AMP Capital sees $2.1 billion outflows as scandal continues to bite


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“At a board level, they need a complete refresh,” Ms Liu said, though conceding “it’s a really tricky position. Who within the business will be able to guarantee or present a plan to the investors of how they might come back from here?”

Redemptions by super funds and other institutional clients saw AMP Capital’s assets shrink to $189.8 billion in the three months to June 30. The company’s wealth management arm saw total assets increase by 2 per cent to $122.1 billion, but outflows persisted due to a loss of corporate super mandates and payments to clients accessing their superannuation early in the COVID-19 crisis, AMP said in a trading update to the ASX.

After his demotion, Mr Pahari retained a key leadership role overseeing AMP Capital’s expansion of unlisted assets – a part of the company that has seen $688 million growth in infrastructure debt.

Morningstar analyst Shaun Lerr said AMP was exposed to “key person risk” as investment mandates linked to individual employees were closely tied to AMP’s performance. Mr Lerr said the high turnover of staff following the sexual harassment scandal had hurt the business, but it would be made worse if Mr Pahari was sacked.

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“Rightfully or wrongfully, Boe Pahari has been doing a very good job at managing money. He is quite a necessary evil they have to retain,” Mr Lerr said.

AMP chief executive Mr De Ferrari said the results showed “underlying improvement”, with its online fund management platform, North, seeing $818 million in net inflows over the quarter and wealth assets growing by 0.3 per cent to $121.4 billion.

“Our business has performed resiliently through the challenges of COVID-19 and a period of internal change in the third quarter,” Mr De Ferrari said.

AMP announced last month that it was exploring options to spin off parts of the company. Mr Lerr said AMP was undervalued but it appeared Mr De Ferrari did not want to splinter the company.

“I get the sense that [Mr] De Ferrari wants to keep it as is, he wants to continue running the empire but everyone else wants to see it torn apart and fed to the wolves,” Mr Lerr said.

AMP Bank saw deposits increase by $52 million but its total loan book decreased by $303 million to $206 billion. Mr Lerr said this was a “disappointing” result but could improve with the proposed axing of responsible lending laws.

“No doubt AMP will be a very turbulent investment, it will have its ups and downs, but when you look at long-term fundamentals, management is doing the right job of simplifying the business,” he added.

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La Niña-driven wet summer for outback Queensland sees RFDS, SES preparing for worst


The Royal Flying Doctor Service is encouraging outback residents to be ready for anything as forecasters predict a La Niña weather event that will bring higher than average rainfall this summer.

RFDS Queensland chief operating officer Andrew Barron said crews were well prepared, having previously experienced extremely wet conditions.

“From an aviation point of view, it means planes have to carry more fuel,” he said.

“They need to have an alternate to go to in case they can’t land.

Carrying more fuel means less room for cargo and crew, which in rare cases could lead to doctors and nurses being left on remote stations while patients are evacuated.

“We obviously need to ensure we have enough people on board to care for the patients,” Mr Barron said.

The RFDS operates 20 aircraft from nine operational bases across regional Queensland.(Supplied: Royal Flying Doctor Service)

Be prepared

With the 2011 floods and last year’s catastrophic north-west Queensland flood still fresh in people’s minds, Mr Barron had a simple message.

“People just need to be prepared,” he said.

“If they are calling, just give us a [situation report] of their airstrip if they are on a property and think about other options.

“If weather is going to be a problem, think early about what other options they have moving themselves, or get care in.”

Mr Barron is urging outback residents to visit a clinic as soon as possible if they need care.

Dead cattle lie in the mud of a property, west of Julia Creek.
Dead cattle on Rae Stretton’s Eddington Station, west of Julia Creek, on February 8, 2019.(Facebook: Rae Stretton)

Local councils on front foot

The Barcaldine Region is located in the geographical centre of Queensland.

Council collections of oversized household items from Boulia to Barcaldine have been brought forward.

