CSIS vs RCMP
CSIS and RCMP were one unit until 1984. CSIS is the Canadian Security Intelligence Service that was created in 1984 out of the erstwhile RCMP, or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, on the recommendation of McDonald Commission. The commission was of the view that intelligence gathering was totally separate from policing. Until its creation, it was RCMP that was responsible for maintaining law and order along with collecting intelligence.
Formation of CSIS
The Canadian government was concerned about certain activities of RCMP and believed that security and intelligence should be handed by a separate entity that was not a part of the police force. Thus came into existence CSIS or the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, separated from RCMP, and is subject to both judicial approval for warrants as well as general oversight review by a new body known as Security Intelligence Review Committee and the office of the Inspector General. CSIS is thus not a police agency and the agents working for CSIS are not called police officers.
MOU between CSIS and RCMP
However, there were criticisms of this bifurcation, and experts felt that there was a thin line dividing the roles and responsibilities of the two. It was also felt that the two organizations nevertheless required close coordination, transfer and sharing of information to carry out their respective operations. To achieve this end, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the two organizations. One of the clauses of this MOU states that CSIS shall provide to the RCMP the information that RCMP needs concerning any threat to the security of Canada. It also stated that in case of any disagreement between CSIS and RCMP, the same shall be resolved by being referred to the office of the Solicitor General. One of the important features of this agreement was the clause that stated that RCMP and CSIS will consult and co-operate with each other with respect to conduct of security investigations.
RCMP stands for Royal Canadian Mounted Police and is a national policing service.
CSIS is the national intelligence agency that was carved out of RCMP in 1984.
While RCMP is responsible for maintaining law and order, CSIS is involved in collecting intelligence information concerned with the security of the country.