RCMP spied on Bob Rae at university

The Liberal leader attracted attention for his work as a student councilor and activist at University of Toronto

The young Bob Rae was tracked by RCMP spies in the late 1960s, according to recently declassified documents. Canadian Press, which obtained the documents from Library and Archives Canada, reports the RCMP watched the University of Toronto’s student council closely, likely amassing a dossier on Rae as one of its leaders. At the time, the force was monitoring various organizations, including unions and peace groups, looking for left-wing radicals and subversives. Many such documents were later destroyed; Rae’s records were likely kept as he proceeded into public political life. The arm of the RCMP involved in such observation was dissolved in 1984, after which time the Canadian Security Intelligence Service took over domestic spying. In an interview, Rae expressed surprise about having been spied upon, given the nature of his activities at the time: “The only thing sinister, frankly, in all of this is how much of it was being recorded and reported and presumably being put in a file somewhere.”

Canadian Press

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