Trans Mountain ‘investigates’ allegations, adviser registers Proud Boy’s Calgary domain

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Trans Mountain, a state-owned Canadian pipeline and energy company, says it is investigating allegations that one of its advisors has ties to the Proud Boys, a group on a federal list of terrorist organizations.

The allegations follow a massive data breach by Epik, a US-based internet company known for hosting and providing online services for right-wing extremist content.

The records released by the online hacktivist group Anonymous contain a wealth of personal information about some of the names behind viral campaigns promoting racism, misinformation, disinformation and other extremist views on the Internet, the Washington Post reported Tuesday.

The Narwhal reviewed billing records from the breach, which included the name, personal address, and phone number of a Calgary-based advisor who said on LinkedIn that he had been a Geographic Information Systems Technologist for Trans Mountain since November 2019, the Calgary man’s records registered on December 9, 2019 the domain ProudBoysCalgary.com.

At first it was not clear whether the man was a self-employed contractor or an employee of Trans Mountain.

“We are currently investigating the claim,” Trans Mountain said in a brief email to The Narwhal on Thursday, responding to questions about the revelations that have been shared repeatedly on Twitter over the past few days.

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Last February, the Canadian government added the Proud Boys to its list of terrorist groups, stating that the extremist group played a “decisive role” in the storming of the US Capitol on January 6th. The listing makes it a criminal offense to offer the Proud Boys financial support or other services.

The federal government bought the Trans Mountain pipeline and several related assets in a billion dollar deal in 2018 after previous owner Kinder Morgan threatened to cancel a proposed pipeline expansion project on the west coast.

Public opposition to new oil and gas projects, recent federal efforts to raise environmental standards, and long delays in projects such as expanding the Trans Mountain Pipeline have all got off the ground in oil-dependent provinces like Alberta and Saskatchewan Backlash led. The pro-oil and gas movement has hosted various protests that have attracted far-right activists who spread racist messages and threats against First Nations.

Some Oilpatch workers have explicitly distanced themselves from extremist messages, and it is not clear whether the Proud Boys actively organized within these movements or tried to take advantage of public anger to get their own message across.

The narwhal attempted to reach the man identified in the epic injury on Thursday via phone, text message, email, and a LinkedIn message, but did not respond immediately. His accounts on Facebook and LinkedIn, which were publicly visible on Thursday morning, appeared to be offline by late afternoon.

Rob Monster, Epik’s chief executive officer, was reached by phone and declined to comment on the content his company is hosting and asked The Narwhal to email questions.

The company did not respond prior to posting.

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