Newfoundland and Labrador amended the Public Health Protection and Promotion Act on May 4 to implement a travel ban barring anyone but permanent residents and workers in essential sectors from entering the province. The bill gives power to police to potentially remove people who are not primary residents from the province. However, a lawsuit has been filed by the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) challenging the legislation.
As the Maritime provinces and Quebec continue to restrict travel, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association has gone to court to challenge recent legislation and executive orders in Newfoundland and Labrador that restrict non-residents from entering the province.
Michael Bryant, a lawyer and executive director of the CCLA, said the border closure is a clear violation of Section 6 of the constitution, which provides Canadians with the right to work or travel in any province, and the provinces need to be able to justify that violation.
The Canadian Civil Liberties Association says that while it’s concerned with travel bans across the country, Newfoundland and Labrador’s is particularly problematic.The association notes the Newfoundland ban grants police powers to search, detain and remove people believed to have violated a public health order.
“We recognize the uncharted territory that we’re in, and that governments are grappling with really significant and new challenges,” said Cara Zwibel, the CCLA’s Fundamental Freedoms Program Director. “But there does have to be some accountability. There has to be some requirement when you’re restricting people’s rights to justify why we’re doing that, and saying ‘better safe than sorry’ is not sufficient for the purposes of constitutional rights. We need some evidence.”
“We had to fight hard to win from the city a commitment to take a basic life-saving measure,” said Noa Mendelsohn Aviv, Equality Program Director at the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, in a statement.”We will keep fighting: to make sure they uphold this commitment, and to protect the rights of every human being, without discrimination based on housing status, race, disability or otherwise.”
Noa Mendelsohn Aviv, Equality Program Director with CCLA says they knew back in March that despite physical distancing measures across the board, there was overcrowding in the shelter system. “Something that was so terrifying for a lot of people, that they chose to leave the shelter system and started camping out in different locations across the city.”
The coronavirus is costing us more than just our health and economy. It’s no wonder the Canadian Civil Liberties Association has launched a national campaign to monitor who has been detained and fined, and why.
Abby Deshman, director of the CCLA, says Indigenous prisoners, which make up more than 35 per cent of Canada’s prison population, are particularly at risk.
Deshman noted that when the CCLA speaks to inmates, “one of the recurring things that comes up is that people are extremely scared, and things are very tense.”
“There’s a great deal of hype and a lot of push for the idea,” McPhail said of tracing apps. “We are rapidly considering a wide range of measures that are rights infringing during this pandemic.”
Sean Johnston and the organizations that include the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and the Canadian Prison Law Association are trying to compel the government to take proactive steps to ensure prisoners’ safety.
Michael Bryant of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association explains how COVID-19 is a public health matter and that police should be informing the public. During the shutdown, he says, police powers have become too vague — and in some cases, unconstitutional.
“The basis is that this is a restriction of rights that are protected by the Charter, and it’s not reasonable or justified,” said Cara Zwibel, director of the CCLA’s Fundamental Freedoms Program.
NDP Solicitor General Mike Farnworth’s Order 139 “contains the worst approach to emergency management, removing sober second thought exactly when it’s needed,” said Canadian Civil Liberties Association executive director Michael Bryant.
Bryant also said temperature checks must also respect an individual’s right to privacy, and people should be made aware of what information they’re consenting to share.
Winnipeg, Bryant said, got it right by telling bylaw officers to be education ambassadors who issue advice and warnings before writing up tickets and uploading all their interaction data online for the public to see.
Michael Bryant, executive director of Canadian Civil Liberties Association and former Attorney General of Ontario joins BNN Bloomberg to discuss what rights Canadians have during times of the pandemic and concerns over privacy, ticketing, and freedom.
The CCLA and a coalition of advocacy groups hit Toronto with a legal action over the state of the shelter system during the coronavirus pandemic. The groups argue the state of city shelter standards and 24-hour respite centres violate the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
It’s no wonder the Canadian Civil Liberties Association has launched a national campaign to monitor who has been detained and fined, and why.
The fines are “absurdly disproportionate to the alleged offence,” says Michael Bryant, executive director of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA).
“In regions where there isn’t consumer choice, this is a very big decision … because it threatens people’s food security if they have no other place to go to get food,” Bryant said.
