Saskatchewan

RCMP's Tommy Douglas file details promised

The federal government has relented in its refusal to release decades-old intelligence on Canadian political icon Tommy Douglas.

The federal government has relented in its refusal to release decades-old intelligence on Canadian political icon Tommy Douglas.

It's now promising to review the file and release additional material by March 31.

The promise follows a closed-door hearing during which a Federal Court judge expressed concern about the continued secrecy surrounding the file compiled by the RCMP on a figure of such historical significance.

Before the promise to provide additional information, the Conservative government had maintained that the release of the Douglas documents could hurt the present-day work of Canada's spy service.

Some of the materials date back more than 70 years.

Douglas, who died in 1986, is widely revered as the father of Canadian medicare. He was premier of Saskatchewan and then the first leader of the federal New Democratic Party.

He was the subject of surveillance for decades, first by the RCMP and later by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, or  CSIS.