the safety of -- security of Canada based on the CSIS Act. So we would not be looking necessarily for what other parties would be involved in, in this context.


  157. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    No. I do not know Caroline Williams, and...


  158. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    Yes, I do know Ms. Astravas.


  159. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    No, I’m not.


  160. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    Sorry; on the 27th specifically, I do not have those specific chronological details with me.


  161. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    I’m sorry.


  162. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    I do not have a specific recollection of these words.


  163. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    I do not remember the specific date. I remember having the Prime Minister speaking, you know, to this effect when he was indeed in isolation.


  164. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)



  165. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    From what point of view?


  166. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    As ---


  167. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    Mr. Commissioner, what I can say that, as we’ve testified, you know, the interdepartmental community got together to understand what was happening, share information, make sure that each of the organization would be able to discharge their mandate appropriately. And so at that point, you know, of course we are, as I testified, you know, we’re keeping aware of what’s happening around us, but we are very much focused on making sure that we are discharging our investigative responsibilities, and not opine on other issues.


  168. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    Mr. Commissioner, we testified earlier that we have written an intelligence assessment about the presence of flags and some of the meaning of those flags, and so I can go back to our analysis what we described then. I'd be happy to, if you want to refer me back to the document, speak to that concept.


  169. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    I do not.


  170. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    I do not know who the individual is.


  171. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    So Commissioner, I do not have the specific knowledge of this, and even if I had specific knowledge we would not be at liberty to disclose specific details.


  172. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    That's why the -- there was an in-camera session with Commission and counsel.


  173. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    I remember something to that effect. I have not researched this recently, but it's -- I recall something to that effect, yes.


  174. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    I'm not aware of that, and I'm not seeing ---


  175. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    --- anything other than, you know ---


  176. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    I'm not aware of the articles and I'm not aware of those facts that you mentioned. I'm sorry.


  177. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    Not specifically, no.


  178. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    Mr. Commissioner, as I said before, we -- the specific details of our investigation have been shared, you know, with the Commission earlier. I would not be able to go into more specific details.


  179. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    I have not said anything in that respect, Counsel. I have not testified to that, Counsel.


  180. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    Same answer.


  181. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    I believe that the work started before that, but I think it was maybe put in higher gear. I had, in my first public speech that I had made after becoming director in 2018, that speech spoke to the rise of this. And I believe I used the word -- the concept of IMVE then. But I can -- it’s around 2018/2019, indeed, that it was - - that work was solidified and the concepts were developed to try to understand, characterize better this new phenomenon, dynamic, we were seeing in society.


  182. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    That sounds accurate, yes.


  183. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    I’m just trying to look at it here. Is it the last ---


  184. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)



  185. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)



  186. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    I’m not sure I would say it’s broader, but it’s for different purposes for sure. And I think -- I am -- I’m familiar, very familiar with the attack at the Quebec City mosque and this example and other unfortunate examples is what for CSIS to say this dynamic, we need to better understand what is happening so that work to define -- better define IMVE, the four quadrants and so on, in relation to that. But it’s also very important in this comment when I say that it was different than the Criminal Code, is that you could have -- you could meet a definition of threat to the security of Canada under the CSIS Act or you could meet the sociological definition of terrorist activity, which I believe that Alexandre Bissonnette was indeed engaged in terrorist activity, but that may not transfer in the Crown charging someone for a terrorist offence. And I think it is a very important notion that indeed has been, you know, very troubling for many in the country, including in this specific case, the Muslim community in Canada.


  187. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    I think by statute, CSIS has been built to be separate in this thing from law enforcement and from the Criminal Code in the sense that our threshold for investigations would be different than the police. Our techniques might be also different. So I think, you know, it is clearly separate, the two.


  188. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    I would say yes. You know, because unfortunately there are more cases in Canada. There are more cases internationally. And we have worked very closely with a number of partners at the federal, provincial, municipal levels, and international partners, and as my colleague testified, that conceptual framework has been adopted by a couple of international partners as well.


  189. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    Yes, that would be accurate.


  190. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    That would be accurate, yes.


  191. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    I would not say they broaden. I would say that they help our investigators, our analysists, to better understand how the CSIS Act applied, what would be the -- because, again, you make a very significant distinction in what we call awful but lawful speech protected, you know, by the Charter, versus activities that would be, you know, defined under the CSIS Act. And so I think it’s more -- it’s not a broadening, it’s more a fine tuning of the understanding developing analytical tools to make sure that not only do we not go over the law, but that we are indeed investigating the threats to Canada as mandated by Parliament.


