CCLA Summer Highlights

August 8, 2017

Update and Announcements:

    1. Sukanya Pillay, formerly Executive Director and General Counsel of the CCLA, has resigned effective June 30, 2017 to relocate to Windsor with her family. We thank Sukanya for her many valuable contributions to the CCLA over many years and wish her well. 
    2. Noa Mendelsohn Aviv, who has been with CCLA since 2002, most recently as Equality Program Director, will serve as CCLA’s Acting Executive Director.
    3. Cara Faith Zwibel, who has been with CCLA since 2010 as Fundamental Freedoms Program Director, will serve as Acting General Counsel.
    4. CCLA congratulates former Board Member and Supporter, Justice Frédéric Bachand, who has been appointed to the Superior Court of Quebec. 
    5. CCLA’s 2017 summer volunteers have dedicated their summers to the protection and promotion of fundamental freedoms in Canada. We will be hosting a ‘CCLA Evening Out for Rights and Freedoms’ for everyone on Wednesday, August 30th, 2017 at the Drake 150 in Toronto to appreciate CCLA volunteers – present and past – and to come together to celebrate. RSVP here.



1. CCLA Joins Canadian Cross-Border Legal Coalition to Assist Those Harmed by U.S. Travel Ban

In response to the U.S. Supreme Court decision allowing the U.S. travel and refugee ban to go into effect, CCLA and numerous others stepped up as part of the Canadian Cross-Border Legal Coalition. CCBLC is a network of Canadian lawyers and others working to help those impacted by the travel ban, bringing together leading organizations including The Refugee Hub, Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers, CCLA and the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association.

If you are affected by the travel ban, the CCBLC has information on your legal rights and can arrange for free legal assistance if you contact

2. CCLA’s Segregation Challenge to be heard – Court Denies Canada’s Attempt to Adjourn

On July 6, Associate Chief Justice Marracco ruled that the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA’s) challenge of segregation (solitary confinement) practices will go ahead, denying a motion by the government to adjourn the case. The hearing will be held, as scheduled, on September 11, 2017.

Canada sought to adjourn the proceeding in light of a new bill it had introduced in the House of Commons.

3. Supreme Court Case Upholds Order Against Google

In a case that received international attention, the Supreme Court of Canada decided, in Google v Equustek, that Canadian courts have the authority to make orders against the internet giant outside of Canadian borders. CCLA had intervened in the case at both the British Columbia Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada to raise concerns about restricting the free and open nature of the internet. 

4. CCLA at the Trans Pride March

CCLA marched alongside thousands of people at the Toronto Trans Pride March. Many thanks to all our staff and volunteers for making this event possible each year and especially to Ron Ness for his generous support. 

5. CCLA Intervenes in Facebook Case – A Win for Online Privacy Rights

CCLA is pleased with the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in Douez v Facebook, Inc., released June 23. The case addressed whether Deborah Douez should be able to pursue a claim against Facebook under Canadian privacy law in Canada. 

6. Canada Compensate’s Omar Khadr

CCLA has spoken up about the decision to compensate Omar Khadr. Given that Canada contributed to the gross violations of his constitutional rights, at a minimum, an apology and compensation are necessary in a country that values, upholds, and adheres to its own laws.

7. C-59: New Anti-Terror Bill Introduced

On June 20, 2017 the federal government introduced Bill C-59, An Act Respecting National Security Matters, which includes significant proposed changes to numerous aspects of Canadian national security law.

CCLA is engaged in a detailed examination of this omnibus bill and will seek to demand compliance with fundamental rights and freedoms and to keep the public informed.

8. CCLA Joins INCLO Seeking Accountability in Intelligence Sharing

CCLA together with the International Network of Civil Liberties Organizations (INCLO) have launched a global public information campaign. This is the first multinational coalition demanding that governments release any and all information regarding agreements between intelligence agencies, and provide answers about a practice largely shielded from accountability.

CCLA in the News: