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Qualicum Beach woman now chair of national security committee

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has appointed Qualicum Beach resident Deborah Grey as the chair of the Security Intelligence Review Committee.

Harper made the announcement after the weekend resignation of Chuck Strahl.

"Mr. Strahl has submitted his resignation to me, and I have accepted it, effective immediately," Harper said in a news release.

"In the interim, Deborah Grey will act as chair until a new chair is appointed. With the appointment of Ms. Grey as chair of the Security Intelligence Review Committee, there will be no gap in the review of CSIS's activities or in addressing complaints from the public."

According to the federal government's release, the Security Intelligence Review Committee is an independent, external review body which reports to the Parliament of Canada on the operations of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service.

Grey became the Reform Party's first MP when she won a byelection in Alberta in 1989. Her first legislative assistant was a young Harper.

Gray was an MP until 2004. She was also interim leader of the Canadian Alliance in 2000, the first woman in Canadian history to become the Leader of the Opposition.

She was Western chair of the Conservative Party's campaign in the 2006 election, in which Harper became prime minister.

— NEWS Staff, with files from Wikipedia  and debgrey.com

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