Surveillance

Criminalization of Indigenous Communities

Public Safety Canada disclosed that the Government Operations Centre gathers information on Indigenous rallies for the purpose of “maintaining awareness” of such events. However, there is no evidence that these Indigenous activists present a risk to safety and security. Canadians are concerned that the Trudeau government has continued with the Harper-era surveillance of Indigenous communities.

Omar Khadr

Omar Khadr

On July 7, 2017 the Government of Canada announced a settlement with Omar Khadr. The settlement comes seven years after a unanimous Supreme Court of Canada decision found that the Canadian government was complicit in the violation of Mr. Khadr’s rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Read the update to our case study.

First Nations Child and Family Caring Society

First Nations Child and Family Caring Society - Updated

Updated study: Chronic underfunding of child and family services for 163,000 First Nations children prompted First Nations Child and Family Caring Society to file a discrimination complaint against Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) with the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal in 2007. After almost ten years of litigation and 72 days of hearings, an NDP motion may have forced the Liberal government into action. This is a fully updated version of the study first published in 2011.

Attack on Digital Privacy Rights of Canadians

Rather than reversing newly legislated state intrusions into digital privacy rights, the Liberal government agenda has effectively encouraged the expansion of digital surveillance of Canadians both at home and abroad. The civil liberties organizations and privacy watchdogs have repeatedly criticized the unnecessary and wide ranging digital privacy elements of C-51 and its establishment of the Security of Canada Information Sharing Act.

Abousfian Abdelrazik

Abousfian Abdelrazik

UPDATE
16 March 2017 - The federal government has settled the lawsuit initiated by Abousfian Abdelrazik over CSIS documents leaked to the newspaper La Presse in 2011, with the alleged intent to discredit him. These documents were subsequently used by the newspaper in a report which contained “inflammatory and false accusations about extremist activities.”

Environmental groups in Canada

The Harper government’s hostility toward environmental groups is well documented. From 2006-2015 the Conservative government defunded and attempted to discredit several leading and respected environmental research and advocacy groups. Environmentalists were portrayed as a threat to Canadian security.

Pamela Palmater

Image of Pamela Palmater

Pamela Palmater is an Indigenous lawyer, university professor and activist. Following the news, in 2011, that other Indigenous activists were being surveilled by Canadian security agencies, she filed an Access to Information and Privacy request and learned that she herself is under surveillance.

Bill C-51: Anti-Terrorism Act, 2015

CSIS sign

Since the fall of 2014, the Harper government has introduced two significant bills to amend the Canadian Security Intelligence Service Act and other national security related legislation, identified as Bill C-51 and Bill C-44.

Aboriginal communities and environmental groups

Aboriginal communities and environmental groups

Since 2006, according to documents obtained through the Access to Information Act, Aboriginal communities and environmental groups have been under a special program of government surveillance, and the information was shared among security agencies, government departments and industry about groups that oppose resource development projects. 

Cindy Blackstock

Cindy Blackstock

After Blackstock’s organization filed a discrimination complaint against Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, she was excluded from important meetings, and she claims that government employees systematically monitored her professional and personal life.

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