A man pats a horse after competing in a campdraft event.
Sean Dillon manages his family cattle property north of Alpha, central-west Queensland.(ABC Rural: Lydia Burton)

Local grazier and Mayor of Barcaldine Regional Council Sean Dillion is encouraging residents to prepare their property for a big wet season.

He said while a flood could be tricky, it would be a good problem to have.

“Notwithstanding of course the horrible flooding we saw in north and north west Queensland in 2019 which was a truly horrific event, equal in scale to drought,

“If we see widespread heavy rain yes, we’ll have some infrastructure damage, yes, we’ll have a lot of fences to put up, but our cattle will be worth more, most likely, subsequent to that event.”

A farmer leaning on a fence post in a paddock.
Rick Britton, a fifth-generation Boulia grazier, is optimistic about the outlook this wet season.(ABC Rural: Eric Barker)

Blowing in the wind

Boulia Shire Mayor Rick Britton was excited about the predictions comparing the coming summer to those of 1973/1974 and 2000, which were the wettest years on record.

The Boulia SES was preparing machinery and rescue equipment in anticipation of destructive storms.

“I’ve noticed in the past five or six weeks here we’ve had pretty prominently north, north-west winds,” Cr Britton said.

“To me, that’s a sign that there is something in the wind.



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Western Minnesota Sees Picturesque Snowfall Amid Winter Storm Warning



A winter storm warning was issued for parts of central and western Minnesota as snow fell on October 20, according to the National Weather Service (NWS). The NWS said it expected four to six inches of snow to accumulate. The weather service said Tuesday’s storm could create “near-record October daily snowfall amounts.” Snow had already hit the Minneapolis area on October 16. Twitter user @redrocks222 said this footage shows snowfall in Canby, Minnesota, near the South Dakota border. Credit: @redrocks222 via Storyful



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Rins sees off Marquez to win Aragon MotoGP


Suzuki’s Alex Rins held off a spirited challenge from Honda rookie Alex Marquez to claim his first victory of the season at the Aragon Grand Prix in Spain on Sunday.

Rins’ teammate Joan Mir finished third to take a six-point lead at the top of the championship ahead of Fabio Quartararo, who started at the top of the grid but finished a disappointing 18th for Yamaha.

Starting 10th on the grid, Rins stormed out of the blocks to move up to fourth on the opening lap before moving past Yamaha’s early pace-setter Maverick Vinales to take the lead on lap eight.

Marquez, fresh off his maiden MotoGP podium finish in France last weekend, climbed up nine spots and tested Rins in the final five laps, but the Suzuki rider held his nerve to seal victory on home soil.

“I had to make sure I didn’t break the rear tyre and also manage the distance from Marquez in the end,” said Rins, who moved up to seventh in the championship.

“It’s amazing, this victory is for all the fans who visit from all the towns around here.”

Mir’s pace dropped dramatically in the final lap but he did enough to finish ahead of Vinales, who came fourth to move up to 12 points behind the championship leader.

Former Moto 3 champion Mir is yet to win a race this season but has racked up five podiums, becoming Suzuki’s first premier-class championship leader since Kenny Roberts Jr won the title in 2000.

The race at Aragon circuit was the first without a premier class champion on the grid since 1999, with Valentino Rossi self-isolating after testing positive for COVID-19 and reigning champion Marc Marquez out with a long-term injury.

Rins becomes the eighth different winner in 10 races so far this season, with Quartararo winning three, but the Frenchman had a weekend to forget after he failed to collect any points following two high-speed crashes in open practice sessions over the last two days.

Next weekend’s Teruel Grand Prix will also be held in Aragon.





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Coronavirus response sees Australia, Vietnam and Taiwan boosted on Lowy Institute’s Asia Power Index


Australia, Vietnam and Taiwan have seen their power in Asia rise partly due to their handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

That is according to the Lowy Institute’s Asia Power Index for 2020, which ranks 26 nations’ power in the region according to a range of measures — from military capability and defence networks to diplomatic and cultural influence.

