Civil liberties watchdog concerned the RCMP has informants in B.C. anti-pipeline groups

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      A number of environmental and First Nations groups have said they want to know whether or not the RCMP has placed informants or undercover agents inside Idle No More and other anti-pipeline movements.

      “We think that people ought to be able to gather together, to protest, to be engaged in community groups, and to be engaged in political groups, without having to worry that the person next to them might be providing information to the RCMP,” said Josh Paterson, executive director of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association.

      On February 6, the BCCLA filed complaints against the RCMP and Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) for allegedly illegal spying on environmental organizations.

      The Straight previously reported that the complaints rest on information contained in a package of emails sent between RCMP officers, CSIS agents, and government entities such as the National Energy Board between December 2012 and April 2013.

      Now, Paterson is calling attention to the significant portions of those documents that authorities redacted before releasing them to the Vancouver Observer in November.

      In a telephone interview, Paterson told the Straight that the information he’s most interested in was blacked out under section 16 of the Access to Information Act, which pertains to the identity of confidential sources of informations.

      He explained that the context of some sections withheld indicates that the RCMP likely has informants or intelligence officers placed within anti-pipeline groups such as Idle No More.

      “What it strongly suggests to us is the RCMP had people who were funneling them information from within community groups or movements,” he said. “That is a huge concern to us.”

      The BCCLA says emails released in response to an access to information request suggest the RCMP may be monitoring environmental groups closer than the law permits.
      Click to read the emails

      A February 6 media release states that the BCCLA is asking that RCMP be investigated for “improper and unlawful actions”.

      “BCCLA is troubled that the RCMP would infiltrate and/or covertly gather intelligence regarding groups whose members are peacefully exercising their Charter-protected assembly and expression rights,” states the release.

      “IF the RCMP is involved in infiltrating these groups or is otherwise relying on confidential informants or covert intelligence gathering, then an inquiry must also be conducted into whether such activities amount to an unreasonable search in violation of section 8 of the Charter.”

      The RCMP declined a request for an interview. Spokesperson David Falls previously sent the Straight an email stating that the Mounties “will not comment on this matter”.




      Feb 8, 2014 at 9:57pm

      Remember the couple in Surrey, accused with planting a bomb in Victoria last summer???? Weren't they being "watched" by the RCMP. Oh wait, they were being baited and encouraged by the RCMP. Funny how that story has faded into the fog of the corporate media noise. Figure that story provides the RCMP with the secret approval to spy on any "enemy of the state". And by state I mean the corporate interests. The real enemy to our society is the work of corporate hacks posing as journalists, betraying the truth to the masses.


      Feb 9, 2014 at 7:35am

      Why are surprised when the PM oked for the USA to use Canada to spy on other nations at the G8 & G20 conferences? Now spying on the average Joe/Josephine to gather invasive personal info via megsata? Amusing that USA, UK, France, Germany are bored (no wars games) tinkering in conflicts in Syria, Isreal/Palestine, so to break the boredom & maintain arm forces propaganda keeps tensions high & the need for internal surveillance.
      Stumbling in the rear is Canada, lacking close political confidence with other nations, trying to keep up the notion that Canada is still a "world leader" thus spying on Cdns. shows that PM is on top of things.
      Any recent spy matter was brought to the RCMP's attention by foreign spy agencies, Naval officer giving Russia Cdn. naval plans (FBI alereted RCMP), Via train bomb plot again RCMP informed by FBI -
      Yes of course the RCMP has placed their chappies in ANY group that opposes Harper's agenda - environmental CHARITABLE orgs. via excessive audits to the Victoria blomb plot which was made to look real! But these incidents achieve Harp's purpose of keeping terrorism in the news. Both the RCMP & Harp use the media as an avenue to promote fear (another tactical tool to maintain control in Harp's dictatorship).
      Commissioner was muzzled the first weeks after Harp selected Paulson, knew Paulson could be made to heel, as whenever Paulson spoke publicily Tippy Toes was standing over him to ensure he followed Harp's script.
      The only avenue to reverse, retrieve & keep our democracy is to vote Harp & his "yes" troupe out of office in 2015 - vote vote for Liberals Green NDP the Bloc anyone else but the thugs who are stripping Canadians of our freedoms.


      Feb 9, 2014 at 8:30am

      Isn't Ben West a stand up comic?


      Feb 10, 2014 at 3:10pm

      Here is the key sentence in this story. "He explained that the CONTEXT of some sections withheld indicates that the RCMP LIKELY has informants or intelligence officers placed within anti-pipeline groups". Sounds like paranoia is leading some people to go on a fishing expedition. Wake me when you find EVIDENCE.

      Martin Dunphy

      Feb 10, 2014 at 4:48pm


      With respect, apparently the EVIDENCE was REDACTED.

      sherri c

      Apr 1, 2014 at 8:56pm

      I'm sure they have informants.