Here's five things to know about Canada's intelligence watchdog powers as they currently stand:
— The Security Intelligence Review Committee, the watchdog over the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, has access to all CSIS records, carries out several studies each year and tables a report in Parliament.
— The review committee absorbed some functions of the CSIS inspector general's office after the Conservatives abolished that watchdog in 2012.
— The inspector general was considered the public safety minister's "eyes and ears" on CSIS, with the ability to alert him to any brewing problems.
— The NDP and Liberals point out the review committee is just that — a review body, not an oversight agency peering over CSIS' shoulder in real time.
— The opposition parties are calling for a full-fledged parliamentary oversight body whose members would be cleared to see and discuss secret records — similar to such committees in Britain and the United States.
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