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Trudeau’s Foreign Interference Adviser Role Now Requires No Experience

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This just in – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s National Security and Intelligence Adviser is an inexperienced part-timer.

By naming Nathalie Drouin, whose entire career has been in justice roles, as the new National Security and Intelligence Advisor, Trudeau has essentially placed national security oversight in the hands of an amateur.

This baffling move raises alarming questions about Trudeau’s dismissive stance on foreign meddling in Canadian affairs. 

Does he simply not take the foreign interference threat seriously despite extensive evidence of Chinese information operations? Or is Trudeau intentionally weakening Canada’s defenses to enable further foreign meddling that could help his political ambitions?

Either way, handing the complex task of interpreting intelligence and advising on national security to someone with zero experience suggests Trudeau is dangerously complicit to this threat to Canadian sovereignty.

With Canada’s democracy hanging in the balance, a part-time advisor without qualification is a recipe for disaster.

Trudeau has dangerously downgraded Canada’s defenses against foreign election interference by appointing Nathalie Drouin, an unqualified, part-time advisor to the crucial role of interpreting intelligence. 

This neglectful move diminishes national security oversight and ignores the demanding requirements of analyzing complex threats. With democracy under attack, Trudeau’s appointment of an inexperienced novice part-time advisor makes Canada more vulnerable to external manipulation and threatens critical intelligence being overlooked. 

Reducing this vital position to part-time jeopardizes Canada’s ability to counter foreign meddling.

This same idea was emphasized by David Morrison, the deputy minister of foreign affairs. Last year, Morrison testified before a House of Commons committee on foreign interference. In his testimony, he said that in his experience, intelligence does not paint “ a full or concrete or actionable picture.”

“Intelligence is not truth,” he said.

Morrison served as the acting national security and intelligence advisor back in 2019, the person responsible for making recommendations on security and intelligence policy to the prime minister.

Interpreting intelligence is an intricate puzzle requiring extensive expertise, as Morrison emphasized. No single piece paints a complete picture. Rather, it takes years navigating complex and contradictory information flows to adeptly analyze threats. 

“Intelligence is much more a game of disparate pieces of information, many of which don’t seem to fit together, at least initially,” he said.

Morrison’s message was clear – this critical advisor role demands an exceptionally seasoned veteran at the helm. Trudeau appointing an inexperienced part-timer utterly defies this need for intricate intelligence expertise with Canada’s democracy at stake.

Morrison’s testimony highlights the vital necessity of an advisor deeply immersed in navigating intelligence subtleties, not a part-time amateur. 

This is just another case that highlights the recklessness of Trudeau’s approach, and his neglect of national security.

With China and Russia weaponizing misinformation, we need an advisor who innately comprehends intelligence tactics. But Trudeau’s chosen a part-timer unable to connect complex dots and detect emerging interference campaigns.

With his new advisor adrift decoding intelligence, how will Trudeau respond to further foreign meddling? Canada’s sovereignty is at stake, yet Trudeau shrugs off warnings that this role demands extensive expertise.

Appointing a part-time amateur is an arrogant abdication of his duty to secure Canada’s democracy. It raises grave concerns about Trudeau’s dismissive stance on foreign interference and unwillingness to staunchly defend our institutions from external manipulation.

Trudeau’s current National Security and Intelligence Advisor, Jody Thomas, is retiring at the end of this month.

Back in December, Thomas revealed her plans to leave the public service “with a tear, and a smile,” in a message to colleagues.

Thomas also told a separate parliamentary committee that on any given day she could receive a reading package comprising 50 to 100 pieces of intelligence. 

“We collect a lot of intelligence and assess a lot of intelligence but what we don’t do a good job of is giving advice to the government,” she said.

Yet her replacement is Trudeau’s hand-picked partisan with zero intelligence experience, utterly unprepared for this daily avalanche of nuanced information. Thomas bravely admitted “we don’t do a good job giving advice to the government” – and Trudeau responded by appointing someone certain to do an even worse job.

This is deeply reckless given the rising tide of foreign interference washing against Canada’s shores.

Thomas’ retirement makes the choice of an amateur advisor over a qualified intelligence expert even more dangerous and irresponsible. At this defining moment, we need our most brilliant security mind steering Canada through hazardous waters, not a part-timer unable to distinguish misinformation from truth.

Nathalie Drouin, who will be Justin Trudeau’s new National Security and Intelligence Advisor, while also keeping her job as deputy clerk of the Privy Council, which she has held since 2021.

Wesley Wark, senior fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation think tank, said that there are two main issues with her new appointment – maintaining dual roles while failing to identify the time demands of the intelligence job.

By naming Nathalie Drouin as Canada’s new intelligence advisor, Trudeau has catastrophically miscast this role. Drouin’s entire background is in legal bureaucracies, leaving her wholly unqualified to unravel complex global threats targeting Canada.

Expert Wesley Wark rightly warns Drouin juggling two senior roles ignores the immersive focus required to adeptly interpret intelligence. Yet Trudeau expects Drouin to handle this responsibility part-time.

This is an untenable position for even seasoned experts, let alone an inexperienced novice. 

Make no mistake, adversaries like China and Russia will seize advantage of Drouin’s lack of expertise to advance disinformation and election interference unseen.

Canada’s sovereignty depends on keen analytic minds piercing the veil of foreign interference. Instead, Trudeau has left us vulnerable to manipulation by appointing someone unequipped for this pivotal advisory role. This is gross negligence from a Prime Minister unwilling to take intelligence threats seriously.

Wark also said the other issue is that she could face difficulties providing the support that Justin Trudeau’s new National Security Council will need.

Last summer, the prime minister announced the NSC, a new forum for ministers that he will chair, will be in charge of setting the strategic direction for security and intelligence challenges.

It remains unclear what the NSC will do. The government does not even have a national security strategy.

With no defined strategy, Drouin is adrift strategically advising this council of ministers chaired by Trudeau. 

While her legal background may help respond to legislative changes following upcoming foreign interference reports, Drouin’s inability to connect intelligence dots leaves Canada obscured from evolving threats. 

Appointing an intelligence novice is questionable with parliamentary committees demanding strengthened security powers and safeguards. Drouin simply lacks the expertise to guide strategic reforms protecting Canada from sophisticated foreign meddling that requires an adept intelligence insider to detect and deter.

And by all means, Drouin is a dedicated public servant and Canadian worker.

However, the fact that this role requires a seasoned professional in the tricky field of intelligence still remains.

Trudeau’s appointment of an inexperienced advisor highlights his broader dismissal of urgent national security issues. 

Key legislation like C-26, the government’s cyber-security bill, languishes while adversary threats evolve. Yet Trudeau drags his feet strengthening defenses, ignoring experts urging adopting UK-style laws criminalizing foreign election interference.

Analysts and experts, such as former clerk of the Privy Council, Michael Wernick, have urged the government to act immediately by copying the British legislation.

Yet that definitely has not happened. And the government does not seem to prioritize national security from global interference threats.

With seven advisors cycling through in seven years, none lasting over two, Trudeau clearly prioritizes partisan loyalty over security expertise. 

This downgrading to a part-time novice is the latest sign national security doesn’t concern Trudeau despite escalating foreign meddling. He’s intentionally deaf to calls for strengthening intelligence coordination.

Other Western leaders act decisively against interference threats, while Trudeau skirts accountability, leaving Canada exposed. 

His nonchalant appointment of an unqualified advisor both emboldens foreign meddling and risks critical threats going unseen.

 With ever-blurring lines between state and non-state actors, Canada needs its sharpest intelligence minds at the helm, not Trudeau’s hand-picked dilettante.

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