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NEWS: RCMP to lead new security unit to ‘protect’ Alberta’s energy industry

The Canadian Press reports, “The federal government has set up a counter-terrorism unit in Alberta to protect the energy industry. The integrated national security enforcement team will be led by the RCMP. It will include members of CSIS, the Edmonton and Calgary police services and federal border police. Police say the Alberta team is needed to protect the province’s natural resources and energy industry.”

This is not the first time that the federal government has criminalized the dissent against the destructive energy projects that they champion.

In early-May, the Toronto Star reported, “The RCMP has been spying on a group of British Columbia First Nations (opposing) Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline…, according to documents obtained through an access-to-information request. The documents show that a provincial RCMP unit has been closely tracking the potential for ‘acts of protest and civil disobedience’ by the Yinka Dene Alliance, a coalition of northern B.C. First Nations who have been at the centre of resistance to Enbridge’s $5.5 billion pipeline proposal. …The provincial unit has been tracking protests by other B.C. First Nations, including opposition to the Pacific Trails pipeline that would bring liquefied natural gas to the coast for export, and the expansion of the Kinder Morgan pipeline carrying Alberta crude oil to tankers in Vancouver. The RCMP also kept tabs on conflicts over logging, mining, and fracking, and monitored ongoing and potential court cases involving First Nations.”

The Toronto Star also reported, “A national RCMP surveillance program monitoring First Nations that ran between 2007 and 2010 shared similar intelligence reports about First Nations with the private sector, including energy companies.”

The Council of Canadians strongly condemns this RCMP spying on opponents of energy projects that ignore Indigenous rights and imperil our land, water and climate. In May 2012, we expressed our opposition to the RCMP spying on the Yinka Dene Alliance, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=15043; and in late-November 2011, we joined with the Communications Energy and Paperworkers Union to speak out against these types of activities as well, particularly the sharing of intelligence with energy companies, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=12236. We have also spoken against the surveillance of First Nations by the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=9387.