The index shows the United States remains the most powerful country in Asia but its power is continuing to decline in the face of Chinese ascendency, as well as a loss of prestige from its chaotic response to the pandemic.

“Handling the pandemic was a necessary but not sole condition for improving a country’s regional standing in Asia,” Herve Lemahieu, Asian power and diplomacy program director at the Lowy Institute, told the ABC.

Australia surpassed South Korea on the index this year, to be listed as the sixth most powerful country in Asia. It followed the US, China, Japan, India and Russia.

The military honour guard performs during the National Day celebrations in Taipei.
Taiwan’s military honour guard performs during National Day celebrations in the country.(AP: Chiang Ying-ying)

Rising China, sluggish India

Taiwan gained the most in terms of its international reputation, which Mr Lemahieu said contrasted with China’s “more belligerent diplomatic attitude this year in terms of the rise of wolf-warrior diplomacy”.

While Australia has seen its relations with China decline during 2020, it is not alone.

Beijing has found itself in diplomatic stoushes with India over the countries’ Himalayan border, with the UK over its banning of Huawei from the British 5G network, and with Canada over China’s detention of several of its nationals, to name just a few.

China has also clashed with Western powers over increased oppression of dissidents in Hong Kong, the mass detention of Uyghurs in Xinjiang, and Beijing’s ambitious territorial claims in the South China Sea.

Indian soldiers stand in a formation after disembarking from a military transport plane.
Tensions between India and China are at their highest point in decades.(Reuters: Danish Siddiqui)

While China’s power remained unchanged according to the Asia Power Index, India lost its status as a “major power”.

The Lowy Institute said India’s position as a future competitor to China was “far less certain” because of the widespread economic and social damage unleashed by the pandemic.

The country has officially recorded more than 7.4 million coronavirus cases to date and at least 113,000 deaths.

A health worker takes a nasal swab sample of a shopkeeper during random testing for COVID-19 in a market in Gauhati, India.
A health worker takes a nasal swab sample from a shopkeeper in Gauhati, India.(AP: Anupam Nath)

“The resources for India’s rise are certainly there, but the point we’re making is it’s going to take much longer than many people realise.”

China, by contrast, has seen its economy bounce back following the worst of the crisis there.

And in what the Lowy Institute deems the “new space race” for soft power — responding to the challenge of climate change — China has recently committed to carbon neutrality by 2060.

“China’s rapid recovery will further entrench the country’s economic centrality in its region, while the relative importance of the US economy in Asia will likely decline,” Mr Lemahieu said.

American flags are displayed together with Chinese flags on top of a trishaw in Beijing.
The United States’ reputation has been damaged by its handling of the COVID-19 crisis.(AP: Andy Wong)

Australia’s strategic position favourable, but climate poses a threat

Asia’s economy had been projected to be larger than the rest of the world combined by 2020, but coronavirus has slammed the breaks on.

“The long-term economic fallout for [Asia] is pronounced, and that is a huge surprise,” Mr Lemahieu said.

Japan, for example, is expected to take until 2030 to fully recover from the economic consequences of the pandemic.

When unveiling the Government’s defence strategy in June, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia needed to prepare for a post-coronavirus world that was “poorer, more dangerous and more disorderly”.

Australia’s increased power on the Lowy index was not only due to its effective handling of the pandemic, but also influence in South-East Asia and the Pacific, where it has directed foreign aid to assist economic recovery.

“Australia carries less ‘great power baggage’ and has demonstrated it can be far nimbler in South-East Asia than its US ally,” Mr Lemahieu said.

Canberra’s military capacity is dwarfed by that of Washington’s but the Lowy Institute has ranked Australia higher than the US in terms of defence diplomacy, citing its ability to maintain defence partnerships with countries such as Japan, India, Indonesia and Vietnam.

