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CSIS spying on citizens at alarming rate, FOIs reveal

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"We've never made any threats -- we've taken to the streets to protest, of course...but we've always alerted the police when we hold protests," he said, noting that police have sometimes even been allowed to march in the middle of a rally to ensure that things remained peaceful. 

He took issue with both the RCMP and media for inaccurately labeling RIGSVL as an environmentalist group, which he feels is done undermine and discredit his group's concerns over fracking.

"The RCMP were surveying environmental groups, and we were lumped in with them, even though we're just a citizen's group," he said with disbelief. 

"They feared we had some connection with more radical groups in the US, but we don't. We're a peaceful group...We even have volunteer security members who can control individuals in a crowd, as there are anarchists and activists who might insert themselves into a group to cause chaos."

Fortier asserts that RIGSVSL's activities are limited to peaceful means of expressing dissent such as writing letters and organizing rallies.

As for Léo-Paul Landry, the anti-fracking activist in Montreal who was arrested in 2011 for making threats to gas companies, Fortier said he has never even had contact with him before.

From Al-Qaeda to anti-pipeline activists and Idle No More

New research from the Surveillance Studies Centre at Queen’s University say there has been a shift in how Canada’s security services monitors threats.

Kevin Walby, the University of Victoria co-author of “Making up ‘Terror Identities’: security intelligence, Canada’s Integrated Threat Assessment Centre and social movement suppression, has been analyzing classified Canadian police and intelligent documents released through FOI since 2008, along with Jeffrey Monaghan of Queen’s University Centre for Surveillance Studies.

In 2005-2006, we show that when it came to threat assessments, CSIS/RCMP was concerned primarily with financial security which eventually evolved into international terror concerns -- Al-Qaeda, and other groups of this variety,” Walby said. At the time, international terrorism was the number one priority for security with the Vancouver 2010 winter Olympics on the horizon.

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