Canada turfed out more spies to the U.S. than elsewhere

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OTTAWA—New figures show Canada has turfed out five spies in the past decade from a surprising source country — its best friend and ally, the United States.

From 2004 to 2014 Ottawa sent back to the U.S. five of a total of 21 of those barred from Canada “on security grounds for engaging in an act of espionage that is against Canada or that is contrary to Canada’s interests,” according to a document produced by Canada Border Services Agency.

It’s not clear whether the espionage was by foreign government agents or whether it was industrial espionage — that is, spying to obtain state secrets or spying that targeted intellectual property or corporate secrets.

A document released under the Access to Information law shows the suspected spies were permanent residents or foreign nationals deemed inadmissible on security grounds, but does not break down them down by citizenship. Rather, it indicates the country to which the spies were sent back to.

Still, the fact that the U.S. is the origin of the most espionage cases is surprising, especially given the emphasis put by federal politicians — including two former CSIS directors, one of whom is now national security advisor to Prime Minister Stephen Harper — on China as a suspected source of espionage.

The U.S. actually tops this list, followed by China, India and Sweden with two expulsions each in 10..

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