Five CSIS employees are accusing the spy agency of Islamophobia, racism and homophobia in a $35-million lawsuit

Posted
July 17, 2017
Article Source
Toronto Star

Five intelligence officers and analysts with Canada's spy service have launched a $35-million lawsuit against their employer, claiming the Canadian Security Intelligence Service is a toxic workplace with managers who openly espouse Islamophobic, racist and homophobic views and discriminate against Muslim, Black and gay employees.

The allegations contained in a 54-page statement of claim — filed in Federal Court and obtained by the Toronto Star — provide detailed accusations from inside one of the country’s most secretive organizations.

One of the complainants, a Toronto intelligence officer with more than a decade of service and identified in the claim by the pseudonym "Alex," is gay and has a Muslim partner.

According to the statement of claim, an October 2015 email sent to him by his manager "Simon" stated: "Careful your Muslim in-laws don't behead you in your sleep for being homo." Another boss, given the pseudonym "Joe," allegedly wrote: "You're just a fag hiding in your little corner sobbing."

None of the allegations contained in the claim, which was filed Thursday morning, has been proven in court.

CSIS director David Vigneault issued a statement responding to the Star's questions about the claim. Vigneault, who was appointed as the spy agency's director last month, said CSIS "takes any allegations of inappropriate behaviour very seriously."

"I would like to reinforce that, as an organization, CSIS does not tolerate harassment, discrimination or bullying under any circumstances. The Service's values and ethics must be reflected in all of our behaviours and decision-making, and reflect the CSIS Employee Code of Conduct principles of respect for democracy, respect for people, integrity, stewardship, and professional excellence."

Read more: Five CSIS employees are accusing the spy agency of Islamophobia, racism and homophobia in a $35-million lawsuit