Spies in our midst: RCMP and CSIS snoop on green activists

This is the first installment in a two-part investigative series on governments, spies, and the oil and gas industry

“Mr. Tremblay, do you remember me?”

Ron Tremblay was just walking out of the Lord Beaverbrook hotel when a young woman in a dark-blue pantsuit approached him. The Lord Beaverbrook is a beige, unremarkable edifice that sits in downtown Fredericton, kitty-corner to the New Brunswick legislature. On this summer morning last August, a panel of Canada’s federal energy regulator, the National Energy Board (NEB), was holding hearings at the hotel about the proposed Energy East pipeline – which is designed to carry oil from the tar sands of Alberta to New Brunswick’s port city of Saint John.

As the Grand Chief of the Wolastoq Grand Council – whose territory Energy East would cross – Tremblay had gone to listen to fellow opponents of the pipeline give a presentation before the NEB panel. When the young woman caught up to him, she introduced herself as RCMP Constable Joanne Spacek, working for a “Special Projects Unit” out of Moncton, NB.