Canadian Intelligence Eh!

Canada’s security service is the most over-regulated one in the Western world

Running an intelligence agency is not an average job one would imagine: what was it like to do so in Canada in the post Cold War/9/11 era?

Episode 188 – What is it like to run a security service?

Canada has some fine intelligence services, CSE (Communications Security Establishment) and CSIS (Canadian Security Intelligence Service) staffed by very capable professionals who do their best to keep senior officials informed and Canadians safe.  But what is it like to actually run such an agency?  Borealis speaks with Ward Elcock, Director of CSIS from 1994-2004 to look at Canada’s intelligence culture among other matters.

About my guest

Ward Elcock served as the Director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service from 1994 until May 2004 and was the only Director to have ever served out his entire tenure. He also served as the Deputy Minister of National Defence from August 5, 2004 to October 1, 2007.


In a world of multiple voices and opinions it can be very hard to know where to turn.  One choice is to look to those who actually worked in counter-terrorism in the national security world. In these half-hour podcasts, 30-year Canadian intelligence veteran Phil Gurski is joined by a fascinating array of individuals with something meaningful to say about these issues as they provide insight into what they mean and what we need to do about them. 

About Phil Gurski 

Phil Gurski is the President and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting Ltd. and Distinguished Fellow in National Security at the University of Ottawa’s Professional Development Institute (PDI). He worked as a senior strategic analyst at CSIS (Canadian Security Intelligence Service) from 2001-2015, specialising in violent Islamist-inspired homegrown terrorism and radicalisation. He is the author of six books on terrorism, including the most recent The Peaceable Kingdom: A history of terrorism in Canada from Confederation to the present

By Phil Gurski

Phil Gurski is the President and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting Ltd. Phil is a 32-year veteran of CSE and CSIS and the author of six books on terrorism.