Documents reveal CIA kept watch on Canada during Cold War

Agency examined mineral industry, oil sands and former PM Pierre Trudeau

The CIA kept a close eye on the Canadian economy during the Cold War and conducted a secret analysis of then-Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, declassified records reveal. In January 1982, the CIA depicted Trudeau as a politician torn between wanting to be a leader of the Third World and an accepted member of the world’s industrialized countries, according to documents obtained by the Canadian Press under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act. Beginning in the 1950s, the CIA scrutinized maps of Canada and kept a watchful eye on firms that were potentially exporting goods to Eastern Bloc countries. The agency was particularly interested in Canada’s mineral industries. In May 1972, the agency produced a study that concluded Canada was in a good position to further its standing as the world’s leading mineral exporter. The CIA also took a look at Alberta’s oil sands, recognizing in 1972 the “enormous amounts of oil” along the Athabasca River.

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