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B.C. civil liberties association to release CSIS papers on environmental groups

Last Updated Jul 7, 2019 at 5:06 pm PST

(Source: iStock)

B.C. Civil Rights Association says CSIS spied on groups protesting the cancelled Northern Gateway pipeline

The group is set to release a 'trove' of heavily redacted documents disclosed by the CSIS on Monday

VANCOUVER – The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association is set to release what it calls a “trove” of heavily redacted documents disclosed by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service on Monday morning.

They concern the BCCLA’s allegation that CSIS was monitoring the organizing activities and peaceful protests of Indigenous groups and environmentalists who were opposed to the now-defunct Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline project.

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The civil liberties association complained to the Security Intelligence Review Committee in 2014, alleging CSIS was monitoring those opposed to the pipeline and sharing this information with the National Energy Board and petroleum industry companies.

The CSIS watchdog dismissed the allegations, finding the spy service collected some information about peaceful anti-pipeline groups, but only incidentally in the process of investigating legitimate threats to oil industry projects.

The BCCLA challenged the watchdog’s findings in federal court, leading to the review committee’s heavily censored report being released in December 2018.

Now, BCCLA says a confidentiality order by the watchdog has been partially lifted, allowing them to release the documents disclosed by CSIS, which will be published and made searchable on a website called the “Protest Papers.”