Children gather to get a closer look at an Australian Army Black Hawk helicopter in East Timor.
Children gather to get a closer look at an Australian Army helicopter near Dili in Timor Leste.(Supplied: Department of Defence)

Along with New Zealand, Australia’s island nation status and friendly relations with immediate neighbours, see it ranked as having the most favourable strategic geography in Asia.

But on the Lowy indicator of resilience, Australia declined this year due to major ecological threats and greater dependence on refined fuel imports than any other economy in Asia.

“Australia’s economic contraction in the wake of the pandemic is also set to be more pronounced than that of either Taiwan or Vietnam,” Mr Lemahieu said.



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Bipolar disorder ‘a blessing and a curse’: How Ian Higgins sees life through a creative lens


When Ian Higgins was raced to hospital and then placed in a mental health unit four years ago, it was the worst time of his life — but it was also a transformative experience.

Terrible in that it brought back memories of another night decades before.

“The last time I went in an ambulance blaring, it was my mother in the act of committing suicide and they were trying to take her when she was still alive, through the streets of Brisbane in the early hours of the morning,” Mr Higgins explains.

Mr Higgins refused to go in the ambulance, so he was sedated.

When he awoke, he was in a hospital in Victoria’s Mornington Peninsular and was later transferred to a mental care unit for the aged.

He was diagnosed with late-onset bipolar disorder, and through therapy he was able to reflect on his life and realise it was a condition he had been living since childhood.

A gift and a curse

Mr Higgins, now 82 years old, was released from the mental health unit after three weeks and is now on daily medication and benefits from psychological counselling and exercise.

His changes in mood are flattened out and he says they are not as terrible, nor as spectacular.

Bipolar, he says, is both a blessing and curse.

“It’s mostly a gift, and sometimes it’s more a curse to your family because they’ve got to live with it,” he says.

The blessing, Mr Higgins says, is that many of those living with bipolar disorder see life in far more colourful terms.

You can be the life of the party, he says.

“You give it a lift, to put it mildly,” he says.

However, the impact on families cannot be underestimated.

Mr Higgins says he has been lucky as his family has stood by him and provided unwavering support through his extreme highs and lows.

Barbara married Ian Higgins in 1965 and continued to be a great support until her death recently(Supplied)

Particularly his wife, Barbara, who recently passed away.

“She lived for 54 years with that, and living with bipolar people can be distressing because they’re unpredictable, they go into deep depression and then they’re as high as a kite,” he says.

Family history

Part of Mr Higgins’ therapy had him look back at his own family history; his mother was diagnosed with what was then called manic depression.

“She was more extreme than I was,” he says.

Mr Higgins remembers his mother as being incredibly creative, making hats and baskets of such bright colours they could be spotted from 100 metres away.

She would take Mr Higgins and his brother on spur-of-the-moment holidays, she would talk incessantly and she would throw loud cocktail parties that would shock the Methodist minister living next door.

“And then suddenly she killed herself,” Mr Higgins says.

“Everybody came to the funeral and said, ‘But how could that be — she was so happy, she was vibrant, she was always bubbly.'”

And that is the problem, Mr Higgins says, because no-one sees the other side.

“Mum’s depressions were terrible,” says Mr Higgins, adding that he would be left to running the house with his brother.

Creative spirit

Mr Higgins said he had an epiphany during one of his regular visits to his children in Rockhampton, central Queensland.

He was browsing through books on mental illness at the local library and came across a woman’s memoirs on her experience living with bipolar.

The book including beautiful paintings made during the author’s periods of mania.

Ian Higgins book
Ian Higgins has written a book about living with bipolar and the cover, designed by his granddaughter, shows what it’s like to rise and rise and then plunge into the depths when he has no treatment(ABC Capricornia: Inga Stünzner)

“She found this to be a healing method, and I thought, ‘That’s what I’ll do,” he recalls.

Rather than paintings, Mr Higgins writes free-verse poetry and says this is one of the few times he can sit still for a long period of time.

“I think often for bipolar people, this is the way they cope,” he says.

Mr Higgins has since published a book reflecting on his own experiences of being bipolar, and these are interspersed with his poetry.

