American exemptions undercut senseless provincial border restrictions, lawyer says

Rosellen Sullivan said the addition of American citizens to the list of travel exemptions shows the rules do not apply logically and equally to everyone. Sullivan represents the Canadian Civil Liberties Association in a lawsuit filed on behalf of a woman from Newfoundland who was initially denied entry for her mother’s funeral.

N.W.T.'s previous travel restrictions may infringe on Charter freedoms, admits government

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) has joined a lawsuit and has sent letters outlining its concerns to each of the provinces and territories that had banned Canadian visitors.

COVID-19: Privacy experts concerned about next stage of Ontario's reopening plan

“When it comes to collecting information about people in ways that are lawful and privacy-protective, the devil is always in the details,” said Brenda McPhail, director of the privacy, technology and surveillance project at the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.

N.W.T. lays 1st charge for violating public health order amid confusion over border rules

Since late May, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association has been threatening territories and provinces with charter challenges for laws prohibiting domestic travel.

Can stores refuse my money? Your COVID-19 cash questions answered

Michael Bryant, executive director of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA), warns that a store’s no-cash policy could inadvertently discriminate against seniors, people who are disabled, impoverished or people who just don’t have credit or debit cards.

Travel ban not currently under reconsideration: Newfoundland Labrador premier

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association, which has written letters to all provinces and territories stating its opposition to such bans, has joined her in the lawsuit, which will be heard in Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court in August.

Mandatory mask laws are spreading in Canada

Cara Zwibel, director of the fundamental freedoms program at the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, is concerned about that: ” I don’t know if we want our bus drivers and our grocery cashiers to be interrogating people about their health status to try and decide who can get an exemption and who can’t.”

Yukon contractors launch Charter challenge to COVID-19 restrictions

In late May, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association argued that the territory’s border restrictions were unconstitutional. The territory’s opposition, Yukon Party, also questioned the legality of the restrictions in an email last week.

Do you have a right to protest? The coronavirus' impact on freedom of assembly

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association has criticized Canadian cities for overzealously policing social distancing by failing to inform or warn individuals before imposing heavy fines, and has recently launched a Charter challenge against Newfoundland for denying a woman entry into the province to attend her mother’s funeral.

Travel restrictions ‘wreaking havoc’ on P.E.I. mom's reunion with son

The P.E.I. government has already faced warnings from the Canadian Civil Liberties Association about its travel restrictions. In a May 15 letter issued to Justice and Public Safety Minister Bloyce Thompson, the CCLA said mobility rights are enshrined in Section 6 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Privacy watchdog doubts current law completely protects Canadians for COVID-19 apps

Also testifying was Michael Bryant, executive director of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, who said the middle of a health crisis is not the time for parliament to pass new privacy legislation to deal with contact tracing apps.

Yukon border control measures constitutional, YG says in reply to CCLA letter

The CCLA had penned a letter to McPhee on May 27 expressing concerns that the travel and entry restrictions the Yukon has put in place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic violates section six of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which guarantees Canadians’ mobility rights within the country. It also questioned whether the Yukon had the authority to make orders that impacted the movement of Canadians who reside outside the territory.

Provincial border bans during COVID-19 spark lawsuits, anger from Canadians denied entry

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) has joined the lawsuit and has sent letters to each of the provinces and territories banning Canadian visitors, outlining its concerns.

Will oversanitizing weaken my immune system? Your COVID-19 questions answered

Michael Bryant, director of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, said because of human rights provisions, employees, for example, “wouldn’t have to wear a mask if they had a disability or medical condition.”

No mask, no service? Not so fast, Premier Ford

For a “no mask, no service” policy, there are clashing freedoms of commerce, equality, liberty and the fact that the provincial law has granted special privilege to some businesses to sell to the public, during COVID-19 whereas others are closed.

Court challenge of Newfoundland and Labrador travel ban to be heard in August

During a hearing conducted by teleconference on Tuesday, lawyers representing Kim Taylor and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association requested the province provide information on the science being used to justify the ban and the criteria for enforcing it.

Lawyers challenging Newfoundland and Labrador travel ban want government to show them the science behind COVID-19 decisions

Lawyers challenging the provincial government’s COVID-19-related travel ban say they want to know exactly where the province is getting the “best science” on which it relies to make decisions in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

Toronto stores are reopening despite mounting positive cases. Can you spread coronavirus by handling the merchandise?