“It really is an extraordinary invasion of privacy for a democratic state to request,” said Brenda McPhail, the director of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association’s privacy, technology and surveillance project.
“If you are going to create new offences, you need to get the infrastructure in place for people to challenge them before you start handing out tickets,” said Cara Zwibel, a lawyer with the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.
“When you hand out tickets this big for what amounts to otherwise benign, harmless behaviour, what you’re doing is you’re putting an undue burden on a vulnerable population,” Bryant says.
“It’s an outlet for rage and anxiety that ends up pressuring police and bylaw officers to over-ticket instead of educating the public and warning people,” Bryant said.
“The trick, of course, is ensuring that we find ways to get the necessary information that are proportionate and minimally intrusive for the humans whose health is at the core of the data collection efforts —even if the proportionality analysis may look a little different during a pandemic,” McPhail wrote.
“I think it’s a combination of general COVID anxiety (officers) are under and power-tripping, which arise from these new powers,” Bryant said. “This is not constitutional kosher. Politicians cannot be directing police.”
In Ontario, advocates had to fight for homeless shelters to be prioritized for COVID-19 testing.
Cara Zwibel of CCLA said of Bill 10 that “it was passed with very little scrutiny and very little time for thought and debate.”
This comes after a coalition of public-interest organizations filed legal proceedings against the City over what they’re calling “deplorable” conditions in the city’s shelter system and respite sites amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The financial hit for Nelson? $880. Or, as Michael Bryant, executive director of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA), puts it: “A month of groceries for a family of four.”
The Canadian Civil Liberties Association wrote to Justice Minister Sonia LeBel and Public Security Minister Geneviève Guilbault, making several recommendations, including the early release of non-violent offenders, and providing emergency guidelines for Crown prosecutors and police forces.
The Canadian Civil Liberties Association has said they are tracking tickets and will consider contesting them when this is over.
Bryant said more and more, it feels like there’s a “presumption of guilt as soon as somebody steps outside.”
Canadian Civil Liberties Association says the provincial order is an ‘extraordinary invasion of privacy’.
Lawyers from the Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario, the Black Legal Action Centre, the HIV & AIDS Legal Clinic Ontario, The Canadian Civil Liberties Association and Aboriginal Legal Services filed paperwork with the courts on Friday.
“Providing personal health information directly to law enforcement, however, is an extraordinary invasion of privacy.”
They say the city is still using bunk beds and other sleep settings where beds are less than one metre apart, and not the two metres called for by provincial and federal health standards.
CCLA wisely counters that “police officers, like all first responders, must operate under the assumption that everyone they come into contact with is a potential active carrier.”
“Tenants have a right to know what the landlord is going to do with it and what the consequences will be,” said Brenda McPhail of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association
The result is that civil liberty is suddenly unequal across the country, according to Michael Bryant, executive director and general counsel at the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. A citizen’s freedom in Montreal is not the same as in Toronto, and different still in Vancouver, because of new untested municipal and provincial laws.
The Canadian Civil Liberties Association and other advocacy groups are sounding the alarm about the legality of the province providing first responders, including police, with the names, addresses and dates of birth of people who have tested positive for COVID-19.
According to the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, at the time of the order, Ontario’s privacy commissioner objected to the move, but the regulation was passed despite the province being unable to demonstrate it was necessary for public safety.
The Canadian Civil Liberties Association called police access to coronavirus data an “extreme invasion of privacy”, and are now asking the Ontario solicitor general to justify the move.
“A lot of people who have been in touch with us are people who were trying to do their best to follow rapidly evolving rules,” said Abby Deshman, the director of the criminal justice program, adding they’ve been given tickets ranging from $880 to $1,200 for infractions such as walking on the grass in a park with their children.
“The freedom to peacefully assemble and the freedom to associate in many parts of the country have been largely wiped out, essentially eliminated, because of all these emergency orders that are in place to prohibit large gatherings … they prohibit small gatherings too,” said Cara Zwibel, director of the fundamental freedoms program at the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.
“We’re looking for trends and potentially, examples of enforcement practices across Canada,” CCLA executive director Michael Bryant said Wednesday.”
