The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) reportedly shredded its file on former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau rather than provide it to Canada’s national archives.
The decision was made in 1989, long before Trudeau’s death in 2000, according to the Canadian Press. Trudeau, who was prime minister when the current Canadian leader Justin Trudeau was born, was a polarizing figure who remained in power for over 15 years beginning in 1968 and leaving office in 1984.
Prior to joining the Liberal Party and running first as a Member of Parliament and then for the leadership, Trudeau was active in left-wing politics and suspected by some of having communist sympathies. As prime minister he had frequently criticized United States foreign policy and was friendly with Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.
Following Castro’s death in 2016, Justin Trudeau eulogized the communist leader as a “larger than life leader.” He was widely derided on social media for praising the despot who ruled Cuba for almost 60 years. Trudeau often refers to his father’s political legacy but sometimes it is used against him, as when a school child asked him, “Why did your dad give everyone in Western Canada the middle finger?” (RELATED: Trudeau’s Castro Eulogy Created Diplomatic Panic, Documents Show)
CSIS said the Trudeau dossier was destroyed because they didn’t think it qualified as a document worth keeping open or sending to the archives.
The FBI also monitored Trudeau for over 30 years, CP noted, considering him a potential security risk because he had visited the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War, CP reported.
The bureau eventually compiled 151 pages on Trudeau, which it released in a highly censored format in 2000.
The revelation of the dossier’s destruction is prompting criticism from historians who note that the information is now lost forever.
“It’s just outrageous, there’s no other word to describe it,” Trudeau biographer John English, told CP. “It’s a tragedy that this has happened, and I think the explanation is weak.” (RELATED: Trudeau Says His Father Used Influence On Marijuana Charge)
Steve Hewitt, an expert on Canadian intelligence work, labelled the document’s loss as “a crime against Canadian history.”
“This wanton destruction cries out for parliamentary intervention to ensure that historically significant documents held by government agencies are preserved instead of being made to disappear down an Orwellian memory hole,” said Hewitt, who is a professor at the University of Birmingham.