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Jim Bronskill

Border agency audit finds rail security gaps

OTTAWA—An internal audit has uncovered numerous gaps in the federal border agency’s efforts to prevent dangerous cargo and people from entering Canada aboard freight trains.

The Canada Border Services Agency review found inadequate managerial oversight, a lack of timely information on which to base decisions, and shoddy targeting of incoming rail shipments for scrutiny.

Electronic spy agency broke law

OTTAWA—Canada’s electronic spy agency broke privacy laws by sharing information about Canadians with foreign partners, a federal watchdog says.

The Communications Security Establishment passed along the information—known as metadata—to counterparts in the U.S., Britain, Australia, and New Zealand, said Jean-Pierre Plouffe, who keeps an eye on the highly-secretive agency.

Pot no cash cow: PM

OTTAWA—The modest amount of tax money expected from legalized marijuana sales should go to addiction and support programs, the prime minister says.

There’s potential for “a bit of revenue” from a revamped pot regime, but the federal government isn’t looking for a financial windfall, Justin Trudeau said in a wide-ranging roundtable interview this week with The Canadian Press.

‘Big-data’ crunching needed

OTTAWA—Federal security agencies risk being overwhelmed by threats—or failing to even foresee them—unless they embrace the digital-age phenomenon of big-data crunching, warns an internal Public Safety Canada presentation.

With billions of people using mobile phones and surfing the Internet, security officials are preoccupied with getting timely access to valuable information.