The cover, designed by his granddaughter, depicts bipolar disorder with a series of stick people on a steep slope.

“I am walking slowly, then I’m starting to run and then I’m slowly starting to take off like Icarus, and then I crash and then go down, into the depths of the dark ocean,” Mr Higgins says.

“But on the back, it’s after I take the pills.

“The sun still shines, the sky is blue but I’m walking over gentle undulations — not going up and down.”

Under-diagnosed

According to the Black Dog Institute, one in 50 Australians experience bipolar disorder each year.

Rockhampton clinical psychologist Jennifer Rogers says it is difficult to diagnose because many people will not seek help when they’re having a manic episode.

“Everything is going really well, and they don’t want that high to stop,” Ms Rogers explains.

In fact, it is very common for the person to not know they are in a manic phase.

Instead, people are more likely to seek help when they are depressed.

Because of this, it is important to do a thorough clinical interview, often including a family member or partner, to look for patterns and trends.

“If someone presents with depression, I am always looking for bipolar,” Ms Rogers says.

It is treated with a combination of medication and therapy, with the treating team made up of a GP, psychiatrist and psychologist.

A woman in a black dress is sitting in a chair and smiling at the camera
Jennifer Rogers says bipolar disorder can often be misdiagnosed as depression, but the treatment is very different as it requires a team made up of a GP, psychiatrist and psychologist(Supplied)

Treatment is for a lifetime

When dealing with bipolar disorder, it is important to have a family member or partner involved as they are the key to seeing the changes, Ms Rogers says.

“They can then make the person aware, and that’s when we can get in the treatment, so the highs are not really high and we’re not getting those lows,” she says.

“We’re managing the middle area.”

It can be disheartening to realise that management is ongoing, Ms Rogers adds.

“But I’ve worked with enough patients to go, ‘We’ve had a lot of good times, but we know there will be down times, but those are becoming less and less and I can manage them in a more functional way.'”

Ms Rogers says there are so many great things that can happen for people with bipolar.

“So we ask them, how can we adapt this so you can still do amazing things but manage it, so it’s not so overwhelming for yourself or your family,” she says.



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Colorado sees record breaking voter turnout, 24 times the rate of 2016


There has been a surge in the number of ballots returned in Colorado during the first week of early voting, with more than 430,000 votes cast, according to the Secretary of State’s office.

Colorado’s Secretary of State Jena Griswold took to Twitter to announce that the number of ballots cast has outstripped this period of time during the 2016 presidential election by a factor of 24.

“Colorado is seeing record turnout,” Griswold said Thursday. “As of yesterday, over 300,000 Coloradans have voted, which is 24 times more than at this point in 2016.”

COLORADO SEC. OF STATE DISPENSES PPE TO ELECTION WORKERS AMID RISING COVID CASES

As of Friday that figure had increased by over 130,000 votes, totaling 436,443 ballots received.

Democrats have been quick to submit their ballots with more than 198,000 votes cast, while Republicans have submitted just over 87,000 votes so far, according to state records.

Colorado has used universal mail-in voting since 2013, meaning the recent surge is not a result of increased requests by Coloradans for mail-in ballots, due to the coronavirus pandemic as all registered voters receive a mail-in ballot automatically.

But during the 2016 presidential race, Colorado had only received 42,416 returned ballots with 19 days left until the Nov. 3 election, a spokesperson confirmed for Fox News Friday.

Although Democrats still exceeded Republicans in the number of mail-in ballots submitted in 2016, the split was far closer with 18,919 Democratic ballots returned, and 12,611 Republican ballots received by this time in the last presidential cycle.

Colorado does allow election-day voting at polling stations on Nov. 3, but there will likely be less in-person voters than during previous years due to the pandemic.

 A spokesperson with the Secretary of State’s office told Fox News that they had “record-breaking turnout” during the June primaries through their mail-in voting system.

