In the News, In the Know with CCLA & Friends

Welcome to the Canadian Civil Liberties Association’s new blog space. Tune in here to find commentary, discussion and opinion pieces from our Directors, volunteers, and friends on the topical issues of the week, and the longstanding rights debates that such issues frequently engage.

We look forward to offering a greater variety of voices on this site. If you want to be one of those voices, please submit your 500-word blog to media@ccla.org.


Can a Politician Block you on Twitter?

June 7, 2019

Cara Zwibel, Director of Fundamental Freedoms Program

Recently, CCLA learned of a woman who has been blocked by her federal Member of Parliament on Twitter. This with other actions shows a failure to appreciate the importance of free expression in Canada, particularly when it comes to political speech.

Spotlight on Michael Rosenberg – A Lawyer Fighting Solitary Confinement on Behalf of CCLA

June 5, 2019

Noa Mendelsohn Aviv, Director of Equality Program  

 

CCLA at the Supreme Court: The Worst Carding Case in Canadian History?

May 30, 2019

Noa Mendelsohn Aviv, Director of Equality Program  

What stops the police from treating innocent people like suspects?

 

Breaking down the “Digital Charter” – Part 1

May 24, 2019

Cara Zwibel, Director of Fundamental Freedoms Program

This week, The government proposed a new “digital charter” in response to the live-streamed massacre in Christchurch. What does this new initiative mean for Canadians and their civil liberties?

CCLA at the Supreme Court: Journalistic Source Protection 

May 16, 2019

Cara Zwibel, Director of Fundamental Freedoms Program

Protecting the non-disclosure of confidential journalistic source information is crucial in upholding freedom of the press.

 

Access to Abortion, Dying with Dignity, and More Upheld by Ontario Court of Appeal – and Doctors Must Help Provide This Access! 

May 15, 2019

Noa Mendelsohn Aviv, Director of Equality Program  

And the rights of vulnerable patients have prevailed.

In the fight for free speech, where does Facebook fit?

May 10, 2019

Cara Zwibel, Director of Fundamental Freedoms Program

Would a content oversight board for Facebook be a welcome development?

When the Immigration Act Meets Habeas Corpus

May 10, 2019

Noa Mendelsohn Aviv, Director of Equality Program  

Liberty protections we give to those in detention should apply to everyone, not just citizens.

Manitoba Homicide Stats Generating More Heat Than Light

May 8, 2019

Michael Bryant, Executive Director and General Counsel 

Mass surveillance is no appropriate response to gun violence… but we need to talk about what it.

A phone is not a “good”, it’s a private window into our lives

May 5, 2019

Brenda McPhail, Director of Privacy, Technology & Surveillance Project

The Customs Act needs updating to prevent intrusive searches of our personal devices at the border.

 

Solitary confinement is no joking matter – and the courts are not amused – AGAIN! Here are where things stand

April 29, 2019

Noa Mendelsohn Aviv, Director of Equality Program  

It is high time the government stop fighting the courts and start reforming these institutions and their harmful practices.

What Do Justin Trudeau and Stephen Harper Have in Common?

April 26, 2019

Noa Mendelsohn Aviv, Director of Equality Program  

The federal government is trying to roll back protections for refugees in an underhanded and undemocratic move.

Canada’s Privacy Commissioner’s Office Is Furious, and He’s Deleting their Facebook Page

April 25, 2019

Brenda McPhail, Director of Privacy, Technology & Surveillance Project

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: It is time for Canada to take a serious look at our privacy laws.

CCLA at the Supreme Court: Privacy Lost 

April 19, 2019

Brenda McPhail, Director of Privacy, Technology & Surveillance Project

What stands between you and the state when they seek to acquire your electronic communication?

 

CCLA at the Supreme Court: What Happens When the Police Arrest You for a Non-Existent Offence?

April 18, 2019

Cara Zwibel, Director of Fundamental Freedoms Program

Caution, hold handrail, or you could be… arrested?

Demanding our Privacy Rights Get a Seat at the Table

April 16, 2019

Brenda McPhail, Director of Privacy, Technology & Surveillance Project

CCLA is taking Waterfront Toronto/Sidewalk Labs to court.

 

Carbon Tax “Notice” Requirement is Provincial Government Propaganda, Plain and Simple

April 15, 2019

Cara Zwibel, Director of Fundamental Freedoms Program

This “notice” epitomizes unreasonable government compulsion of expression and we will not stand for it.

Young Voices, Youth Activism, and Social Change

April 11, 2019

Cara Zwibel, Director of Fundamental Freedoms Program

Young people have many important things to say and we all ought to listen.

Sex Offender Registries That Discriminate Against Those With Mental Illness Offend Charter Equality Guarantee

April 4, 2019

Cara Zwibel, Director of Fundamental Freedoms Program

Ontario Court of Appeal recognizes discrimination against mental illness.

CCLA at the Supreme Court: A Momentous Bail Decision for Automatic Reviews of Detention

March 29, 2019

Christine Mainville, Partner – Henein Hutchison LLP

This decision at the supreme court will really change a lot of things in the bail system.

CCLA at the Supreme Court: When Can the Police Arrest You to ‘Protect’ You?

March 21, 2019

Teddy Weinstein, Articling Fellow

We have the right to be free from overbearing police powers when exercising our right to free expression and peaceful assembly.

 

Making Youth Voices Matter

March 8, 2019

Rayne Fisher-Quann, Executive Director of March for Our Education

We believe in the power of young people and we believe in their right to be heard.

 

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of the Sex Ed Saga

February 28, 2019

Cara Zwibel, Director of Fundamental Freedoms Program

Today was a bad day for equality, but the fight continues.

