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Spying 101

Spying 101: The RCMP's Secret Activities at Canadian Universities, 1917-1997

Copyright Date: 2002
Pages: 304
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  • Book Info
    Spying 101
    Book Description:

    Since the end of the First World War, members of the RCMP have infiltrated the campuses of Canada?s universities and colleges to spy, meet informants, gather information, and on occasion, to attend classes.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-8015-9
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. List of Tables
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Preface
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  5. Abbreviations
    (pp. xv-xvi)
  6. Part One: Spies, Subversives, and (In)Security

    • 1 Introduction
      (pp. 3-17)

      ‘Youth by nature is radical.’¹ So declared a worried RCMP commissioner, Stuart Taylor Wood, in 1941. His words about the young were part of a considerably longer warning to the Canadian population that, perhaps to their surprise, fascism did not represent the main threat to their liberty. Instead, it was ‘the radical who constitutes our most troublesome problem.’ By mixing radicalism – and by this Wood meant communism – and youth in the same breath the commissioner revealed an important motive for over half a century of secret RCMP activities at Canadian universities. Across these decades, members of the world’s...

    • 2 Spying, RCMP-Style: History, Organization, and Tactics
      (pp. 18-38)

      On a fall day in 1917, while the carnage of the First World War continued unabated thousands of miles away in Europe, in Canada S.L. Warrior had an appointment to keep. English-born and a bricklayer and a warehouseman before immigrating to Canada, Warrior had earned his paycheque since 1908 as a mounted policeman.¹ His meeting in Edmonton was at, for him, an unfamiliar location – the University of Alberta, where Cecil Race, the university registrar, wanted to discuss a student with him. One of the first stirrings of a wider relationship that would last for more than sixty years was...

  7. Part Two: The Early Years

    • 3 In the Beginning, 1920–1945
      (pp. 41-66)

      The intermixing of fear of radicalism and the Winnipeg General Strike that began in May 1919 produced an offspring nine months later. In February 1920 the new Royal Canadian Mounted Police was created, providing Canada for the first time with a police force that operated from coast to coast to coast. In its functions, the new force was a lot like the old, except in the area of security intelligence, where an expanded and permanent role would develop in the inter-war period. Why the move towards permanence? In addition to the resolve of the Canadian government and the leadership of...

    • 4 Scarlet and Reds on Campus, 1946–1960
      (pp. 67-90)

      On a September night in 1945 in Ottawa, Igor Gouzenko, a cipher clerk at the Soviet embassy, rushed to freedom, liberating himself and his family, as well as many pages of top secret documents. The papers he had hidden in his clothes revealed the existence of a Communist spy ring that operated in the western world and that involved civil servants, scientists, and, most satisfyingly to the RCMP, two senior members of the Communist Party of Canada, Sam Carr and Fred Rose, the latter also being the sole Communist member of the federal Parliament. Gouzenko’s revelations marked the symbolic beginning...

  8. Part Three: The 1960s

    • 5 Controversy and Contravention
      (pp. 93-118)

      ‘That little girl got excited and it is very easy to alter the facts,’ explained Inspector J.F. Berlinguette. The Mountie sat across a table from two Université Laval students, Hélène Senecal and Edward Smith, and repeatedly told them that a colleague of theirs, Jacqueline Cyr, did not know what she was talking about. Cyr had claimed that a mounted policeman had asked her for information about Senecal and Smith, authors of anti–nuclear weapons material that had appeared in a Laval student newspaper in April 1961, and that he had questioned her about the Laval branch of the Combined Universities...

    • 6 From the Old Left to the New Left
      (pp. 119-145)

      On 6 October 1961, forty-three members of the Université Laval chapter of the Combined Universities Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CUCND), fortified only with homemade placards, set off on a bus for Ottawa to participate with other university students in a Thanksgiving weekend demonstration. Among their numbers was a man clutching a camera, who proved to be particularly enthusiastic, taking frequent pictures of the protesters, especially the leaders. The same person displayed an equal zeal for collecting the CUCND’s literature. His efforts had a secret purpose, however. The photographs he took and the pamphlets he collected ended up not in a...

    • Illustrations
      (pp. None)
    • 7 The Crisis Years, 1968–1970
      (pp. 146-170)

      For the Montreal office of the RCMP Security Service, Christmas 1970 arrived four days late. It came in the form of a rather pleasant gift: the 958-page student directory of the Université de Montréal, containing personal information – address, telephone number, citizenship, the type of degree being sought, and other details – on 16,000 students. Unlike most Christmas gifts, this one had to be returned to its ‘originator,’ a person with access to sensitive material at the university. The Mounties were not left empty-handed, however. They microfilmed the directory and kept a copy at headquarters as a reference tool.¹


  9. Part Four: From the RCMP to CSIS

    • 8 ‘Moving from Campus to Community,’ 1971–1984
      (pp. 173-202)

      Members of the Cabinet Committee on Security and Intelligence, including Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, Director-General John Starnes, and other senior Mounties, politicians, and bureaucrats gathered on Parliament Hill on 24 September 1971 to watch the Security Service’s preview of the world of radicalism to come. The projector hummed and coughed out slides of thirty-six portraits of menaces to the nation. The RCMP believed that the 1970s would make the 60s look like the 50s, and the slide show did nothing to counter this. ‘The Threat to Security from Violence Prone Revolutionary Elements in Canada’ presented a shopping-list approach in its...

    • 9 Conclusion: From CSIS to APEC
      (pp. 203-218)

      In Canada, old security services do not fade away, they just get absorbed by other ones. In 1919 the Dominion Police discovered that merging with the Royal North-West Mounted Police actually meant eradication. In an event that went uncelebrated, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police entered the Canadian scene in 1920, and it would later spawn a Security Service. Sixty-four years after the RCMP was established, a major part of its soul was severed by official edict when the Canadian Security Intelligence Service was born on 16 July 1984. It represented the biggest offspring of the McDonald Commission. The agency came...

  10. Notes
    (pp. 219-276)
  11. Illustration Credits
    (pp. 277-278)
  12. Index
    (pp. 279-295)