The Canadian Press, through Freedom of Information laws, have recently been able to get their hands on the the RCMP’s massive file on Tommy Douglas. Information was collected on Douglas from 1939 through the late seventies.
Perhaps fittingly, the file contains articles noting Douglas’s concern about rumours of RCMP surveillance of Canadians, though there is no indication the politician suspected he was being watched.
“Setting people to spy on one another is not the way to protect freedom,” he wrote while NDP leader.
His concern remains germane today, when we are prepared to give up our freedom piecemeal for protection from a threat that essentially amount to the boogey man: anonymous terrorists who walk among us and could strike anywhere at any time.
According to CP, the RCMP kept files on 800,000 Canadians, including 650 politicians and beaurocrats. Spying on the people for their politics – or today, their ethnicity – is no way to run a free country.