OTTAWA - The Harper government is using its massive budget bill to quietly scrap a key official overseeing Canada's spy agency.
A spokeswoman for Public Safety Minister Vic Toews says the surprise move to axe the inspector general of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service will save taxpayers almost $1 million a year.
Julie Carmichael said the unannounced decision to cut the office — known as the minister's eyes and ears on CSIS — will actually strengthen independent oversight of the agency.
But independent experts say pushing more duties onto the Security Intelligence Review Committee, which is currently without a chairman, won't improve oversight.
When Toews announced the reappointment of inspector general Eva Plunkett in 2010, he said her office helps ensure that CSIS operates within the law and follows current policies.
Plunkett's annual reports to the minister have been frank and often highly critical, including a warning last year that the spy agency was failing to follow new accountability standards set by the Supreme Court of Canada.
Feb. 26, 1993 - A bomb explodes in the garage of the World Trade Center.
Truck bombs hit the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
The U.S.S. Cole came under attack in the Yemeni city of Aden.
Planes fly into the World Trade Towers and the Pentagon. Another plane crashes in Pennsylvania.
Explosion in the El Grhiba synagogue in Djerba, Tunisia.
Bombs explode in a nightclub in Bali, killing 202 people.
Suicide car bombers hit a hotel in Mombasa, Kenya.
Al Qaeda bombers hit Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Coordinated explosions hit Casablanca, Morocco.
The U.N. headquarters in Baghdad are hit by a truck filled with explosives.
Al Qaeda suicide bombers target a residential compound in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
More than 130 people are killed by bombs in four trains in Madrid.
Bombs explode in the London subway, killing 52 people.
Attacks on hotels in Amman, the Jordanian capital, are claimed by Al Qaeda in Iraq.
Suicide bombs explode in the Algerian capital Algiers.
Al Qaeda claims responsibilities for attacks on U.N. offices in Algiers.
Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab is accused of attempting to bomb a U.S.-bound plane.
Suicide bombers hit hotels in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad.
A French tourist is killed by al Qaeda in Morocco after being kidnapped in Niger.
Gunmen attack a church in Baghdad during Sunday mass.
Parcel bombs on their way to the United States are intercepted on planes in Britain and Dubai.
Two Frenchmen were found dead in Niger after being abducted by al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).
A bomb explodes in Morocco's tourist hub Marrakesh.