Rob Wipond is a freelance investigative community-issues journalist and writer of creative nonfiction.

He began his career working in performance art and theatre. His stand-up political rock comedy with Allen Both, “When I’m Big”, ventured into such venues as Toronto’s famed El Mocambo and Bamboo Club. CBC Radio Sunday Showcase/Monday Night Playhouse produced his satirical play, “Gypsy Moth”.

His journalism has appeared in nearly a hundred outlets including The BMJ, Adbusters, Queens Quarterly, and MAD. He was for ten years a regular columnist and feature writer for Focus, and currently contributes investigative journalism to the science, psychiatry, and community web magazine and blogging community Mad In America.

His writing has been nominated for three National Magazine Awards, nine Western Magazine Awards, and five British Columbia Jack Webster Awards for journalism. He’s won WMAs for business, science, and public issues writing, and won two Websters for community reporting. Articles of Wipond’s have also landed on the front page of SlashDot and at the top of Reddit World News. In 2016-17, he co-founded and was a senior researcher and editor for Inner Compass Initiative and The Withdrawal Project, websites which provide information about psychiatric drugs and how to withdraw from them more safely. He is currently working on a book about people’s experiences of involuntary psychiatric interventions and the expanding use of mental health laws across North America.

He has also worked as an instructor in creative nonfiction and journalism at the University of Victoria and Royal Roads University.

Over the years, he has occasionally done contract research, writing and/or editing for organizations that are working to protect fish and wildlife habitat, including the Conservation Lands Program, Nature Trust, Ducks Unlimited, and Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, and for groups fostering grassroots community resilience such as Hey Neighbour! Collective.

Other highlights include:

  • Collaborated with Citizen Lab’s Christopher Parsons on researching and reporting on a police surveillance program, which ultimately led to the Information and Privacy Commissioner ordering changes to the program.
  • Co-wrote a theatrical show currently touring high schools, “My Impractical Life”, starring mime and monologue artist Trent Arterberry.
  • Collaborated as contributing writer and project rapporteur with Will Weigler on the “unsettling the settler within” reconciliation theatrical project involving hundreds of people, From the Heart.
  • Co-wrote with Martin Gallop the song “Silver Lady” on the 2008 special edition CD “Teilzeithippie” from German pop princess Annett Louisan.
  • Volunteers a lot for Building Resilient Neighbourhoods.

Surveillance & Privacy

Investigations into police use of automatic licence plate surveillance in Canada led to the program being declared illegal. Learn more.

A joint municipal-federal police vehicle-tracking program was storing and analyzing the movements of a wide array of people.

Hidden Surveillance

Privacy Commissioner Slams BC Surveillance Program

So It’s Illegal Surveillance, So What?

RCMP Agrees to Stop Tracking Innocent Drivers

Police Accountability

Associations of chiefs of police do extensive political lobbying and official police work -- covertly and outside the law. Learn more.

Civil Rights & Psychiatry

People from many walks of life are being detained under mental health laws for a widening array of reasons. Learn more.

An Overabundance of Caution — Calling 911 to help a distressed person can be disastrous, say victims.

The Case for Electroshocking Mia — An elderly woman, with the support of her family, struggles to avoid forced treatment.

Escape from British ColumbiaA constitutional challenge says mental health laws lead to abuse, fear and the flight of “psychiatric refugees.”