Montreal

Quebec police spying scandal widens: 5 years of call logs and another journalist

Quebec provincial police confirmed it had obtained five years of call logs from three Radio-Canada journalists, while Montreal police admitted it had tracked another reporter as part of a 2014 investigation.

Sûreté du Québec obtained call logs from 3 Radio-Canada journalists between 2008 and 2013

Radio-Canada journalists Marie-Maude Denis, Alain Gravel and Isabelle Richer were tracked by the Sûreté du Québec over a five-year period. (Radio-Canada)

The Quebec spying scandal continued to expand Thursday, with provincial police confirming it had obtained five years of call logs from three Radio-Canada journalists, and Montreal police admitting it had tracked another reporter as part of a 2014 investigation. 

The Sûreté du Québec confirmed Thursday that Marie-Maude Denis, Alain Gravel and Isabelle Richer were all the subject of police surveillance that included access to incoming and outgoing call history.

In his case, Gravel said the warrant was obtained in October 2013, retroactive to November 2008.

At the time, Gravel was the host of Radio-Canada's French-language investigative program Enquête.

In an interview with As it Happens, Gravel said he's worried the surveillance will scare potential whistleblowers from coming forward.

"I'm really sad for the people who had the courage to put their life or their reputation or their job at risk because they felt that it was their duty to speak or to give us, secretly, some documents or interviews," he said. 

"They wanted to serve their society to give information. So I'm really sad for our society, for our democracy, for Quebec, for all these people."

Another journalist targeted by Montreal police

As well, Montreal police revealed to reporters it had obtained a warrant to spy on another journalist in 2014 as part of an investigation into a police officer.

Assistant police chief Patrick Lalonde wouldn't identify the journalist, and he reiterated Philippe Pichet had no intention of resigning as chief.

Assistant police chief Patrick Lalonde spoke with reporters Thursday. (Radio-Canada)
The revelations come as the Quebec government authorized the committee looking into the surveillance scandal the power of a commission of inquiry, including the ability to call witnesses and hold public audiences.

The SQ confirmed Wednesday it tracked the call history of six members of the media.

Earlier this week, La Presse revealed that one of its columnists, Patrick Lagacé, was tracked by Montreal police.

Investigators obtained warrants to monitor not only his call logs, but also the GPS in his phone.

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