November 1, 2002


It will come as no surprise to activists in the Scarborough Local that C.S.I.S. and CPC S&I violated their rights, committed crimes and obtained personal information on Local Union leaders in the late 1980’s and 1990’s. There is no reason to believe that this activity has stopped.

A book has recently been published about the CSIS activities in the Scarborough and the Toronto Locals. This book is titled Covert Entry: Spies, Lies and Crimes Inside Canada's Secret Service, and it is written by former Globe and Mail reporter Andrew Mitrovica.

The book outlines the activities of John Farrell, a C.S.I.S. operative and a CPC S. & I officer. The book and subsequent press items identifies two Local S. &I. officers involved, Robert Letby and Phil Cherry. The C.S.I.S. operatives had an office at 280 Progress Ave. at the current employees entrance, as did the C.P.C. S. & I. officers.

The C.S.I.S. / S. & I. officers are alleged to have stolen Union Officials’ garbage to find damaging personal information, illicitly obtaining copies of their telephone and utility bills, court documents such as divorce proceedings, accusations of infidelity, school and banking information. Most of it was useless, but it all went back to Canada Post regional headquarters where files were kept on each of the union leaders.

Mr. Mitrovica writes: "Canada Post's Security and Investigation Service was, in effect, a law unto itself. There were no oversight bodies such as a police service board or review committees to keep a watchful eye on the units actions or its managers. The small, little-known army of investigators enjoyed extraordinary powers of search, seizure and arrest that rivaled those of any police or security agency in the country. Yet they were effectively accountable to no one outside a few Canada Post executives."

Mr. Farrell tells Mr. Mitrovica, that at one point he was told that he should, and did break into the cars of postal union leaders.

Later on, when he was working directly for CSIS, (although on the books he was still listed as a postal inspector) and being paid out of Canada Post funds, Mr. Farrell says he was told to buy a radio transmitter which fit inside an ordinary telephone jack -- a listening device that is illegal in Canada. It was used as an electronic bug in the postal station where a postal worker was stationed and whom the Post Office suspected was leaking embarrassing information to the media.

Canada Post President spokesperson, John Cains, said that when Mr. Farrell's "allegations" first surfaced two years ago they were examined by Canada Post and determined to be "irrelevant and non-substantiated, and just because they are in a book now doesn't give them any more relevance, as far as we're concerned. They've been reviewed and we're not going to comment any more."

Apparently Union Officers are as subversive as terrorist organizations and your tax dollars are being spent to investigate and spy on the Union. It would appear that the level of managerial skills (or lack there of) is not limited to CPC, but is also enjoyed by C.S.I.S.

In Solidarity

Mike Duquette
Scarborough Local