DENVER ORDERS NEW MASK MANDATE AMID SPIKING CASES

A reported 99.3 percent of voters submitted their ballots through the mail for this year’s primaries, and only .7 percent of Coloradans voted in person.

President Trump has repeatedly claimed that mail-in voting will lead to voter fraud, though election officials in Colorado rely on a signature verification program, making a fraudulent ballot unlikely.

If a ballot’s signature does not match the previous signature that the state has on record, it will be flagged. But an unwanted result of the signature verification program is younger voters, who have less signatures in the system for comparison, so they are more likely to have their ballots flagged, Griswold explained to Fox News.

The secretary of state has launched a smartphone based solution to address this issue, known as TXT2Cure, which allows younger voters the ability to quickly address their ballots issues.

“Overall, our signature discrepancy rates are extremely low, they’re the lowest in the nation, but they are a lot higher for younger people,” Griswold told Fox News.

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“As the youngest secretary of state in the nation, I’m dedicated to doing everything in my power to make sure that every vote counts, especially rolling out technology that we think younger people will find more acceptable,” she added.



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September sees bump in administrations as reality sinks in


So-called “zombie” businesses that have been kept alive through
government support, rather than market forces, are beginning to shut up shop,
according to research by CreditorWatch.

Victoria recorded a 23.8 per cent increase in business administrations
in September and Queensland a 24.1 per cent increase, while New South Wales saw
a further 1.6 per cent decrease.

“Seeing businesses enter into administration is never something you want
to celebrate. However, September’s increase in default and administration rates
does indicate that some businesses which have been reliant on government
support are starting to accept the reality of their situation and are taking
steps to settle with their creditors,” CreditorWatch CEO, Patrick Coghlan, said.

“What we don’t want to see is businesses that are doomed to fail continuing to operate and taking healthy companies down with them. The long term-trend is that zombie companies will continue to survive on government support and so the next six months are crucial in determining what position we start our economic recovery from.”

And, despite the fact retail has been significantly impacted by the
pandemic – with store closures and customer movement restricted – CreditorWatch
classified it as one of the “best-performing industries” in terms of how
quickly it is paying its bills. Retailers, on average, are only 30 days overdue
on bills – an improvement of six days compared to August 2020.

“Payment times provide a glaring picture of how tough the environment
is, especially when juxtaposed against 2019,” CreditorWatch chief economist,
Harley Dale, said.

“However, payment times still remain too high and some sectors are being
particularly stubborn… As government support is rescinded, which way this
metric tracks will be crucial in determining how well Australian firms fare in
our new economic world.”

This story first appeared on our sister publication Inside Retail





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Coronavirus latest: New York City sees ‘levelling off’ in Covid-19 hotspots


Peter Wells in New York

California reported fewer than 10 coronavirus deaths on Tuesday, marking the first time since March the most populous US state has had single-digit fatalities for two days running.

A further nine deaths were attributed to coronavirus, authorities revealed this afternoon, up from eight on Monday, which was the smallest one-day increase since early July. That compared with the 28 fatalities reported on Tuesday last week.

Texas became the second US state to confirm 800,000 coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic, after reporting its biggest one-day jump in new infections so far this month.

The state also passed another disappointing milestone, revealing that the number of people currently in Texas hospitals with coronavirus topped 4,000 for the first time since the start of September.

A further 5,210 people tested positive over the past 24 hours, up from 2,384 cases yesterday and compared with the 3,872 new infections reported on Tuesday last week.

Wisconsin reported its biggest one-day rise in new coronavirus cases and deaths on Tuesday, reinforcing the state’s position as one of the new Covid-19 hot spots in the US.

A further 3,279 positive tests were reported over the past 24 hours, authorities revealed this afternoon, up from 1,956 on Monday and compared with 2,020 on Tuesday last week.

That is a record increase in cases, surpassing the previous peak of 3,132 set on Thursday, according to data from the state health department.

Florida reported new coronavirus cases and deaths on Tuesday that hovered around their averages over the past week.

