In May of 2009 the CBC reported that Manitoba documentary filmmaker John Paskievich had his camera seized after being approached by four Winnipeg police officers while filming the excavation of a gas line on location Winnipeg.
Paskievich was asked to cease recording. When he did not comply his camera was seized. According to the CBC, the officers justified the seizure on the grounds that Paskievich’s presence made the backhoe operator uneasy. Said Paskievich:
“This is Canada. If you’re on a public street you have every right to film what’s going on. It’s the law. What they’ve done is just wrong.”
Paskievich’s award winning documentaries tend to focus on immigrant communities and the working-class.
Local police watchdog “Winnipeg Copwatch” did some digging and unearthed a history of similar seizures by the Winnipeg Police Services.