  192. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    Of our counter-terrorism resources, yes.


  193. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    Yes, that would be accurate.


  194. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    I think, as we’ve tried to, maybe unskillfully tried to, exchange previously, the analysis, you know, is based on the best way possible to describe it is what we have on this placemat. These analytical tools have been developed to make sure that, you know, at all levels of the organization, but also more broadly, within the community, with law enforcement, who are, themselves, in their own jurisdiction, trying to understand what is happening, and make a distinction between something that would be bravado online that would be something that should be investigated, you know, under the Criminal Code by law enforcement, and something that we, CSIS, would be doing. So it’s probably the best way of describing it, which is maybe not helpful for your purpose.


  195. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    I'm generally aware of the Bill, yes.


  196. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    That's an interesting question. I think that the -- our work as an organization supporting the government continues to be making sure that our specific Act is respected, that we are, of course, respecting the law, but at the same time, that as an organization that we are taking measures and steps internally to make sure that we will live up to our obligation on human rights. I do not have a specific reference to the CSIS Act in relation to UNDRIP.


  197. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    There's been no specific review of the CSIS Act. We have been advocating, in my transition advice to Minister Mendocino, I have advised that the Act is -- it's close to 40 years old and the world has changed very significantly. And in order to make sure that CSIS was normally able to discharge its national security mandate, but also make sure that we're doing so with the evolving expectations of Canadians vis-à-vis an intelligence organization, that there was a need to modernize the Act. There's some internal discussions at the moment in that respect, but there's been no specific legislative amendment introduced.


  198. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    Actually, we do. The -- there is one specific document that I have in preparing for the -- this Commission's work that I would like maybe Counsel to bring up that -- in relation to our analysis.


  199. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    Sorry, I'm sorry. Is it going to be pulled up, sorry?


  200. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    I'm sorry, there's just one specific element. If you go -- scroll down, scroll? So there is just before -- go down. Sorry, you're going too fast. Yes, okay. Stop, please. So if you look at the last paragraph here, this is something that I'd like to point out, that as an organization, we are obviously not perfect, but I'm very proud of the work that the organization is doing to be aware of how our activities can potentially, you know, impact people. And so the quote here is, "Despite the lack of concerted Indigenous support for the Ottawa protest, any law enforcement response must be culturally sensitive in an effort to negate any backlash from the broader Indigenous community." And this is -- I think it's important to bring this on the record because, as I said, we're not a perfect organization, but we try very hard to make sure that we understand how our actions are perceived because, you know, again, we are an intelligence service that works in a democracy, and we want to make sure that we -- our actions are specifically directed towards threat related activity and not unduly to other groups.


  201. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    So as I mentioned earlier, we have not done a full analysis of the intersection between the CSIS Act and UNDRIP. What I can say is that, as I think testament to the document I just pulled out there, we tried to really understand how we can discharge our mandate as directed by -- under the law that Parliament has given us, but make sure that we do that in a way that is sensitive to how a lawful protest including in your question, Counsel, the Indigenous protest is taking place. We have testified that we are -- we cannot monitor, investigate lawful protest and dissent. And our analysis, you know, of events always takes that to account. That is not to say that we will not be, of course, you know, in order to make a determination, if there is a threat to security, of course we looked at a number of different issues, and I think there were some documents that recently on the Access to Information Act that concluded that CSIS advised government that, you know, maybe some Indigenous protests did not constitute a threat to the security of Canada, which is, I think, an important point to make sure that people understand when -- when there are potentially law enforcement action, they understand how we see it from our own mandate’s point of view.


  202. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    I would say that there are probably three main aspects to -- of our work. The first one is, I think, as exemplified by the document I pulled out, our intelligence professionals within the organization are trained and continue to receive training to better understand, you know, how the work that they do might be perceived, how it would have -- it would impact, you know, different communities differently, and to make sure that they have this awareness. So that -- the aspect of training is an important one. The other aspect is, as an organization, in terms of our management of our organization, how do we make sure that we bring diversity, that we continue to work to have a much more diverse organization, that we have -- we understand that, you know, some of our policies and procedures might -- not intending to be, you know, biased but, you know, the net effect might be systemic racism and we want to understand how this works, and we have -- we take measures to correct that internally in our own procedures. And finally, I would say we have launched a very specific stakeholder outreach program to make sure that we understand and we meet with communities that we -- I had the chance personally, early in my tenure, to meet with the Assembly of First Nations to establish some contact, some ability to talk to each other so if there are any concerns, any issues, that were are -- we have those lines of communications open because it is -- it is very complex work that CSIS professionals do and we want to make sure that we understand how it is being received and perceived by the population we serve.


