Former cabinet minister Chuck Strahl has been named the new chair of the Security Intelligence Review Committee, the panel that oversees Canada's spy agency.

Strahl, a former British Columbia MP, was first elected in 1997 and served in Harper's cabinet from 2006 until May 2011, when he retired from politics.

SIRC was established in 1984 to oversee and review the operations of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) and to investigate complaints against it. CSIS was then a new agency.

Strahl will replace Arthur Porter, who stepped down from SIRC last November after media reports about his business dealings in his native Sierra Leone. The media reports also said he billed himself as "Ambassador Plenipotentiary, Republic of Sierra Leone."

Strahl was named to the position as MPs spent the day voting on the bill to implement the federal budget, which will eliminate the role of Canada's Inspector General of CSIS. Like SIRC, the inspector general reviews the work of CSIS.