CCLA to Ottawa: Call a SCC Reference

February 23, 2019

Michael Bryant, Executive Director and General Counsel 

Whose justice system is this?

 

This Public Consultation on Sex Ed is Keeping a Lot Secret

February 19, 2019

Cara Zwibel, Director of Fundamental Freedoms Program

For a public consultation on a new Sex Ed Curriculum, they seem very reluctant to let us know what we said.

 

Privacy Wins: Jarvis Decision Confirms Privacy Rights Exist in Public Spaces

February 14, 2019

Brenda McPhail, Director of Privacy, Technology & Surveillance Project

Privacy is not “all-or-nothing” – it is “totality of circumstances” – and the Supreme Court agrees.

Money (That’s What They Want)

February 13, 2019

Brenda McPhail, Director of Privacy, Technology & Surveillance Project

Collection of your private, personal information by companies is not some benevolent ‘personalization’ — curating your every need.

 

Shaving the Constitutional Tiger: Attorney General 101

February 8, 2019

Michael Bryant, Executive Director and General Counsel 

Political power, prosecutorial discretion, and lines crossed.

No Remedy and No Right – SCC Strikes A Double Blow

February 8, 2019

Cara Zwibel, Director of Fundamental Freedoms Program

A devastating step backwards for rights and freedoms.

 

Being in a Wheelchair is NO Reason for Being Held in Solitary

February 7, 2019

Noa Mendelsohn Aviv, Director of Equality Program  

Gregory Allen spent 412 days in solitary confinement because he had a disability.

 

The PMO Has Discovered the Presumption of Innocence

February 7, 2019

Michael Bryant, Executive Director and General Counsel 

Obstruction of justice and breach of trust allegations may trigger criminal investigation.

CCLA at the Supreme Court: Does a Charter Violation Require a Remedy?

February 6, 2019

Rob De Luca, Director of Democracy and the Rule of Law Program

Michael Bryant, Executive Director and General Counsel 

Mass Surveillance Challenge Proceeds to Europe’s Highest Human Rights Court

February 5, 2019

Brenda McPhail, Director of Privacy, Technology & Surveillance Project

And so the fight continues against suspicionless bulk collection of our communication data.

 

Governing by Mercenary

January 29, 2019

Let’s follow the money… all the way to the incoming “smart city” in Quayside, Toronto.

 

Dialing 911 on Hate Speech Against Women 

January 29, 2019

Cara Zwibel, Director of Fundamental Freedoms Program

Speech may be hateful, and we may not agree with it, but does that make it criminal?

 

We’re Not Done Talking About Privacy in the Smart City

January 24, 2019

Brenda McPhail, Director of Privacy, Technology & Surveillance Project, 

Nabeel Ahmed, Researcher on Smart Cities 

 

BC Court of Appeal Strikes Down Another Mandatory Sentence Law

January 23, 2019

Thomas Hanson, CCLA-PBSC Rights Watch student

 

 

Battles Begin Over the Repeal of Ontario’s 2015 Sex-Ed Curriculum

January 23, 2019

Joie Chow, CCLA-PBSC Rights Watch student

 

A Victory For Democratic Rights at the Supreme Court

January 11, 2019

Rob De Luca, Director of Democracy and the Rule of Law Program

Canada does away with its system of tiered-citizenship.

Presto Change-O Privacy Disappears!

January 2, 2019

Brenda McPhail, Director of Privacy, Technology & Surveillance Project

Convenience gained, anonymity lost. Is that a trade-off we are willing to live with?

Canadians Care About Privacy, Politicians Need To Show They Care About Us

December 19, 2018

Brenda McPhail, Director of Privacy, Technology & Surveillance Project

It’s about time political parties be held to our privacy law standards.

Blowing the Whistle on Saskatoon’s Proposed Rules for Rideshares and Taxis

December 14, 2018

Abby Deshman, Director of Criminal Justice Program

Vulnerable sector checks? For taxi and rideshare drivers?

 

Supreme Court Strikes Down Canada’s Ugliest Populist Criminal Law

December 14, 2018

Whammy! Canada’s ugliest populist criminal sanction is gone.

 

 Supreme Court Finds a Reasonable Expectation of Privacy in Shared Computer

December 13, 2018

Teddy Weinstein, Articling Fellow

Another win for privacy rights in SCC ruling, R v Reeves.

New Act Protects Ontarians from Release of Unproven Allegations

December 13, 2018

Abby Deshman, Director of Criminal Justice Program

A historic piece of legislation passed in Ontario should call other provinces to similar action

Federal Government’s Election Reforms Fall Short

December 11, 2018

Rob De Luca, Director of Democracy and the Rule of Law Program

What could this mean for the 2019 federal election?

Police and Pot: Let Them Smoke, Vape, and – Yes – Eat Cake (or Brownies!) Too

December 7, 2018

Abby Deshman, Director of Criminal Justice Program

Cannabis workplace policies pulling a page out of the Reefer Madness handbook.

 Auditor General to Toronto’s Smart Cities: Not So Fast

December 6, 2018

Brenda McPhail, Director of Privacy, Technology & Surveillance Project

It’s time to get smart when it comes to ‘smart city’ projects.

What the Vice Media Decision Might Mean for Press Freedom

December 3, 2018

Cara Zwibel, Director of Fundamental Freedoms Program

Returning to Friday’s SCC decision and what it all means for freedom of the press.

Vice Media Appeal Could Spell Bleak Friday for Press Freedom

November 27, 2018

Cara Zwibel, Director of Fundamental Freedoms Program

Press freedom is at stake when the Supreme Court renders their decision on Friday, November 30 on R. v. Vice Media Canada Inc.