  203. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    I would point out to you two specific bodies, if you want. One is an internal one; it’s called the Black Indigenous Persons of Colour Congress within CSIS, the BIPOC Congress. So we -- and I personally meet with them. The last meeting was probably a month and a half ago, where we are sitting down and looking at our specific strategies, plans to make sure that we get their input before it is -- our policies are changed. So we want the input, we want co-development of some of these approaches. So that is an internal one. And the second one I would say is not as much an advisory body but it -- the fact that our activities are reviewed by two specific agencies, the National Security and Intelligence Review Agency, NSIRA, and the National Security Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians, NSICOP. Both organizations have access to all of the specific classified details of our operations and are looking at our ability to make sure that, you know, we not only respect the law but, you know, our procedures. And NSICOP, in the last couple of years, has indeed looked at how the security intelligence community was engaging with communities and how we were making efforts be a much more diverse and inclusive organization.


  204. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    Yes, I am familiar.


  205. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    My recollection is that the document was discussed at the -- earlier that day at the IRG meeting, and the document was made available to the Privy Council Office who is charged with cabinet materials, documentations, so I do not have personal knowledge if the document was distributed, but I am aware of the clerk’s comments last week.


  206. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    I did.


  207. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    I was aware that -- we -- CSIS were asked to make the document available to PCO, so I knew that the intent was for the document to be distributed. I just do not have the personal knowledge if indeed it was because it - - the meeting was obviously scheduled, you know, fairly quickly that Sunday evening.


  208. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    They will all have the right to see it. Ministers do not have security clearances. As Privy Councillors, they are deemed to be -- to have access to the classified information, so yes, they would -- every member of cabinet would have been entitled to see that information.


  209. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    I do not remember the document being discussed specifically.


  210. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    Yes, I’m able to agree because we had been -- I had been part of previous meetings. My colleague, Mme Tessier, has also been part of meetings when we were providing that assessment to cabinet, so it had been provided, you know, a few times. And as we testified to earlier, this was a dynamic assessment, so it’s not because we came to that position earlier that we would not change. We -- it was -- when it was relayed to cabinet, it was the assessment of the day that continued to be the same thing. So I’m very comfortable to say that cabinet was aware of this assessment.


  211. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    I would say that probably not because the CSIS Act under 19 is fairly restrictive in terms of who can access classified information. And so that access does not go to provinces, territories, or municipalities. So that would be my -- I was not part of the specific meeting, but for the purpose of this discussion, that will be my reaction. Section 19 will not allow the classified information to be shared.


  212. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    So the way that information, threat information, operational information is relayed is through -- between CSIS and the law enforcement bodies. In this context, it would be RCMP. We referred earlier to a construct called Integrated National Security Enforcement Teams that exist across the country that allow different levels of law enforcement to receive the information, so that’s normally how the classified threat information will be relayed.


  213. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    I do not recall the -- such a request. I have seen the testimony and as part of the preparation for this appearance, I have seen, you know, an exchange of emails that was in reference to that threat assessment. I do not recall that day being asked specifically to do such an assessment.


  214. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    Maybe if I could add to that, Counsel, I would -- or Commissioner -- I would say that the -- to my knowledge, the first time that a national terrorism threat assessment was created was in 2014, and so it -- well, to best of my knowledge, it was -- did not exist in the aftermath of 9/11.


  215. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    Yes, it looks to be it, yes.


  216. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    Yes, yes. It appears so.


  217. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)



  218. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)



  219. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)



  220. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)



  221. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    Essentially, the -- our information that we've testified to is in evidence with the fact that we knew there were ideologically motivated violent individual who were interested in this event. The unpredictable nature of this event; the fact it had gone through different phases and its size and scope continued to be -- both in Ottawa and across the country continued to vary, spontaneous and not so spontaneous events, blockades and so on; the fact that law enforcement resources were being diverted from different sites to potentially -- deliberately to make sure that they were less capacity to deal with these events; the fact that we -- as part of the many interdepartmental meetings we attended, information from the CBSA, from Transport Canada, from Finance Canada about the impact that the disruption, the protest, the blockades were taking the country; and the fact that the -- there was an evolving operational plan by law enforcement that at that point had not yet been put in place to be able to deal with the situation, all of these elements of unpredictability based on my experience having been around national security issues for quite a few years now led me to believe that the regular tools were just not enough to address the situation.


