If you attended a Canadian university in the past eighty years, it's possible that, unbeknownst to you, Canadian security agents were surveying you, your fellow students, and your professors for 'subversive' tendencies and behaviour. 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. Why they were there is the subject of a new book by Steve Hewitt.
Spying 101 provides new insight on the previously secret operations of one of Canada's most powerful institutions and best-known national symbols, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. For more than eighty years, the RCMP and its younger counterpart, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), have been conducting covert investigations within the hallowed halls of Canadian universities in an attempt to discover 'subversive' activity among faculty, employees, and students, and, periodically, to hunt for spies and terrorists. Information has been collected on thousands of Canadians, including prominent individuals such as Pierre Berton, Peter Gzowski, Lotta Hitschmanova, and RenT LTvesque.
Spying 101 offers a fresh examination of the relationship in the intelligence field between the RCMP and federal departments, such as National Defence and External Affairs, and its political masters, including Pierre Trudeau.
Hewitt also explores the complicity of the RCMP in the handling of the anti-APEC protests at the University of British Columbia in 1997 and offers an overview of the current work by Canada's intelligence services at the nation's universities. Relying on thousands of pages of previously secret RCMP and government documents, and on recollections of participants including former members of the RCMP Security Service, Spying 101 offers a vivid portrait of a crucial, yet unstudied, chapter in the history of the world's most famous police force.