Jim Bronskill on Breaking the Frye/RCMP Story

I asked Canadian Press reporter Jim Bronskill about how he discovered the RCMP’s Frye file. His response:

I cover security and intelligence issues for the Canadian Press, and take special interest in the historical dimensions of the beat. As a result, I examine old RCMP security files to see what names crop up. In some cases, there are entirely separate files on those individuals. The dossiers — if kept for posterity and transferred to Library and Archives Canada — can be obtained through the Access to Information Act twenty years after a person’s death. It is a bit of a guessing game to determine which people the Mountie spies kept files on. But when you zero in on one, it can provide telling glimpses of state security practices and the tenor of the times.

That’s certainly true in this instance. Despite the distressing twenty percent of Canadians who think it was acceptable for the RCMP to spy on Frye, the commentators at the Globe & Mail‘s website do not share that view by a pretty considerable margin.

Some examples:

What sort of country spies on its best and brightest?


Tommy Douglas – now Northrop Frye?

Is that what we pay taxes for? – spying on Canadian leaders who openly and democraticaly oppose the economic and political elties?


And soon all Canadian’s will be spied on starting this fall – when the Cons bring in legislation requiring your Internet company to keep a record of all your online activity

… which will be accessible to the police WITHOUT warrant.

Scary stuff.

(Don’t criticize anyone too much!)


Here are a couple of people who are clearly twenty percenters:

Intelligence organizations can’t leave people off the radar just because they are intelligent. Many intelligent people are complete lunatics. The Norwegian sniper is a good example.


Never heard of him and I’m guessing the majority of Canadians haven’t either.


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One thought on “Jim Bronskill on Breaking the Frye/RCMP Story

  1. John Ayre

    On the principle of monkey see, monkey do, the RCMP intelligence seems to have copied the FBI’s COINTELPRO program of spying on all prominent Americans irrespective of plausible danger to the state. It was discovered that the FBI even had a file on one of the most gentle and least subversive American authors of all, E.B. White who wrote Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little. In light of Frye’s opposition to the Vietnam War (who wasn’t against it?), I bet there is an FBI file on him somewhere.


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