A further 2,725 people tested positive over the past 24 hours, authorities revealed this morning, up from 1,533 on Monday and compared with 2,251 on Tuesday last week.



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CSIS sees warrant process as ‘burdensome’ and a ‘necessary evil’: federal review


Canadian Security Intelligence Service employees see the spadework needed to obtain a judicial warrant as “a necessary evil” that detracts from more valuable activities, says an independent review that calls for a cultural shift inside the spy agency.

The review, obtained by The Canadian Press, found that ineffective training, excessive secrecy and a generally poor understanding of responsibilities contributed to CSIS failing to meet its obligation of full and frank disclosure to the Federal Court when seeking investigative warrants.

The problems have prompted judges to criticize CSIS for falling short of its “duty of candour” to the court, including a recent case in which the spy agency neglected to disclose its reliance on information that likely was collected illegally in support of warrants to probe extremism.

In September 2019, CSIS director David Vigneault asked Morris Rosenberg, a former federal deputy minister of justice, to conduct an independent review with the aim of addressing the ongoing difficulties.

Reviewer accessed CSIS documents, warrant applications

Rosenberg, who had access to CSIS documentation and employees, examined spy service policies, procedures and operational files, as well as Federal Court transcripts relating to warrant applications.

He also consulted Justice Department lawyers, including those assigned to CSIS, and officials from the National Security and Intelligence Review Agency, a spy agency watchdog.

“While warrants are seen as an essential investigatory tool, work supporting the warrant acquisition process is seen as burdensome and has not been valued in the culture of the Service,” Rosenberg concluded.

“Supporting positions are difficult to staff as the role is seen as career limiting in a culture where status and advancement are generally associated with operational roles.”

CSIS director David Vigneault said in July the service must do everything it can to ensure it has the Federal Court’s confidence after a judge ruled the spy service failed to disclose its reliance on illegally-collected information in support of warrants to probe extremism. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

The review says the role of the affiant, a CSIS employee who swears to a supporting affidavit, “is seen as a necessary evil, done on the side of the desk, and taking away from intelligence work.”

The Canadian Press recently obtained a redacted version of the secret review, completed early this year, through the Access to Information Act.

Among Rosenberg’s other findings:

  • Employees’ understanding of the duty of candour varies, even among supervisors, with some senior managers unaware of the protocol;
  • Inadequate time and resources are allocated for training;
  • The role of the Federal Court is not valued or understood, and employees do not understand the reasons for court decisions;
  • There were clashes between the duty to be forthcoming and the “need to know culture” at CSIS that emphasizes shielding sensitive intelligence;
  • Court findings of a breach of the duty of candour have been followed by inconsistent implementation of corrective measures.

The review urges improvements, including better training and clarification of roles, but says they won’t succeed unless the “cultural issues around warrants” are addressed.

CSIS agrees with findings, agency says

In a note accompanying the review, CSIS said it agreed with Rosenberg’s findings, adding they reveal issues that go beyond the service’s disclosure responsibilities with the court.

As a result, Vigneault has launched a project that will draw on the review, consider concerns raised in recent Federal Court rulings and build on other initiatives already underway, the note said.

CSIS spokesman John Townsend said that since the launch of the project in June there has been extensive engagement with employees to solicit ideas.

The project aims to adapt existing policies and practices, as well as provide extensive training to employees, Townsend said.

Training modules developed to date focus on increasing awareness of CSIS’s candour requirements as well as clarifying roles and responsibilities for operational employees, affiants and counsel, he said.

In a ruling made public in July, Federal Court Justice Patrick Gleeson found CSIS had breached its duty of candour to the court in probing extremism, part of a troubling pattern dating back years.

“Having approved operations that were on their face illegal, the service then collected information which in turn was put before this court in support of warrant applications, without notifying the court of the likely illegality,” Gleeson’s ruling said.

“The circumstances raise fundamental questions relating to respect for the rule of law, the oversight of security intelligence activities and the actions of individual decision-makers.”



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