Early win for B.C. civil rights group in pipeline protest spying case heading to Federal Court

The B.C. Civil Liberties Association has won an early victory in what could become a precedent-setting case that asks the Federal Court to rule on whether the Canadian Security Intelligence Service can spy on activists and whether its review body has the authority to issue gag orders to complainants.

The civil rights group obtained documents under federal access to information laws in 2014 that it says show CSIS was illegally spying on activists involved in protesting the now-axed Northern Gateway pipeline: in particular, the Sierra Club of B.C., the Dogwood Initiative, and ForestEthics Advocacy.

It also alleged that CSIS then shared the intelligence it gathered with oil industry partners and the National Energy Board, the arms-length government body tasked with approving energy projects like pipelines.


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