CSA Blows a Fuse


The CSA went a bit unhinged in 2015.  Their staff were freely talking to RestoreCSA, handing documents to us, there was a steady stream of engineers doing interviews with us, and CSA couldn’t stop the leaking.  So what did they do?  Well, first they fumed with every new article.

We started the year with an article on faked safety testing in CSA’s Canadian labs.  False testing reports are bad enough, but our sources showed us faked test results going back eighteen years.  The CSA’s testing racket is longstanding.

Then we reported the CSA’s violation of public review laws.  That is, the CSA is required at law to give 60 days of public review prior to official publication of every new standard that they draft or amend.  Well, they haven’t been complying with that law for decades.

Hitting close to home, we then reported on bureaucratic efforts to protect CSA from prosecution.  Specifically, we reported on the Federal Government’s cost inflation of Access to Information filings, for instance that a simple email search for CSA files would cost more than a quarter of a million dollars and take eleven years to deliver.  Then we reported on the Standards Council of Canada’s actions to exempt CSA from legal requirements.  Both stories hit hard.

We then reported on CSA inspection of manufacturing facilities, on what inspecting CSA actually does.  The nutshell; not much inspection, but plenty of invoicing.

In March the CSA responded by threatening to sue us for defamation.  Our crime?  Well, we had reported CSA’s falsified testing practices to the Government of Saskatchewan.  We honestly reported actual events, supported with actual evidence, to the proper government authority.  But reporting crime is not, itself, a crime.  Actually, reporting of crime to lawful authorities is the responsibility of every citizen.  The CSA just didn’t want the exposure.

Then there was the big announcement, that the RCMP had opened a criminal investigation into CSA activities.  Historically, the CSA has been able to duck criminal investigations by claiming to be outside the jurisdiction of whomever was threatening investigation.  This time however, or at least at first, their excuse didn’t stick.

In the same month, we announced that we had published the Canadian Electrical Code, being the body of electrical law in Canada.  Until this announcement, the CSA was the only source for access to electrical laws.  If you needed to read the law, you had to pay CSA.  Well, not anymore.

With all this, the CSA blew a gasket in May.  First, they launched a new Federal lawsuit against us.  Then they launched another litigation in Provincial Court.  Both new lawsuits were identical, they were paragraph-for-paragraph duplicates with different cover sheets attached.  At the same time, the CSA launched a fourth legal action with the Canadian Intellectual Property Association (CIRA) and a fifth legal action with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in Geneva, Switzerland.  Both of these latter actions were designed to confiscate the RestoreCSA website and give this website to CSA for their own purposes.

We were now facing five legal actions simultaneously.  In 2012, we predicted that CSA’s only tactical option was to “bleed us financially,” and here they were, doing just that.  They had no way to refute was was reported on RestoreCSA, for what was reported here was accurate.  What they wanted then, was to silence us, to shut down RestoreCSA. 

While we worked through the CSA’s new legal processes, we continued to receive new whistleblower information and, of course, we reported on it.  In May and June, we published stories on CSA’s manipulation of regulations in order to prevent competitor’s products from release in the market.  Certain companies are paying money to CSA in order to alter regulations in such a way as to mandate the use of their own products and preclude the use of competitor’s products in the market. 

We also received yet another Access to Information response, consisting in the main of refusals to grant us access to information.

As the year drew to a close, we won two legal actions against CSA;  first, the CIRA verdict was in our favour, and then we won the WIPO action.  Both were expensive, and for CSA that was the whole idea.  Win or lose, they’re ok because they’ve got access to the Treasury to fund their wars.  It’s harder for us, we have to earn every dollar we spend to defend ourselves.

We’re David; they’re Goliath.  In 2015 we took pretty good aim, but in 2016 we were the ones that got hit.