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A new story from the Toronto Star detailing how the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service has failed to inform the Minister of Public Safety about “high risk operations,” raises some troubling questions.

In it, reporter Alex Boutilier outlines how new access to information documents reveal that CSIS broke the rules laid out in a ministerial directive that obliges the service to inform the Minister of Public Safety whenever they take on a “high risk operation.” The article has more details, but as far as we know, high risk operations are those that could:

  • discredit the service or the government;

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For the past decade, anti-terrorism laws have eroded our civil liberties & human rights. The new government must act. Image: Sally T. Buck

During the recent federal elections, there was very little discussion of national security and anti-terrorism laws, and none of it related to its impact on human rights and civil liberties.

The Liberals proposed a new Director of Terrorism Prosecutions, despite it not being clear why such a position is necessary, and the Conservatives (among other things) promised draconian new laws that would criminalize the simple act of traveling to areas deemed “terrorism hot spots.” The NDP spoke out about xenophobia and racism, which go hand in hand with many of Canada’s worst national security practices, but did not offer many…

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Credit: Marco Verch CC-BY

Last Friday, June 21, the National Security Act, 2017, (better know as Bill C-59), received royal assent. We’ve written a lot about our concerns over Bill C-59 on the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group’s website, and there will be a lot more to talk about over the coming weeks — especially as various parts of the bill come into effect.

One piece of coverage last week has raised some questions about an important part of the bill, and it will be important to get some clear answers about it going forward.

The Globe and Mail published an article on June…

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Image courtesy

This week, senators are debating — and will likely be voting on — whether or not to pass the National Security Act, 2017, at third reading. This will put one of the largest and most impactful national security bills of the past 30 years one step closer to passing. In fact, it will just be a couple steps away from becoming law: If it goes through the Senate with current amendments, it will be reviewed again in the House of Commons. If the amendments are deemed acceptable by the government, it will go off for Royal Assent.

That is why…

The most in-depth study of health concerns among communities downstream from the Alberta tar sands is out, and the results are damning.

The report largely confirms what residents of Fort Chipewyan, home to the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (ACFN) and Mikisew Cree First Nation (MCFN), have long been saying: significant increases in illnesses in the communities, including cancer, asthma, diabetes, and mental illness, among others, can be clearly tied back to tar sands development 200 kilometres upstream along the Athabasca River.

The study was lead by Dr…

In retrospect, it seems pretty obvious: if you project 20-foot-tall anti-cop images on the Montreal police headquarters, they will try and mess with your shit.

Which is exactly what happened when the Illuminator Art Collective pulled up in their discreet white cargo van, flicked on their gas generator, turned the manual crank, and popped out their projector. The silhouette of a protester holding a sign reading “Police partout, justice nulle part” (police everywhere, justice nowhere) appeared on the imposing downtown Montreal building.

It was 11:15 PM on a quiet Sunday night—a few police cars had rolled…

Oil pipelines are about linking oil-well to terminal, linked from junction to junction along the way, spread out across vast expanses of the Canadian landscape. In Quebec, for example, two pipelines will be covering at least 700 kilometres, from Kanehsatake, west of Montreal, to Cacouna, a port town on the Gulf of St-Lawrence.

How do you push back against a major infrastructure project that crosses dozens of municipalities, let alone provincial jurisdiction and, importantly, Indigenous territory? For one group of some two dozen environmental activists it has been to walk the 700 kilometre path of those…

Two billion dollar infrastructure projects could be heading back to the drawing board

A challenge by the Huron-Wendat First Nation in Quebec City may be about to force two multi-million dollar projects in southern Ontario back to the drawing board.

“We never extinguished our rights in Ontario,” said Huron-Wendat Grand Chief Konrad Sioui in an interview with VICE. “If you step on our site, our land, there’s a price to pay for that.”

The Huron-Wendat, whose reserve is in Wendake, Quebec, just outside of Quebec City, have signalled their intention to file court injunctions against both Enbridge’s $690 million gas pipeline…

“Not all that glitters is gold.”

It’s a cliché, but it takes on a whole new meaning when you are sitting across from a member of the Diaguita Huascoaltinos indigenous community in Chile who says that his people are facing a genocide if Canadian mining interests in his region have their way.

The words came from Sergio Campusano, a representative of the Comunidad Agricola Huascoaltinos, who was in Montreal for thePermanent Peoples’ Tribunal (TPP) hearings on the Canadian mining industry’s impact in Latin America—not to be confused with theclandestine, multi-national trade agreement that is still being negotiated

Climate scientists and environmentalists need to revamp their messaging and get more involved in public debate if they want to stop what appears to be a plunging online interest in global warming, say observers of internet research trends across Canada and worldwide.

“Many in the public feel tired of hearing about global warming because they feel unempowered by how they can deal with it,” Andrew Weaver, leading Canadian climate scientist and B.C. Green MLA, told DeSmog Canada.

“We need more reporting on the solutions, but in order to have more reporting on the solutions, we need those solutions to be…

Tim McSorley

Writer, editor, researcher. Transplanted Montrealer in Ottawa. National Coordinator at International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group —

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