Premier Doug Ford suggested last week that businesses should be able to refuse entry to people who aren’t wearing a mask. But Michael Bryant, the executive director of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, told the Star that wearing a mask is not mandatory in Ontario and it could be legally difficult to enforce such a rule.

Vacationing in Canada? Here's what your summer holidays might look like

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.

Michael Bryant on COVID-19: Provincial border closures are an affront to our history and Constitution

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.

P.E.I.'s border restrictions questioned as group launches N.L. court challenge

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.

N.S. woman challenges N.L. travel ban after being denied right to attend mother’s funeral

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.

Civil liberties group filing Charter challenge over Newfoundland's ban on travel into province

“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.”

COVID-19 in Toronto: Lawsuit shelved as city, advocacy groups come to agreement

“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.”

City agrees to physical distancing standards in shelters following lawsuit

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.”

COVID-19: The impact of coronavirus on rights, values

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.

Coalition of civil rights groups file constitutional challenge over handling of inmates during pandemic

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.

Bail, sentencing impacted as jail could be ‘death sentence’ during pandemic, lawyer says

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.”

In Canada, Albertans wary of 'Big Brother' with use of COVID-19 digital-tracing app

“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.”

Canadian prisoner files lawsuit over safety of inmates during 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.

Coronavirus outbreak: COVID-19 restrictions cause of concern for Canadian civil liberties

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.

Canadian Civil Liberties Association looking to challenge Bill 38 amendment

“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.

‘Democratic safety valve’ removed by new B.C. order

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.

T&T Supermarket to require customers wear face coverings

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.

Column: Emergency orders created 'arbitrary patchwork' of rules, some of which don't serve public health

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.

VIDEO: 'Disproportionate and indiscriminate': Former attorney general of Ontario on fining people in lockdown

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.

Toronto opens second recovery site for homeless COVID-19 patients

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.

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.

Canadians have racked up $5.8M in coronavirus fines, report says

The fines are “absurdly disproportionate to the alleged offence,” says Michael Bryant, executive director of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA).

Air Canada will soon require all passengers to have temperature checked

“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.

'Invasion of privacy': Watchdogs concerned about apps tracking COVID-19 patients

“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.

Got a COVID-related ticket? Here's why some lawyers say you might want to fight it

“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.

Crowded shelter or $880 fine? Homeless face ‘impossible’ coronavirus choice

“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.

Red flags raised over government sharing personal data of COVID-19 cases with first responders
Legal organizations have issued an open letter to Ontario’s Solicitor General, Sylvia Jones, addressing concerns they’ve raised over the government’s decision to “provide a range of first responders, including police services, with the names, addresses and dates of birth of individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19.”
Toronto snitch lines lighting up with COVID-19 complaints

“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.

PM Trudeau says any digital contact tracing must be balanced with privacy concerns

“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.

'MADE ME FEEL LIKE I HAD KILLED SOMEONE': Mom fined $880 for standing on park pathway 'too long' with dog, baby

“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.”

Fifty days into the COVID-19 pandemic, and homeless people are still in a desperate situation

In Ontario, advocates had to fight for homeless shelters to be prioritized for COVID-19 testing. 

Changes to emergency powers in Alberta facing constitutional challenge

Cara Zwibel of CCLA said of Bill 10 that “it was passed with very little scrutiny and very little time for thought and debate.”

Toronto Secures Over 1,200 Hotel Rooms for Homeless Amid COVID-19

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.

Fines, snitch lines: Crackdown on coronavirus rule breakers could have consequences

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.”

Opinion: COVID-19 situation in prisons requires urgent action

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.

“We’re issuing fewer warnings and more tickets”: Sergeant Jesse Weeks on how police are enforcing social distancing

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association has said they are tracking tickets and will consider contesting them when this is over.

Mom Says She Was Fined $880 For 'Standing Too Long' in a Park With Baby

Bryant said more and more, it feels like there’s a “presumption of guilt as soon as somebody steps outside.”

COVID-19 database allows first responders to know who has tested positive

​Canadian Civil Liberties Association says the provincial order is an ‘extraordinary invasion of privacy’. 

Toronto mayor calls charter challenge over shelters amid COVID-19 'disappointing'

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.

Coronavirus: Civil liberties group concerned as Ontario cops get IDs of those who test positive

“Providing personal health information directly to law enforcement, however, is an extraordinary invasion of privacy.”

City of Toronto sued by homeless advocates arguing shelter spacing violates Charter

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.

