In 2014 the BCCLA fought back against spying by filing legal complaints against the Canadian Security Intelligence Services (CSIS) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). Those complaints alleged that the Canadian government’s security agencies had been spying on law-abiding Canadians engaged in peaceful activities related to the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline project.
In 2015 the Security Intelligence Review Committee (SIRC), the body responsible for CSIS oversight, held secret hearings in Vancouver from August 12-14. It was then that the witnesses involved in the complaint were ordered to keep silent about what happened in the proceedings.
Now, SIRC has issued a decision, but we are still not allowed to talk about it. SIRC has gagged us from disclosing or speaking about the arguments we made before it. This is largely unprecedented and it is definitely contrary to the principles of accountability and transparency that oversight bodies are meant to serve.
Together with the organizations involved in the complaint, the Sierra Club of BC, the Dogwood Initiative, Leadnow.ca, and STAND (formerly ForestEthics Advocacy), we are seeking accountability and an end to unconstitutional spying on Canadians. We are applying for a judicial review of SIRC’s decision by the Federal Court. Stand with us.