  222. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    I did not have full access to, you know, the documents that the GIC was presented. What I can say is that I had been part of -- personally or my colleague, Madam Tessier, would have been part of the Cabinet discussions, the IRGs. So I had a -- I would say a very good understanding, but I could not characterize it as being perfect information necessarily.


  223. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    Maybe if I could add one point to this, is that we talked earlier about the very dynamic nature and evolving nature of the IMVE environment. And because we are sitting at the same table with our law enforcement partners, we share a lot of information and sometimes it will be information coming from a law enforcement source that will inform CSIS that we may need to look at it from a national security threat to the security of Canada point of view, and sometimes it’s information we would have collected as part of our investigations that we would share to law enforcement that there might be a credible threat of criminal activity, including, as we discussed earlier, threats to politicians and so on, that would be in the purview of law enforcement to investigate. And so that is a very dynamic exchange between law enforcement and intelligence, and CSIS specifically.


  224. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)



  225. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    I am aware.


  226. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    That’s correct.


  227. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)



  228. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    So again, we’ve done a lot of work inside the organization to better understand the dynamic of IMVE, what’s happening in society, whether there are some social movements that potentially are -- have an impact on our CSIS mandate. And this, if you can maybe reduce the size of the font? If you look at this, it has the shape of a funnel. And essentially what we try to do with this is to explain at the top of the funnel is, you know, a lot of personal grievances relating to Islamophobia, you know, oppression of Indigenous people, the fear -- you know, conspiracy theories, like Q-Anon, xenophobia, neo-Nazi influences. So there’s a lot of things that, you know, circulate in society. And that is essentially what is unfortunately very present on social media when I referred to earlier as awful but lawful. We see a lot of that potentially extremely violent and vile information. But again, this is protected by Charter. This is, you know, acceptable in a democracy. And the further down you go to the funnel, you know, you’re getting into areas that, you know, might be potentially considered hate speech under the Criminal Code. And at the narrowest part of the funnel, this is where, you know, CSIS, our analytical analysis described, this is where the narrowest part of the funnel, where our 2(c) investigation would kick in. And so that is a conceptual analytical construction to help identify what is happening in society and where we, versus the police, versus other elements of the society should be concerned with. You know, CSIS should not be -- should be informed with what’s happening on the top of the funnel, where it’s lawful, we are informed by that information, but we’re not investigating that. That is, you know, lawful information. And where we are, as I said, is the narrowest part of the funnel. So one other element that is, I think, critical, in all of this, is we’ve said earlier on that people can radicalize extremely quickly, or mobilize to violence very quickly. So we’ve seen people, you know, move from the consumer, as my colleague said, consumer of that -- those narratives, to go down and very quickly to say, “I need to do something about it. I will mobilize. I will engage. I will train. I will acquire weapons. And I will commit violence.” And so this is our attempt to depict what is happening in society and where the CSIS mandate fits.


  229. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    Indeed. I think it was -- I don’t think -- it was our assessment at CSIS, and ITAC came to the same conclusion, where we are seeing, unfortunately, in the past, you know, people exploiting those types of events for their own purposes and other people who, again, very quickly are mobilizing to violence based on the information -- based on motivation to use such an event to engage in acts of violence.


  230. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    I think I -- it -- to be clearer than maybe the summary is -- and I -- of course, it was not a verbatim record of what was said. It was a summary. I think, if I pick up on the top page 9, "…opinion of everything he had seen to that point, he advised the prime minister of his belief that the situation indeed required to invoke the Act." I think that would be a fair assessment of what I wanted to say.


  231. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    I’m not sure that I can be clearer than that, and if you ---


  232. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    If you want to put to me, you know, the two interpretations, you know, again ---


  233. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    I think that would be -- in my head, it means the same thing, so “necessary” would be absolutely fine.


  234. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)



  235. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    I believe that’s accurate, yes.


  236. David Vigneault, Director (GC-CSIS)

    I don’t believe that that was the case. I think that Caucus was being made aware of the circumstances of the convoy and certainly there was a lot of public speculation at the time about the potential for the invocation of the Emergencies Act and there was the call that was scheduled with the First Ministers on that same morning.