EDITORIAL: Privacy and civil liberties don’t vanish during COVID-19

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.”

Landlord's COVID-19 disclosure request raises privacy questions

“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

It's not just civil liberties. Many other charter rights have been violated in COVID-19 pandemic

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.

COVID-19 database ‘extraordinary’ privacy invasion: civil liberties group

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. 

Civil liberties group warns of 'invasion of privacy' after Ontario gives police COVID-19 test data

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. 

Ontario Cops Can See Who’s Tested Positive for COVID-19, Rights Group Warns

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. ​​

COVID-19 and the rising costs of social distancing: 'We’ve seen a real escalation'

“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.

Dissent from a distance: How Alberta activists are coping with physical distancing rules

“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.

Toronto's COVID-19 snitch line slammed on social media

“We’re looking for trends and potentially, examples of enforcement practices across Canada,” CCLA executive director Michael Bryant said Wednesday.”

Federal government gives up fight against 15 day hard cap on solitary confinement

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association, which pushed the case, called Ottawa’s decision a belated good day for justice.

Nunavut’s ban on gatherings goes too far, says civil liberties watchdog

“We have grave concerns that the order is unconstitutional,” said the letter signed by Michael Bryant

COVID tickets under legal scrutiny

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association says it’s going to fight for citizens nabbed for municipal recreational infractions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Government censorship and pandemic misinformation

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.

Coronavirus: Advocates threaten legal action if Toronto doesn’t step up aide for homeless population

“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.

Civil liberties organization says N.W.T. public health orders may be unconstitutional

“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.

Canadian Civil Liberties Association calls for safeguards in data-based COVID-19 contact tracing

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. 

COVID-19 roundup: Are all Ottawa’s cards now on the table?

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.

‘Vague’ NWT health orders draw ire of civil liberties watchdog

“We have significant concerns about the constitutionality of this order,” wrote Abby Deshman, the association’s criminal justice program director.

Civil Liberties group seeks amnesty for recreational tickets issued during COVID

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.

$750 for doing chin ups in a park. Sitting on benches banned. Do emergency measures go too far?

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.

Nunavut gov't may amend COVID-19 order banning gatherings after outcry from rights group

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.

Harsh fines and policing don’t protect people from COVID-19, criminologists say

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.

Canadian Civil Liberties Association put enforcement of pandemic orders under spotlight

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.

Civil liberties need to be monitored amidst pandemic, experts say
“If the focus becomes about punishment then you will end up driving people to avoid getting caught as opposed to complying with the behaviour,” Bryant said from his office in Toronto. “Leaders need to engage in leadership and advocacy and base everything on evidence, not finger-wagging and frustration, which we’ve seen a lot of lately.”
Canada looking to prepare 'surge' force, use cellphone data to contain COVID-19
Apple and Google working on system that could allow users to see if they’ve crossed paths with a person infected with COVID-19
COVID-19 contact tracing: Canadian company says authorities not interested in app that could help with virus

The idea was pioneered by Asian countries that have had success combatting the virus, and now it’s being implemented across Europe

The civil liberties concerns continue

“Where some see economic collapse, others see economic opportunity,” said McPhail. “We need to guard very carefully…

Ottawa father alleges bylaw officer punched him in the face

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…

The civil liberties concerns continue

“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…

McPhail offers advice for staying safe online while working from home

Brenda McPhail, who is the Canadian Civil Liberties Association Director of Privacy, Technology and Surveillance joined….

Chris Selley: Call off the COVID-19 police, most Canadians have behaved very responsibly

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.

COVID-19: Civil liberties group warns of 'unfair and arbitrary' law enforcement as hefty fines across Canada pile up

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

City of Ottawa accused of going too far with ticketing blitz to enforce physical distancing rules

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.

Bylaw officers write 43 tickets as civil liberties group accuses city of 'overpolicing'

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…

Dozens fined as city moves to enforce pandemic restrictions
​Bylaw officers doled out 43 tickets on the weekend to people using parks, playground
Tech companies are proposing Canada use phone apps to track spread of coronavirus

Brenda McPhail, director of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association’s Privacy, Surveillance, and Technology Project, said in a….

Ontario draws up health-care plan in event hospitals become overcrowded

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…

The how, when and why of shrinking our freedoms matter

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.

Bar calls for limited release of prison inmates, immigration detainees to stop spread of COVID-19

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.

COVID-19 Poll: Older Canadians Overwhelmingly Agree ‘Covidiots’ Should Be Fined, Jailed

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.’”

