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Canada’s RCMP and Secret Service (CSIS) Spy on Enbridge Pipeline Opponents, Native Groups, Environmentalists | Global Research

Canada’s RCMP and Secret Service (CSIS) Spy on Enbridge Pipeline Opponents, Native Groups, Environmentalists | Global Research.

Global Research, March 07, 2014
Big Brother: America's Police State Mentality in the Electronic Age

The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) filed two complaints today against the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). The complaints allege that the two agencies 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.

The BCCLA alleges that the RCMP and CSIS interfered with the freedoms of expression, assembly and association protected by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms by gathering intelligence about citizens opposed to the Enbridge project through a range of sources. The complaints also claim that the spying activities potentially included illegal searches of private information. The complaint against CSIS further alleges that the spy agency broke the law by gathering information on the peaceful and democratic activities of Canadians, which it is banned by law from doing. The documents released made clear that none of the groups under surveillance posed any threat to the National Energy Board hearings or public safety.

“It’s against the law and the constitution for police and spy agencies to spy on the lawful activities of people who are just speaking out and getting involved in their communities. That’s why we have filed these complaints,” said Josh Paterson, Executive Director of the BCCLA. “This is bigger than an environmental debate – it’s a question of fundamental human rights. There are plenty of undemocratic countries where governments spy on people that they don’t agree with. That’s not supposed to happen in Canada, and when it does, it can frighten people away from expressing themselves and participating in democratic debate.”

“It’s intimidating for people to learn that they’re being spied on by their own government,” said Ben West, Tar Sands Campaign Director for ForestEthics Advocacy, one of the groups that was spied upon. “Regular people are being made to feel like they are on a list of enemies of the state, just because they are speaking out to protect their community from a threat to their health and safety or trying to do what’s right in the era of climate change.”

One incident recorded in the intelligence-gathering was a Kelowna, B.C. volunteer meeting co-hosted by the advocacy organization LeadNow.ca and the Dogwood Initiative, a community action group based in Victoria. Jamie Biggar, the Executive Director of LeadNow, said, “Government spies should not be compiling reports about volunteers literally gathered in church basements to hand-paint signs – and then sharing that information with oil companies. That puts the interests of a handful of corporations ahead of the privacy rights of Canadians. It’s just wrong – period.”

Will Horter, the Executive Director of the Dogwood Initiative, added: “We are helping Canadians engage in their communities and in public decision-making processes for Enbridge and other projects. There is something deeply wrong when holding a story-telling workshop attracts heat from spies and police forces. It’s democracy, not a national security threat.”

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, who attended one of the meetings that was spied upon, stated: “I was shocked and disgusted to learn that the police and the National Energy Board colluded to keep track of First Nations people who are simply speaking out, including those who participate in Idle No More. This is the kind of thing we’d expect to see in a police state, and it’s a violation of our freedom of speech and freedom of assembly.”

Some of the intelligence gathered appears to have been shared with the National Energy Board, including information about ForestEthics Advocacy which was an intervening party in the Board’s hearings, as well as with Enbridge and other oil and energy companies. The complaint against the RCMP alleges that this could compromise the fairness of the Enbridge hearings. West added: “You can’t have a fair hearing when the police secretly gather information about our activities and then provide secret evidence to the National Energy Board and Enbridge, one of the other parties.”

The activities of CSIS and the RCMP outlined in the complaints originally came to light through an access to information request filed by Matthew Millar of the Vancouver Observer. It is unclear whether covert surveillance, wiretaps or other means were used in gathering the intelligence.

Canada’s RCMP and Secret Service (CSIS) Spy on Enbridge Pipeline Opponents, Native Groups, Environmentalists | Global Research

Canada’s RCMP and Secret Service (CSIS) Spy on Enbridge Pipeline Opponents, Native Groups, Environmentalists | Global Research.

Global Research, March 07, 2014
Big Brother: America's Police State Mentality in the Electronic Age

The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) filed two complaints today against the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). The complaints allege that the two agencies 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.

The BCCLA alleges that the RCMP and CSIS interfered with the freedoms of expression, assembly and association protected by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms by gathering intelligence about citizens opposed to the Enbridge project through a range of sources. The complaints also claim that the spying activities potentially included illegal searches of private information. The complaint against CSIS further alleges that the spy agency broke the law by gathering information on the peaceful and democratic activities of Canadians, which it is banned by law from doing. The documents released made clear that none of the groups under surveillance posed any threat to the National Energy Board hearings or public safety.

