CSIS surveillance of pipeline protesters faces federal review

Protest in Comox, BC, against Enbridge pipeline, 2012.

Protest in Comox, BC, against Enbridge pipeline, 2012.

B.C. Civil Liberties Association alleges spy agency broke the law with its surveillance

CBC News, Aug 12, 2015

A federal committee is holding a hearing today into a complaint that the Canadian Security Intelligence Service illegally spied on peaceful anti-pipeline protesters in B.C., but the public may never know what went on behind closed doors.

The security intelligence review committee hearing will not be open to the public.

The complaint was filed by the B.C. Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) last year after media reports suggested that CSIS and other government agencies consider opposition to the petroleum industry a threat to national security.

BCCLA executive director Josh Paterson said CSIS documents have already revealed the agency had informants watching the All Native Basketball Tournament in Prince Rupert and church activists in Kelowna. He has questions about who else was targeted by the spy agency and why.

“How do they know who we were spying on, whose emails they were reading, whose phone calls they were listening to, whose meetings they were putting plants in to report back. And we hope to get to the bottom of it.”

The BCCLA complaint alleges that CSIS “broke the law by gathering information on the peaceful and democratic activities of Canadians, which it is banned by law from doing.”

The BCCLA also alleges that along with the RCMP, CSIS “illegally monitored and spied on the peaceful and democratic activities of community groups and First Nations opposed to the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline project. These groups include ForestEthics Advocacy, Dogwood Initiative, LeadNow.ca, the Idle No More movement, and others.”

Mary MacDonald, who helped organize anti-Enbridge protests in Prince George, said she refuses to be intimidated by the surveillance agency’s actions

“I have certainly thought about the possibility at times that I’m being spied on. But I’m not doing anything wrong, I’m being a concerned citizen, I’m speaking out, I’ve never broken the law, so I’m going to continue to do that.”

CBC News reached out to the security intelligence review committee for comment on the hearing but did not get a response.

In the past, CSIS has denied allegations that it acted illegally.

“While I cannot comment on specific complaints, what I can say is that CSIS investigates — and advises government on — threats to national security, and that does not include peaceful protest and dissent,” said CSIS spokeswoman Tahera Mufti in a statement issued in February 2014.



Posted on August 12, 2015, in Oil & Gas, State Security Forces and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Reblogged this on dyke writer and commented:
    thank you!

  2. Michael And Ingrid Heroux

    My family and I have been struggling with the Harper government and more recently with the RCMP just to get our investigation information they have on us. I used to work undercover for the RCMP to help them get their arrest warrants from the Judges and the RCMP just notified us by mail that we are not even entitled under the FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT to get any of that information at all.

    They have been leading us on since the begining of this year by telling us to get our investigation information from them that they need this information from us, and they need that information from us, before they can give us our investingation information to us under the FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT, and after jumping through hoops to give them what they asked for they just sent us a letter saying we are not entitled under the FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT to have access to even just basic criminal investigation information. We know we have been investigated on and off by the RCMP for close to 30 years but we are not allowed to know what the investigations were about even though the investigations never amounted to any charges against us.

    We understand why CSIS and CSEC are not able to give us our 30-08 warrant investigation information because they said it is classified even though CSIS never charged us for anything either after investigting us from 2008-2010, but the RCMP says we are not even entitled to our regular investigation information from them.

    We applied to the Justice Minister of B.C. for our investigation warrant information to find out what we were and are being investigated for here in B.C. but all she would send us is court documents from when I was in trouble with the law over 15 years ago for prescription medication abuse that I was getting from my doctor. I was addicted to sleeping pills and alcohol over 15 years ago and I did some stupid things that I didn’t even remember doing the next day. I took a whole bottle of sleeping medication one night and I guess I left my house and went to a 7-11 variety store and stole a handful of change from the clerk there. I didn’t remember taking the sleeping pills or stealing the change from the clerk at the store but I was arrested and I spent about a week in jail and they ended up charging me with theft when my court dates were done with. I don’t even remember much of being in jail either and the courts said the only reason they kept me in jail for a week was because I was so out of it from the sleeping pills that the jail guards had to carrying me into the court to see the Judge.

    It was a generic brand of that Ambian type sleeping medication and I was addicted to that for quite a while. It was really bad stuff, it was highly addictive for sleeping medication and that was the last time I ever got that stuff from my doctor again. I was taking sleeping medication for many years for a sleeping disorder and they changed my medication to that stuff and that was really powerful medication for a sleeping pill.

    The courts gave me a years probation and community service and that is the last time I was in trouble with the law. Since then, the Canadian government has gotten a number of different criminal and terror warrants on me and my wife in B.C. and Ontario but we are not allowed to know anything about what for. We know the 30-08 warrants were fraudulent because CSIS used my wife and I and lied to Judge Richard Mosley to get the warrants, and Judge Richard Mosley sternly rebuked CSIS and CSEC for doing that but we can’t even get our RCMP criminal warrant investigation information to know what the government was up to.

    All we know is from our 2 older daughters that were sent back home to live with us by the RCMP in 2008 to investigate us. We don’t think they told our daughters the whole truth either. We don’t think our daughters even knew what they were getting into. My wife has never broken the law in her life and she has no criminal record at all and the RCMP won’t even give her a single piece of her investigation information and now they are telling us that all of our information can be held back from us because of certain clauses in the FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT. It doesn’t make sence to us so we are going to have to try and find a lawyer and ask the courts to help us secure our personal information from the government.


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