Intel panel finds 'important challenges' facing federal approach on hostage-takings

OTTAWA — MPs and senators who oversee security and intelligence activities are calling on the government to create a clear framework to respond to terrorist hostage-takings.

The National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians points out several shortcomings with the current approach in a report on Global Affairs Canada tabled today.

The committee says a new framework should ensure leadership for whole-of-government responses to hostage incidents and provide resources to support operational needs during critical episodes.

The report says while Global Affairs has consistently done some form of lessons-learned exercise following critical incidents, the findings from those exercises were not being implemented.

The committee found many of the same challenges arose repeatedly, including gaps in centralized decision-making and unclear roles and responsibilities.

It says a specialized unit established by Global Affairs in 2009 to develop formal policies, protocols and standard operating procedures had failed to do so.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 4, 2022.

The Canadian Press