“It’s against the law and the constitution for police and spy agencies to spy on the lawful activities of people who are just speaking out and getting involved in their communities. That’s why we have filed these complaints,” said Josh Paterson, Executive Director of the BCCLA. “This is bigger than an environmental debate – it’s a question of fundamental human rights. There are plenty of undemocratic countries where governments spy on people that they don’t agree with. That’s not supposed to happen in Canada, and when it does, it can frighten people away from expressing themselves and participating in democratic debate.”

“It’s intimidating for people to learn that they’re being spied on by their own government,” said Ben West, Tar Sands Campaign Director for ForestEthics Advocacy, one of the groups that was spied upon. “Regular people are being made to feel like they are on a list of enemies of the state, just because they are speaking out to protect their community from a threat to their health and safety or trying to do what’s right in the era of climate change.”

One incident recorded in the intelligence-gathering was a Kelowna, B.C. volunteer meeting co-hosted by the advocacy organization LeadNow.ca and the Dogwood Initiative, a community action group based in Victoria. Jamie Biggar, the Executive Director of LeadNow, said, “Government spies should not be compiling reports about volunteers literally gathered in church basements to hand-paint signs – and then sharing that information with oil companies. That puts the interests of a handful of corporations ahead of the privacy rights of Canadians. It’s just wrong – period.”

Will Horter, the Executive Director of the Dogwood Initiative, added: “We are helping Canadians engage in their communities and in public decision-making processes for Enbridge and other projects. There is something deeply wrong when holding a story-telling workshop attracts heat from spies and police forces. It’s democracy, not a national security threat.”

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, who attended one of the meetings that was spied upon, stated: “I was shocked and disgusted to learn that the police and the National Energy Board colluded to keep track of First Nations people who are simply speaking out, including those who participate in Idle No More. This is the kind of thing we’d expect to see in a police state, and it’s a violation of our freedom of speech and freedom of assembly.”

Some of the intelligence gathered appears to have been shared with the National Energy Board, including information about ForestEthics Advocacy which was an intervening party in the Board’s hearings, as well as with Enbridge and other oil and energy companies. The complaint against the RCMP alleges that this could compromise the fairness of the Enbridge hearings. West added: “You can’t have a fair hearing when the police secretly gather information about our activities and then provide secret evidence to the National Energy Board and Enbridge, one of the other parties.”

The activities of CSIS and the RCMP outlined in the complaints originally came to light through an access to information request filed by Matthew Millar of the Vancouver Observer. It is unclear whether covert surveillance, wiretaps or other means were used in gathering the intelligence.

» Canadian Mounties Override Civilian Rule to Arbitrarily Ban, Confiscate Firearms Alex Jones’ Infowars: There’s a war on for your mind!

» Canadian Mounties Override Civilian Rule to Arbitrarily Ban, Confiscate Firearms Alex Jones’ Infowars: There’s a war on for your mind!.

RCMP turned thousands of law-abiding Canadian gun owners into criminals overnight

Adan Salazar
Infowars.com
March 5, 2014

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police are acting on their own authority to arbitrarily re-classify, ban and ultimately confiscate certain rifles, contemptible actions for which Canadian citizens seemingly have no recourse.

Last Wednesday, the RCMP made good on its past threats and turned tens of thousands of Canadians into criminals overnight when they re-classified the Swiss Arms Classic Green carbine, a Swiss-made rifle featuring military-style characteristics, declaring it “prohibited” even though the model has been sold in Canada since 2000. Until Monday, the Canadian feds hadn’t even offered an amnesty period for gun owners to turn in their newly illegal weapons.

Although the high quality rifles cost anywhere from $3,000 to $4,000, the Canadian government has made no indication it intends to compensate, purchase or otherwise reimburse gun owners, or gun shops, for their surrendered firearms.

On Friday, after the country’s Public Safety Minister had publicly stated he would “take action” against the assault on law-abiding citizens’ rights, the Mounties again banned another gun, a Canadian version of the CZ 858, which had been specifically modified to meet domestic laws.

Troubling to many Canadians is the RCMP banned these guns without the authority of elected officials. “The elected government of the day had already made it clear it did not want to go this route. The Mounties did it anyway,” Sun News’s Brian Lilley reported.

“It is a dark day when police, not the people’s elected representatives, can suddenly transform thousands of ordinary, law-abiding Canadians into criminals with the stroke of a bureaucratic pen,” writes the Winnipeg Sun’s Lorne Gunter.

As Gunter explains, the High River gun grab of June 2013 set the precedent for mass gun confiscation. Mirroring scenes from the fallout of Hurricane Katrina, Mounties in the wake of a devastating flood “decided arbitrarily to break into the homes of nearly 2,000 law-abiding residents and strip the places of guns because they feared residents’ anger might be turned on police or politicians once the town’s forced evacuation was lifted.”

