Haida elder Diane Brown, Gwaaganaad, leads a prayer before a feast in the Old Massett Community Hall on Saturday, March 25, where hundreds celebrated the end of the Northern Gateway pipeline project. (Black Press file photo)

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

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 Pipepline project.

The civil liberties association complained to the Security Intelligence Review Committee in 2014, alleging CSIS was monitoring those opposed to the pipeleine 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 Demeber 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.”

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