The head of Canada's national police force says there are about 63 active security investigations on 90 suspected extremists who intend to join fights abroad or who have returned to Canada.

Bob Paulson, commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, told a Parliament public safety committee on Wednesday the pace and tempo of police operations is brisk but says it's nothing that "Canadians need to be alarmed about."

Michel Coulombe, the director of Canada's intelligence agency, says they know of about 80 people who have returned to Canada who are suspected of supporting terror-related activities in countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Lebanon and regions such as North Africa.

Coulombe says they know where they are and while "all of them potentially could be a threat," some were involved in non-combat-related activities such as fundraising and propaganda.