Former CCLA General Counsel, Order of Canada Office, and life-long activist Alan Borovoy contributed creativity, eloquence, and unstoppable force of will in the pursuit of social justice in Canada. For 40+ years, Alan grappled with Canada’s most pressing social issues, from the marginalization of Indigenous people, to police misconduct, to attacks on free speech.

For over 20 years, the CCLA/CCLET’s Borovoy Conference have immersed youth in explorations of concepts former CCLA General Counsel Alan Borovoy held dear — rights, freedoms, and critical thinking. Each conference feature a diversity of speakers including legal and Charter of Rights and Freedoms experts, community leaders, and activists, and cover cutting edge civil liberties and equality issues.

Participating students come away with sound understandings of balancing competing rights, countering injustice, and advocacy strategies. They will have also met and spoken with the people making positive social change and holding up the civil liberties barriers in their communities and across the country.

Offered in Toronto each year and in other provinces as per demand and opportunity.

CCLET is able to go to provinces outside Ontario thanks to the generosity of longtime supporter and partner of Alan Borovoy, Myra Merkur.

Toronto – 23rd Annual CCLA/TDSB Borovoy Conference: Thursday December 5, 2019

The CCLA is proud to present the 23rd annual TDSB Borovoy Conference (formerly known as the Fundamentals of our Fundamental Freedoms Conference). We invite TDSB grade 11 and 12 classes to spend a day with us exploring topical and emerging rights, freedoms, and social justice issues.

Opening Keynote:
Rooting Civil Liberties in Treaty: The Role of Youth in Promoting Justice and Advancing Reconciliation – Caroline Jacobson and Rolando Aguilera, Legal Counsel, Indigenous Initiatives Division, MAG


  • Michael Bryant, Executive Director and General Counsel, CCLA – Facial Recognition and Surveillance
  • Silmy Abdullah, Staff Lawyer, South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario – Human Trafficking
  • Noa Mendelsohn Aviv, Director, Equality Program, CCLA – Religion Freedoms and Equality Rights
  • Nadia Z. Hasan, Deputy Director, National Council of Canadian Muslims – CSIS and You: National Security and Your Rights
  • Cheryl Milne, Executive Director, Asper Centre for Constitutional Rights – Voting Age: Should Young People Get a Say Too?
  • Lise Pinkos, Manager Education Programs, Canadian Museum for Human Rights – When Rights are Denied
  • Lee Ann Chapman, Triage Lawyer, PBLO at Sick Kids – Consent and Capacity – Young people and Medical Treatment
  • Stéphanie Nowak, Director of Education, Innocence Canada – Wrongful Convictions
  • Justin Khan, Director Public Interest and Legal Initiatives, The 519 – Pride & Protest: Celebration or Fight for Rights?
  • Talayeh Shomali – CCLA Education & Outreach Coordinator, and Roxana Parsa, Staff Lawyer, METRAC Action on Violence – Gender Based Violence
  • Jennifer Saville and Alexi Nicole Wood, St. Lawrence Barristers – Selfies, Sexting and Child Pornography: Youth, Technology and Law
  • Cara Zwibel, Director Fundamental Freedoms Program, CCLA – Haters Gonna Hate: Freedom of Speech and Hate Speech
  • Lilian Radovac, Assistant Professor, Institute of Communication, Culture, information and technology, University of Toronto Mississauga – The Right to The (Smart) City
  • Noa Mendelshon Aviv, Director, Equality Program, CCLA – CCLA’s Current and Breaking Cases


Interactive Closing Plenary Session: The Get REAL Movement – Combatting discrimination and promoting acceptance


  • Date: Thursday, December 5, 2019
  • Location: Central Technical School
  • Classes must be accompanied by teachers
  • Attendance limited, filled on a first-come, first served basis
  • Free! Lunch included (vegetarian options)
  • Sign in at Central Tech starts at 8:15am, sessions start at 9:00am, and the day wraps at 2:45pm


TDSB Teachers Register here.


Past conferences


Winnipeg – Robson Hall Faculty of Law, University of Manitoba, Thursday, May 9, 2019

Calling Winnipeg High School Students!

On May 9, 2019, CCLET is collaborating with the Manitoba Association for Rights and Liberties, Robson Hall Faculty of Law’s Community Outreach Committee, and CanU to present the first Winnipeg Borovoy Conference!

We invite Winnipeg grade 11 and 12 students and their teachers to spend a day deep-diving into conversations with lawyers and activists on rights, freedoms, equality, and about making positive social change. In Winnipeg, students also get to be at law school for the day — we are kindly being hosted by Robson Hall Faculty of Law at the University of Manitoba.

Speakers include:

  • Sadie Phoenix Lavoie, Red Rising Magazine
  • Michael Bryant, Executive Director and General Counsel, CCLA
  • Anishnaabe Elder Fred Kelly
  • Adikheir Ahmed, Director, Immigration Partnership Winnipeg
  • Chantell Barker, Director of Justice and Law, First Nation Justice Strategy, Southern Chiefs Organizations Inc
  • Jordyn Sheldon, Education Coordinator, Manitoba Association for Rights and Liberties
  • Noa Mendelsohn Aviv, Director, Equality Program, CCLA

Session topics include:

  • Freedom of expression and hate speech
  • Privacy rights
  • LGBTQ+ rights
  • Refugee and immigration rights
  • Criminalization of Indigenous people
  • Conflict of freedoms
  • Religious freedoms
  • Youth activism


  • Thursday, May 9, 2019
  • 150 tickets, filled on a first-come, first served basis
  • University of Manitoba Robson Hall Faculty of Law
  • Students must be accompanied by teachers.
  • Free! Light lunch included (vegetarian option)
  • Sign in at Robson Hall starts at 8:30 – 9:00 am and the conference ends at 3:00 pm

Register here