“The government needs to rein in the Mounties or they will find they’re no longer in control,” Lilly declares. “That means the government not only needs to override the decree from the Mounties, but strip them of any power they have or think they have to do this again.”

One gun shop owner expressed to CBC News that Mounties are disarming citizens to have a monopoly on force. “There is a movement within the RCMP and they don’t like to see guns in the hands of anybody but themselves.”

Canadian gun owners who refuse to relinquish their firearms can face jail time up to three years, Sun News reported.

Of course, the irony of the RCMP’s ban and confiscation is that they are targeting a gun the Swiss government actually entrusts its citizens to arm themselves with, illustrating the Mounties and Canadian government’s draconian disdain for its people’s rights.

 

This article was posted: Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at 1:41 pm

» Canadian Mounties Override Civilian Rule to Arbitrarily Ban, Confiscate Firearms Alex Jones' Infowars: There's a war on for your mind!

» Canadian Mounties Override Civilian Rule to Arbitrarily Ban, Confiscate Firearms Alex Jones’ Infowars: There’s a war on for your mind!.

RCMP turned thousands of law-abiding Canadian gun owners into criminals overnight

Adan Salazar
Infowars.com
March 5, 2014

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police are acting on their own authority to arbitrarily re-classify, ban and ultimately confiscate certain rifles, contemptible actions for which Canadian citizens seemingly have no recourse.

Last Wednesday, the RCMP made good on its past threats and turned tens of thousands of Canadians into criminals overnight when they re-classified the Swiss Arms Classic Green carbine, a Swiss-made rifle featuring military-style characteristics, declaring it “prohibited” even though the model has been sold in Canada since 2000. Until Monday, the Canadian feds hadn’t even offered an amnesty period for gun owners to turn in their newly illegal weapons.

Although the high quality rifles cost anywhere from $3,000 to $4,000, the Canadian government has made no indication it intends to compensate, purchase or otherwise reimburse gun owners, or gun shops, for their surrendered firearms.

On Friday, after the country’s Public Safety Minister had publicly stated he would “take action” against the assault on law-abiding citizens’ rights, the Mounties again banned another gun, a Canadian version of the CZ 858, which had been specifically modified to meet domestic laws.

Troubling to many Canadians is the RCMP banned these guns without the authority of elected officials. “The elected government of the day had already made it clear it did not want to go this route. The Mounties did it anyway,” Sun News’s Brian Lilley reported.

“It is a dark day when police, not the people’s elected representatives, can suddenly transform thousands of ordinary, law-abiding Canadians into criminals with the stroke of a bureaucratic pen,” writes the Winnipeg Sun’s Lorne Gunter.

As Gunter explains, the High River gun grab of June 2013 set the precedent for mass gun confiscation. Mirroring scenes from the fallout of Hurricane Katrina, Mounties in the wake of a devastating flood “decided arbitrarily to break into the homes of nearly 2,000 law-abiding residents and strip the places of guns because they feared residents’ anger might be turned on police or politicians once the town’s forced evacuation was lifted.”

“The government needs to rein in the Mounties or they will find they’re no longer in control,” Lilly declares. “That means the government not only needs to override the decree from the Mounties, but strip them of any power they have or think they have to do this again.”

One gun shop owner expressed to CBC News that Mounties are disarming citizens to have a monopoly on force. “There is a movement within the RCMP and they don’t like to see guns in the hands of anybody but themselves.”

Canadian gun owners who refuse to relinquish their firearms can face jail time up to three years, Sun News reported.

Of course, the irony of the RCMP’s ban and confiscation is that they are targeting a gun the Swiss government actually entrusts its citizens to arm themselves with, illustrating the Mounties and Canadian government’s draconian disdain for its people’s rights.

 

This article was posted: Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at 1:41 pm

Former Tory minister on the hot seat over Enbridge lobbying gig – Inside Politics

Former Tory minister on the hot seat over Enbridge lobbying gig – Inside Politics.

Former Indian Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl is facing questions over a possible conflict of interest after the Vancouver Observer revealed that he’s been hired by Enbridge to help them sell the provincial BC government on the merits of the Northern Gateway pipeline project.

On Monday, ForestEthics Advocacy issued a statement calling on Strahl to step down from his current gig as chair of the Security Intelligence Review Committee, the five-person board charged with keeping an eye on Canada’s top secret spy agency.

“In late 2013 it emerged that the Harper government had used CSIS and the RCMP to spy on critics of oil pipeline projects, including the Sierra Club, the Council of Canadians and Idle No More,” the release noted. .

