Secret RCMP file about Cowichan's former MP Tommy Douglas worries MP Crowder
Contents of a secret federal file about Nanaimo-Cowichan-The Islands late NDP MP, Tommy Douglas, could be made public, the Canadian Press said Friday.
But the riding's current NDP MP, Jean Crowder, had big concerns about the why Mounties tailed Douglas, why Harper's Tories don't want to release that information — despite a court order to do so — and if there's a file on Crowder.
"I should do an Access To Information on me," she told the News Leader Pictorial on Monday.
"The bigger question is about the intrusiveness (of RCMP shadowing) on elected officials.
"It makes me wonder what files they have on the rest of us, and who they were giving this information on Tommy Douglas to?" Crowder asked of data gathering done by Conservative and Liberal governments.
Federal Information Commissioner, Suzanne Legault, has joined a seven-year battle to lift the ban on Douglas' dozier gathered by the RCMP between the 1930s and his death in 1986, CP states.
CP requested the file's contents in 2005 through the Access To Information Act.
It got a court order last August for fuller disclosure, but Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservative government is appealing that ruling, CP says.
"The information is decades old and they're (feds) still saying, 'Don't release it due to security concerns," noted Crowder.
Data released so far from the taxpayer-paid spying shows the Mounties attended speeches by Douglas — a former Saskatchewan premier who pioneered Canada's universal medicare system — analyzed his correspondence, and eavesdropped on his private conversations, CP explained.
Douglas was the local riding's MP between 1969 and 1979.
His seat, now much redrawn, is held by long-serving MP Crowder, who's stumped about the surveillance she suspects is rooted in bygone red-scare paranoia, or other secret issues.