The Toronto Star reports that an RCMP unit was created “in early 2007 to monitor protests by First Nations, including those that would attract national attention or target ‘critical infrastructure’ like highways, railways and pipelines, according to RCMP documents.”
The article highlights, “The documents, obtained through access to information requests, include an RCMP slideshow presentation from the spring of 2009, which says the intelligence unit reported weekly to approximately 450 recipients in law enforcement, government, and unnamed ‘industry partners’ in the energy and private sector. …In what may be a pitch to the private sector, the RCMP slideshow presentation states that the aboriginal intelligence unit can ‘alleviate some of your workload as we can help identify trends and issues that may impact more than one community.’ It can also ‘provide information on activist groups who are promoting aboriginal issues within your area.'”
A Vancouver Media Co-op report last June specifies that the Tsilhqot’in were monitored in a joint RCMP – Department of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada initiative. The Council of Canadians stands in solidarity with the Tsilhqot’in in their efforts to stop Teztan Biny (Fish Lake) in British Columbia from being destroyed by mining waste produced by Taseko’s Prosperity Mine.
An RCMP spokesperson says, “Since the dismantling of the Aboriginal (joint intelligence group) JIG (last year), the work done by the JIG is no longer performed at RCMP HQ Criminal Intelligence (CI). However, we cannot confirm that RCMP divisions are not performing Aboriginal JIG activities under another name of program.”
On November 22, the CBC reported that the Joint Intelligence Group, an RCMP-led intelligence team that has extensively spied on community organizations and activists, “made a series of presentations to private-sector corporations, including one to ‘energy sector stakeholders’ in November 2011. Other corporations that received intelligence from police included Canada’s major banks, telecom firms, airlines, downtown property companies and other businesses seen to be vulnerable to the effects of summit protests.”
These news reports reveal a disturbing relationship between the RCMP and corporations in Canada.
The Council of Canadians and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union have raised questions in this regard that it wants answered, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=12236. Today’s Toronto Star article can be read at http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/1096919–mounties-spied-on-native-protest-groups?bn=1. The Vancouver Media Co-op article can be read at http://canadians.org/blog/?p=9387.