“ForestEthics Advocacy and its supporters were among those Canadians targeted for surveillance. Given these events, and Strahl’s close ties to both his former colleagues in Ottawa and Canada’s spy agency, his registration to lobby for Enbridge is–at best–a conflict of interest. ”

Later that day, New Democrat natural resources critic and BC MP Nathan Cullen put out a release claiming that Strahl had been “caught” lobbying for the company.

Cullen acknowledges that, as a former minister, Strahl is currently barred from lobbying the federal government under the cooling-off provisions put in place by the Conservatives in 2006, but warns that “vague guidelines” could allow him to “skirt the rules and lobby the province. even on a federal pipeline issue.”

But under current federal ethics rules, the SIRC chairmanship is considered a part-time appointment, which exempts Strahl from many of the specific restrictions imposed by the Conflict of Interest Act.

Read the full list of do’s and don’ts for part-time public office holders here.

Unlike a full-time reporting public office holder, Strahl is no longer obliged to disclose his outside activities to the ethics commissioner, or provide the same sort of public declaration of assets, liabilities and other income that he had to file during his tenure in cabinet.

He is, however, still subject to the five-year ban on lobbying the federal government, as well as the general provisions of the Conflict of Interest Act that apply to all public office holders, which forbid him from using his current position, or information that isn’t available to the general public, to influence any decision that could further private interests.

That doesn’t mean he can’t work for Enbridge — or, indeed, lobby the province on its behalf. He just can’t exploit inside information, or his part-time gig at SIRC, while doing so.

Still, given the political sensitivities surrounding both the pipeline file and the conduct of Canada’s domestic and foreign intelligence agencies, it seems unlikely that the controversy over his dual roles will be put to rest simply by pointing out that he’s following the rules.

This was, after all, the government that came to power vowing to block the so-called ‘revolving door’ between politics and private sector advocacy.

Given that, it’s fair to ask whether it makes sense to treat a highly sensitive post like the SIRC chairmanship as just another part-time job.

Most RCMP withdraw after shale gas clash in Rexton – New Brunswick – CBC News

Most RCMP withdraw after shale gas clash in Rexton – New Brunswick – CBC News. (source)

The mood has changed at a standoff that turned violent today in Rexton, N.B., between shale gas protesters and the RCMP.

The majority of police at the scene left around 7 p.m., to cheers from a crowd of protesters.

John Levi, a First Nations chief on the scene, had earlier spoken to RCMP officers — trying to reach an agreement on ending the standoff.

It is not known what was said but, at the end of the conversation some 40 officers, who were wearing shields and helmets, left. About a dozen remained.

Levi later said that First Nations may have “lost the battle” referring to the fact that SWN Resources, the company at the centre of the conflict, has not agreed to stop shale gas seismic testing, as the protesters demand.

But “we have not lost the war,” he added.

Earlier in the day, protesters and RCMP clashed, leading to at least five police vehicles being set on fire and the arrest of a First Nations chief.

‘We urge all sides not to resort to violence as history has proven these tactics are not productive.’— Chief Gabriel Atwin, Kingsclear First Nation

In a news release, the RCMP said more than 40 protesters were arrested for various offences including firearms offences, uttering threats, intimidation, mischief and for refusing to abide by a court injunction.

The protesters arrested were taken to three different communities where they are expected in court Friday morning around 9:30 to face charges. Police spread the arrested protesters out in an effort to prevent the courthouses being overwhelmed by protest supporters during the arraignments.

The RCMP said at least one shot was fired by someone other than police and that Molotov cocktails had been thrown at police, while at least five RCMP vehicles were destroyed by fire. Police also investigated suspected explosive devices at the scene.

The clashes started at about 1 p.m. after police fired pepper spray at the protesters, who were trying to push through the police line.

RCMP spokeswoman Const. Jullie Rogers-Marsh said that no rubber bullets were used but that RCMP members used “sock rounds” — also known as bean bag rounds, which are a type of non-lethal ammunition — on two occasions during the clash in an attempt to defuse the situation.

CBC reporter, Jennifer Choi, said thick black smoke was billowing from the scene, and she could hear popping and see sparks in at least one of the flaming vehicles.

It is not known whether ammunition was in the vehicles. Bystanders backed away from the fire as a precaution, Choi said.

First Nations leader arrested

T.J. Burke, the lawyer for the Elsipogtog First Nation, confirmed Chief Aaron Sock was among those arrested in the clash. He and a few of his band council members were released a few hours after their arrests.

Sock is the leader of the band that has beenblockading Route 134 near Rexton since Sept. 30.

