Canada

Environmental protests among federal security threats: Report

Federal security threats identified in a Treasury Board internal report included peaceful environmental demonstrations, according to Blacklock’s Reporter.

The Board’s audit of security in government departments warned of a “variety of threats and risks faced by departments,” and used environmental protests and the 2014 Parliament Hill shooting as examples of how the country is “not immune to security threats.”

Without identifying specific groups, the redacted report said proof of these threats included protesters “gaining access to National Energy Board hearings and various Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada offices in 2016, and the Parliament Hill shooting in 2014.”

The 2014 rampage at the National War Memorial and Parliament Hill ended when gunman Michael Zehaf-Bibeau was fatally shot by police and Parliament’s then Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers.

“Physical security is key to helping adequately protect government employees, information and assets,” wrote auditors.

“While different departments may face different threats depending on their operations, locations and assets, all federal departments could potentially face significant injuries in terms of the loss of confidentiality and integrity.”

The environmental protests cited in the report did not involve the use of weapons or injury.

In 2013, the National Energy Board had asked both RCMP and CSIS to monitor activists opposed to the Northern Gateway Pipeline.

The Treasury Board has blacklisted groups such as the Council of Canadians, Sierra Club and Forest Ethics Advocacy Association, according to Access to Information records.

Undercover RCMP officers monitored rallies attended by Green MP Elizabeth May.

May called the surveillance “outrageous” and “deeply troubling,” Blacklock’s reported.

“This is not what you do in a free society. Nobody is threatening them, but the National Energy Board is still acting as though legitimate public participation in their hearings represents some kind of threat.”

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