CSIS spying on citizens at alarming rate, FOIs reveal

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The CSIS 2010-2011 Public Report references multi-issue extremism once.

Enquiries were made regarding Greenpeace, the Raging Grannies, Idle No More and others groups under the label ‘multi-issue extremism” but CSIS provided no further comment.

Petro-state politics

In Marining's view, this change in focus from foreign to domestic threats is connected with the federal government's emphasis on the oil and gas economy and increasing erosion of environmental regulation.

We are now a petro-state,” said Marining, who now chairs the BC Environmental Network.   The Harper government has repositioned the entire Canadian economy to be increasingly reliant on oil and gas exports, and has declared the exploration and development of the country’s natural resources as “in the national interest.”

He believes the balance that Canada had during the 1980s under Prime Minister Trudeau and the National Energy Policy has been upset by plans to make Canada a major oil exporter.

It is a major shift in both the economic and environmental landscape. And that shift has involved many to become involved in opposition to new pipelines, oil and gas fracturing and the Alberta oil sands projects.

Joe Foy of the Wilderness Committee said that he's generally “very happy” with the rights and freedoms afforded to him in Canada, but that it is “dangerous and very, very wrong” if there is a shift toward labelling legitimate activism as extremism in Canada.

Fortier, for one, is worried about the Prime Minister's "dictatorial" approach to dissent. The police surveillance, in his view, stems from an unwillingness within the federal government to acknowledge citizens who are calling on Canada to move toward a more sustainable energy economy.

After learning of the RCMP and media report of police tracking of anti-fracking activities, Fortier fired back with a communiqué, asserting his group's right to democratic dissent.

"The RCMP and CSIS should instead pursue major economic crimes, and stop tarnishing the reputation of legitimate movements that are comprised of honest citizens like us...It's an insult to our participative democracy."

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