In 2014, the BCCLA filed complaints against the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (‘CSIS’) and the RCMP for spying on the activities of peaceful community groups and activists concerned about the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline, a proposed pair of pipelines that would run from just outside of Edmonton, AB to Kitimat, BC, to transport Alberta bitumen. The federal government rejected the project in 2016.

The complaints against CSIS and the RCMP were based on documents obtained by the Vancouver Observer showing that the agencies had been gathering information about individuals and groups involved in protesting against the pipeline project, including the Dogwood Initiative, ForestEthics Advocacy, Sierra Club BC, and Leadnow.ca, as well as Indigenous leaders involved in the #IdleNoMore movement.

Our complaint against the RCMP was resolved in 2021, with the BCCLA coming out victorious in Federal Court. Meanwhile, our case against CSIS continues. Our initial complaint alleged that CSIS illegally engaged in improper and unlawful actions in gathering information about Canadian citizens and groups engaging in peaceful and lawful expressive activities and sharing it with other government bodies and private sector actors, including oil companies.

In 2017, the Security Intelligence Review Committee (“SIRC”) dismissed our complaint, prohibited public disclosure of the BCCLA’s evidence given during the secret hearing before SIRC, and ordered the BCCLA to not publicly disclose information related to the hearings. In response we applied for judicial review of SIRC’s decisions. Since then, the government has been putting up procedural roadblocks leading to years of litigation. Undaunted, the BCCLA presses forward, seeking accountability and an end to unconstitutional spying on Canadians.

Case Documents:

BCCLA Complaint

SIRC Decision

BCCLA Application for Judicial Review

AGC Motion for Confidentiality Order

Decision on Confidentiality Motion

AGC Application for Non-Disclosure Order

More Legal Cases

Cases in which the BCCLA has been involved and their legal documents