Sunday, December 17, 2006

Not the way to protect freedom

The CP reports that The Greatest Canadian was treated as a threat to Canada by the RCMP during his time in public life - and, even more laughably, years after he left the national stage:
"(Tommy) Douglas has been known personally by and has associated with leftists, peace movement workers and (Communist Party of Canada) members for years. He has allowed his name to stand publicly on many occasions in relation to support of issues sponsored by leftist groups. On the basis of information contained in this file, it is difficult to determine the full depth of sympathy and involvement or influence, if any, these groups or their philosophies have over him. It is felt, however, there is much we do not know about Douglas and the file should be maintained in order to correlate any additional information that surfaces which might assist in piecing this jigsaw puzzle together." - A late 1970s RCMP memo suggesting Douglas's file be kept active.
A good chunk of the information on Douglas remains sealed, meaning that the full extent of the RCMP's surveillance remains unknown. But it's all too clear that Canada's intelligence service spent an awful lot of time and energy looking for reason to be suspicious of Douglas and others - and it's worth wondering to what extent our current public figures are under similar surveillance now.

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