The Canadian Civil Liberties Association, which pushed the case, called Ottawa’s decision a belated good day for justice.
“We have grave concerns that the order is unconstitutional,” said the letter signed by Michael Bryant
The Canadian Civil Liberties Association says it’s going to fight for citizens nabbed for municipal recreational infractions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Some of the most obvious and harmful COVID-19 misinformation might be adequately addressed by these laws that have been on the books for years. Let’s give them a chance to work before we open the Pandora’s box of criminalizing misinformation.
“The failure to immediately facilitate social distancing in existing City shelters and respite centres, and urgent action to house is a breach of the constitutional rights of those who are precariously housed,” the statement read.
“When you get really broad, vague laws, people have a very hard time complying with them and it’s an unjustifiable restriction on people’s liberty,” said Abby Deshman, director of the criminal justice program with the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.
The Canadian Civil Liberties Association is calling for governments to impose mandatory data tracking-based measures to combat COVID-19 only as a “last resort,” and to go beyond existing privacy laws to safeguard citizens’ rights in any use of technology to fight the pandemic.
Amid growing public and government interest in using data and technology for contact tracing and other measures to combat COVID-19, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association is calling on Canadian authorities to ensure any such programs solve real public health needs, preserve privacy rights and protect the vulnerable.
“We have significant concerns about the constitutionality of this order,” wrote Abby Deshman, the association’s criminal justice program director.
Bryant said the restrictions designed to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus are an abuse of power because the recreation activities involved are usually harmless and should be met with warnings rather than costly fines.
The Canadian Civil Liberties Association has received numerous complaints so far over how the new rules are being enforced in jurisdictions across the country, says CCLA executive director Michael Bryant.
Michael Bryant, head of the the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, said he’s received reports of Nunavut RCMP knocking on people’s doors to ensure they are following mandatory self-isolation orders.
Michael Bryant, executive director of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, said he is working with Ifedi and assessing whether the CCLA will intervene in the case, which he said “raises the possibility of racial profiling.”
The CCLA launched an online form asking people who have been ticketed or charged to report their experience. It aims to use the information to scrutinize abuse of emergency powers and whom they affect.
With bylaw officers and police across Canada dishing out tickets and charges to people accused of breaking emergency orders during the COVID-19 pandemic, a national human-rights organization wants to hear from anyone caught in the crackdown.
The idea was pioneered by Asian countries that have had success combatting the virus, and now it’s being implemented across Europe
“Where some see economic collapse, others see economic opportunity,” said McPhail. “We need to guard very carefully…
In a phone interview on Wednesday, Ifedi said he was unfairly singled out by the bylaw officer on Saturday at around 7:30 p.m. There were others in the park…
“When enforcement is unfair and arbitrary, people become less compliant and more defiant. We cannot police our way out of a pandemic,” the CCLA wrote in a social media post…
Brenda McPhail, who is the Canadian Civil Liberties Association Director of Privacy, Technology and Surveillance joined….
According to the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, which is on the lookout for abuses of emergency powers, the problem thus far seems most acute in Ottawa.
At some point this pandemic, in some jurisdictions, stopped being about public health and started being about public order, because politicians weren’t seeing the behaviour that they wanted out of their constituents
In an open letter to Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson and Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly, CCLA executive director and general counsel Michael Bryant wrote Monday that police and bylaw officers should be educating, informing and then warning people before issuing tickets under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act for disobeying guidelines aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19.
“Are the tenants consenting to giving up all their privacy rights informed or are they being tricked? Does Naborly truly have tenants’ consent to defame them?” he said.
There were 43 tickets issued, including two tickets totalling $2,010 issued to someone who was in a closed park and wouldn’t give his name to authorities…
Brenda McPhail, director of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association’s Privacy, Surveillance, and Technology Project, said in a….
Michael Bryant, head of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, said he is concerned about the protocol not being made public. He said his biggest concern is that in practice, unconscious biases…
We see here and there, among the many, extraordinary, unprecedented restrictions on our freedoms in Canada, our authorities begin to drift from the solid ground of public health justifications for restricting our liberties, toward a fear-based model of suppression.
The CBA’s call echoes that expressed by dozens of other advocates for prisoners, including the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and the Criminal Lawyers’ Association of Ontario.