On Oct. 1, Sock issued an eviction notice to SWN Resources of Canada. His band and his band council planned to pass a resolution preventing the government and shale gas companies from continuing their work by reclaiming all unoccupied reserve land and giving it back to First Nations.

It remained unclear exactly which land is involved, and how the band council planned to take it back, but Sock said getting SWN to remove its equipment would be a start.

Sock said earlier that, for centuries, the British Crown claimed to be holding the land in trust for his people, but since the land is being badly mismanaged, First Nations people are taking it back.

The road between Rexton and Highway 11 has been the scene of the protest, involving a coalition of natives and non-natives opposed to shale gas exploration.

Protesters moved into the area on Sept. 30, initially establishing a barricade to the staging area used by SWN Resources Canada to park its exploration vehicles and equipment.

The protest progressed to the point where barricades were also established on the road, preventing traffic from going through.

SWN Resources went to the Court of Queen’s Bench and successfully sought an injunction to end the protest.

During a hearing, court was told SWN Resources is losing $60,000 every day its seismic exploration trucks remain blockaded in the compound off Route 134.

NB Shale Gas Protest 20131017RCMP in Rexton, N.B. say at least five police vehicles were set ablaze during a protest against shale gas exploration turned violent Thursday. (Andrew Vaughan/Canadian Press)

The injunction authorized police to arrest and remove anyone contravening the order to allow traffic to pass on the highway. However, with negotiations taking place between the two sides, the RCMP didn’t immediately enforce the injunction.

On Friday, the injunction was extended. A single lane of Route 134 was subsequently reopened.

The RCMP moved in on the protesters on Route 134 in Rexton this morning.

RCMP notified the public at 7:45 a.m. about the closure of Route 134. A subsequent notice at 8:21 a.m. indicated Highway 11 was closed between Rexton and Sainte-Anne-de-Kent, and that delays could be expected.

The RCMP said the court injunction remains in effect and anyone who violates its conditions can be arrested and charged.

Video taken by protesters that was submitted to CBC shortly after the police started enforcing the injunction shows officers with dogs moving toward the protest encampment on the side of road. Protesters are yelling obscenities at police and inform them elders and children are present.

Meanwhile, an Anglophone North school district notice on its website said three schools in the area were open but under lockdown as a precaution. Around noon, the board announced Rexton Elementary, Eleanor W. Graham Middle School and Bonar Law Memorial High School would close for the day, and students would be sent home.

“Safety and security is paramount for our students and staff,” said the school district’s public notice.

N.B. chiefs call for peace

National Chief for the Assembly of First Nations Shawn Atleo released a statement Thursday night, pledging support for the peaceful protest involving Elsipogtog First Nation.

“Please know that we — and First Nations across the country — stand proudly in solidarity with you and your community. Most importantly, the safety and security of our citizens is our foremost concern at this time,’ he said.

Chief Gabriel Atwin said earlier in the day members of Kingsclear First Nation were demonstrating peacefully on Route 105.

In a news release, Atwin said the Assembly of First Nations in New Brunswick “strongly condemns the acts of aggression that have taken place today within the Mi’kmaq traditional territory near Elsipogtog. We urge all sides not to resort of violence as history has proven these tactics are not productive.”

Atwin noted, however, that for the past two years, First Nations in New Brunswick have tried to work within the confines of “a restrictive, compartmentalized consultation process” when it comes to seismic testing in the province.

  • An RCMP cruiser and another unmarked vehicle burn near the shale gas protest in Rexton, N.B.
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He said the whole process is “completely unworkable because it runs counter to our customs and traditions.”

In the same release Assembly Co-chair Chief George Ginnish said the consultation process should include “conversation on potential impacts to our constitutionally protected rights, and provide options to mitigate these dangers.”

Ginnish has called on “an immediate end to the violence by all involved, to restart the process taking into account all perspectives in New Brunswick and the inalienable rights of aboriginals.”

Politicians in New Brunswick have also spoken out about the protest.

Opposition Leader Brian Gallant released a statement calling on protesters to respect the injunction and that he hopes for a peaceful resolution.

“I witnessed the protest first-hand this morning. There is much angst and anxiety at the protest site and in the surrounding communities. The dialogue must immediately resume in order to resolve the differences that have arisen,” he said.

New Brunswick Premier David Alward’s office has not returned calls from the CBC, but Alward posted a statement on the government’s website saying he is “deeply troubled that violence has erupted on Route 134 near Rexton.”

“While we respect and defend the right of individuals to protest peacefully, we cannot endorse or tolerate unlawful activity,” he said.

Alward also said the government of New Brunswick will do everything in its power to bring about a peaceful resolution.

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