Careful, crises are an ideal time for the state to grab powers — we’re already seeing it in Canada

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.” 

First Canadian Inmates Contract Novel Coronavirus - Correctional Service

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.

Closed municipal meetings are open: Farnworth order

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. 

Is it Time to Invoke the Federal Emergencies Act?

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

What does COVID-19 mean for your civil liberties? Watchdog group on alert

“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.”

Newfoundland woman arrested for refusing to self-isolate after talking to police

“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

Civil rights precedents established during the COVID-19 crisis may be the ones we will have to live with when the emergency is past

Give us all the data you collect about your customers and let us at city hall figure out how we want to use it.

Senator calls for inmate release to prevent potential prison COVID-19 'disaster'

Canada’s prison officials consider how to stall coronavirus spread

Municipal councils grapple with ways to be transparent during COVID-19

‘We literally are still in tactical operational response and dealing day by day,’ says CBRM mayor

How Governments Got Their Quarantine Powers

If you’re locked inside, thank the British Empire for the laws that make it possible.

Don’t erode civil rights while waging war with COVID-19

…with our Constitution,” reads a recent statement from the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, which admits it cannot stay on top…

Coronavirus 'Will Tear Like Wildfire' Through Canada's Prisons: Activists

…response to flatten the curve of the pandemic, wrote Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) executive director Michael Bryant…

Let low-risk offenders out of jail: Executive director Niagara Community Legal Clinic

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.

Canada Weighing Options on Releasing Offenders Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Civil liberties advocacy groups, most notably, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association have argued that closed quarter…

Toronto might be using cellphone data to locate mass gatherings

…they’ve got to follow the rule of law too,” wrote the Canadian Civil Liberties Association in a tweet about The Logic’s article….

COVID-19 outbreak in N.W.T. jails would be 'catastrophic,' say defence lawyers

As N.W.T.’s public health office urges isolation, prisoners are at higher risk, say defence lawyers

Toronto considered using cell phone data to curb spread of COVID-19: report

Further, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association tweeted that it has learned that no…

Military assistance requests anticipated

Armed forces on stand-by to provide emergency help to governments

Ensure prisoners health, rights, civil liberties group urges

Corrections Canada says prisoners being monitored, visits and absences curtailed

Civil liberties group questions Nova Scotia's moves to curb outbreak

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. 

Lawyers urge NWT jails to temporarily release inmates ‘before it’s too late’

More than a dozen defence lawyers are urgently calling on the territory to temporarily release as many inmates as possible from NWT jails 

New COVID-19 information line allows people to report rule-breakers

‘Snitch lines’ can create fear and division, according to the head of Canada’s civil liberties watchdog

Military readiness moved up a notch in response to pandemic

But, cautioned Canadian Civil Liberties Association executive director Michael Bryant, “it…

The ‘measure of last resort’: What is the Emergencies Act and what does it do?

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.

Canadian Civil Liberties Association urges release of ‘releasable’ prisoners to curb COVID-19 spread

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.

Judges available for COVID-19 constitutional breaches

Courts ready to maintain rule of law in face of government emergency powers

The dark side of Canada’s coronavirus response

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association has called on Ottawa to “to…

Will the federal government declare an emergency over COVID-19?

In France, for example, there are now 100,000 police officers roaming the streets because people refused to stop mingling in public places

Civil liberties activists warn against rights losses

B.C. emergency act gives B.C. minister warrantless entry, seizure, evacuation powers

Is Taiwan’s impressive response to COVID-19 possible in Canada?

Taiwan is credited with sharply limiting the spread of coronavirus on the island by pairing and analyzing the electronic health and travel..…

Canadians 'will always be able to come home,' Freeland clarifies as COVID-19 questions swirl

…visas expire. Michael Bryant, executive director of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, said his organization has been in..

‘This is changing hour by hour, day by day’: Premier Doug Ford declares state of emergency in Ontario

Bryant, Executive  Director and General Counsel for the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, expressed concern about the vagueness…

Canadians abroad with potential COVID-19 symptoms will get 'enhanced consular support'

​COVID-19 crisis Michael Bryant, executive director of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, told CBC News that barring..

COVID-19 – How far can we go with closing the border?

Those who are symptomatic with COVID-19. (The Canadian Civil Liberties Association has already said that barring Canadians from flights…

Ottawa can make quarantines mandatory — here's why it likely won't

Michael Bryant, a lawyer and executive director of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, said the modern iteration of the…