Popular Maritime singer Rita MacNeil said she had no idea she was under RCMP surveillance during an investigation into the 1970s Canadian feminist movement.
In an interview with CTV Newsnet from her home in Big Pond, N.S., MacNeil called the investigation "a little bit silly."
Two historians recently uncovered files showing RCMP spies infiltrated the women's liberation movement in Canada. Investigators conducted undercover surveillance on marches and rallies, and compiled biographical sketches on some participants, including MacNeil.
"It was a time of awareness and women fighting for specific causes that meant a lot to us," such as daycare and equal pay for the same job, said MacNeil. "As far as my part, I wrote a lot of songs."
Her album 'Born a Woman' reflects the songs of that period, she added.
One of the uncovered RCMP reports from a March 1972 meeting of feminist groups in Winnipeg stated MacNeil attended the event with a group called the Toronto Women's Caucus. The report's undercover source noted MacNeil composed women's lib songs.