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Military Lecture: Spies in our Midst – The Damage to Canada

March 12, 2020 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Admission by donation

Dr. Wesley Wark presents, Spies in our Midst: The Damage to Canada

A contemporary talk on a major Canadian spy case–the Delisle affair (2011)–involving a Canadian military officer who supplied secrets to the Russians for a four year period.

The arrest of Lieutenant Jeffrey Delisle in January 2012 exposed the serious damage that espionage can cause to Canada’s interests and revealed the challenges involved in uncovering and prosecuting spies. Delisle’s case forced the first use of Canada’s new official secrets act since 9/11. The Delisle case is also a tale about the psychology of spying and about how those who commit treason may not match the standard profile. Delisle could not be easily fitted into the spy hunter’s MICE categories – people driven by some combination of money, ideology, corruption, ego. His was a sadder and stranger story.

Offered in partnership with the Laurier Centre for Military, Strategic and Disarmament Studies.

Admission by donation.

Professor Wesley Wark is currently an adjunct professor at the University of Ottawa and an instructor at the Centre on Public Management and Policy, where he teaches courses to government officials. He is a professor emeritus at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs.  He holds a B.A. from Carleton University; an M.A. from Cambridge University; and a Ph.D. from the London School of Economics. His University career included teaching at McGill, University of Calgary and the University of Toronto, from which retired in 2015. He also served as a Visiting Professor at the University of Ottawa’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs from its founding in 2007 until 2017.

He served for two terms on the Prime Minister of Canada’s Advisory Council on National Security (2005-2009) and served on the Advisory Committee to the President of the Canada Border Services Agency from 2006 to 2010. He has appeared before Parliamentary committees on numerous occasions as an invited expert on matters dealing with security and intelligence. He has also served as an expert witness in several matters before the Federal Court of Canada, and before the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, including on security certificate cases, Access to Information challenges, and admissibility issues.  He has advised the current government on national security and intelligence issues, including with regard to Bill C59, the new national security framework legislation.

Professor Wark was commissioned to write a classified history of the origins and evolution of the Canadian intelligence community during the Cold War, for the Privy Council Office while serving on an Executive Canada interchange program between 1998-2002.

Professor Wark’s most recent book is an edited volume: Secret Intelligence: A Reader (second edition 2019).  He served as co-director of a research team at the University of Ottawa engaged in a study of the impact of national security and counter-terrorism policies on Canadians since 9/11, funded by Public Safety’s Kanishka Project. He recently completed a commissioned history of the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP on its 30th anniversary.  He is currently working on a book on major espionage plots in Canada since 1945. He serves on the editorial advisory board of the journal, Intelligence and National Security, and is a former editor of the journal.


March 12, 2020
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Admission by donation
Event Category:


Guelph Museums


Civic Museum
52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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