Federal and provincial governments have spent $50 million on RCMP C-IRG repression of land defence struggles

Published by Brent Patterson on

Photo: RCMP raid on Wet’suwet’en territory, January 7, 2019. Photo by Michael Toledano.

Ottawa-based CBC journalist Brett Forester reports: “An RCMP squad charged with policing resistance to resource extraction in British Columbia spent nearly $50 million enforcing injunctions obtained by the petroleum and forestry sectors in its first five years, an internal accounting shows.”

Forester highlights: “The figures, released to CBC News under access-to-information law, offer the first publicly available, if rough, estimate of the costs incurred by Community-Industry Response Group (C-IRG).”

And he comments: “Formed in 2017, the C-IRG has no defined territorial jurisdiction, an unknown number of members, and no set budget. It goes where industry meets land occupations, blockades and civil disobedience. The unit says it needs this flexible mandate to respond to unpredictable protests, but critics fear the C-IRG received a blank cheque and little oversight from governments.”

To read his full article, go to RCMP has spent nearly $50M on policing pipeline, logging standoffs in B.C.

CBC has previously reported: “Provinces and territories pay 70 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s operations in their jurisdictions, with the federal government contributing the remaining 30 per cent.”

This suggests the Canadian government may have funded $15 million of the policing of these land defence struggles against extractivism.

The Environmental Defence report PAYING POLLUTERS released in April 2021 highlighted: “A particularly egregious form of fossil fuel subsidy are investments made into policing Indigenous land defenders opposing fossil fuel infrastructure.”

It adds: “For example, over $13 million was spent last year on the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to ‘protect’ the Coastal GasLink pipeline – which took the form of harassing Wet’suwet’en Nation community members who oppose the pipeline.”

Calls to abolish the RCMP and C-IRG

On November 23, 2021, Wet’suwet’en land defender Sleydo’ emerged from four days in police custody following the RCMP raid on her territory that enabled the continued construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline without free, prior and informed consent.

She said: “C-IRG and the RCMP need to be abolished. Anybody who is not into prison abolition should be after this experience that we’ve had.”

A year later, on November 24, 2022, the BC Federation of Labour unanimously passed a resolution calling for the C-IRG to be disbanded.

We continue to follow this issue.


Categories: News Updates


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[…] Ottawa-based CBC journalist Brett Forester recently reports that the RCMP’s Community-Industry Response Group (C-IRG), which has been referred to as their […]

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