The powers of the provinces under emergency legislation are substantial, and we need to ensure their exercise is authorized by law, justified,” says the CCLA. “And that actions taken in an emergency don’t simply become our ‘new normal.’”
As the late Alan Borovoy, former general counsel of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, once put it, “The source of the most insidious peril is not evil wrongdoers seeking to do harm, but parochial bureaucrats seeking to do good.”
Civil liberties advocacy groups, most notably the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, have argued that closed quarter environments like prisons are breeding grounds for highly infectious diseases like COVID-19 and stressed the need for the release of low-risk offenders.
Canadian Civil Liberties Association Fundamental Freedoms Program director Car Zwibel said the order is “creating a fiction that meetings closed to the public are, in law, to be considered open.”
And, she said, while this is problematic, it may be in part to deal with the fact that, under B.C.’s Community Charter, there are certain requirements that must be met before a closed meeting can be held.
Michael Bryant of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association said the focus on the federal government’s emergency power is “misled because the level of government having the biggest impact on our lives is provincial, not federal.”
“All the other quarantine powers are provincial, and the enforcement of the Emergencies Act is done by the provinces,” explained Bryant
“Emergency measures acts give governments exceptional powers to deal with exceptional circumstances,” said Brenda McPhail, the director of the privacy technology surveillance project at the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.
“But with those exceptional powers, just like the comic book, comes an exceptional responsibility to the public.”
“If it’s a measure of last resort and the police exercise their discretion in a way that puts public health first … then there is legal authorization to do this,” said Michael Bryant, the association’s Executive Director
Give us all the data you collect about your customers and let us at city hall figure out how we want to use it.
Canada’s prison officials consider how to stall coronavirus spread
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If you’re locked inside, thank the British Empire for the laws that make it possible.
…with our Constitution,” reads a recent statement from the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, which admits it cannot stay on top…
…response to flatten the curve of the pandemic, wrote Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) executive director Michael Bryant…
As the COVID-19 pandemic tightens its grip on the province, it may be time to consider letting prisoners who pose a limited risk to the community out of jail.
Civil liberties advocacy groups, most notably, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association have argued that closed quarter…
…they’ve got to follow the rule of law too,” wrote the Canadian Civil Liberties Association in a tweet about The Logic’s article….
As N.W.T.’s public health office urges isolation, prisoners are at higher risk, say defence lawyers
Further, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association tweeted that it has learned that no…
Armed forces on stand-by to provide emergency help to governments
Corrections Canada says prisoners being monitored, visits and absences curtailed
The Canadian Civil Liberties Association is questioning the Nova Scotia government’s moves to close public spaces and beef up provincial border checks amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
More than a dozen defence lawyers are urgently calling on the territory to temporarily release as many inmates as possible from NWT jails
‘Snitch lines’ can create fear and division, according to the head of Canada’s civil liberties watchdog
But, cautioned Canadian Civil Liberties Association executive director Michael Bryant, “it…
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the leaders of Canada’s provinces and territories will speak by phone tonight to discuss the possibility..…
Des États misent sur la coercition pour faire respecter les mesures de distanciation sociale. Québec souhaite pour l’instant éviter de recourir à cette approche.
In a bid to curb the spread of COVID-19 behind bars, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association is urging Ottawa to release some prisoners and limit further incarceration.
Courts ready to maintain rule of law in face of government emergency powers
The Canadian Civil Liberties Association has called on Ottawa to “to…
In France, for example, there are now 100,000 police officers roaming the streets because people refused to stop mingling in public places
B.C. emergency act gives B.C. minister warrantless entry, seizure, evacuation powers
Taiwan is credited with sharply limiting the spread of coronavirus on the island by pairing and analyzing the electronic health and travel..…
…visas expire. Michael Bryant, executive director of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, said his organization has been in..
Bryant, Executive Director and General Counsel for the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, expressed concern about the vagueness…
COVID-19 crisis Michael Bryant, executive director of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, told CBC News that barring..
Those who are symptomatic with COVID-19. (The Canadian Civil Liberties Association has already said that barring Canadians from flights…
Michael Bryant, a lawyer and executive director of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, said the modern iteration of the…