Fundamental Freedoms Conference 2017 – Toronto

December 5, 2017

The Canadian Civil Liberties Education Trust will celebrate its 21st annual Fundamental Freedoms Conference this year on Wednesday, December 6, 2017. The annual conference brings together hundreds of Toronto District School Board high school students. Students attending have the opportunity to attend workshops on many issues including: food security, police carding, health, sexuality, and the justice system. The keynote address on privacy protections in text messages will be delivered by Christine Lonsdale of McCarthy Tétrault.



Date: Wednesday, December 6, 2017
Location: Central Technical School (725 Bathurst Street, Toronto ON, M5S 2R5)
Light lunch will be provided (vegetarian included)
Sign in between 8:00 – 9:00 am
Conference Ends at 3:00 pm

Speakers and Workshops

Keynote Address: Right to Privacy in Text Messages
Christine Lonsdale, Partner, McCarthy Tétrault LLP
Christine Lonsdale is a partner in our Toronto Litigation Group. Ms. Lonsdale is an experienced commercial litigator who also acts in defamation, privacy, professional negligence and discipline. Ms. Lonsdale has appeared as counsel at all levels of court, including the Supreme Court of Canada in major cases in both Ontario and British Columbia. Ms. Lonsdale was counsel to the CCLA when they intervened in the in the R. v Marakah and R v. Jones cases in the Supreme Court of Canada.

Housing as a Human Right 
Kate Butler, Human Rights & Learning, Lead, Maytree
Kate leads Maytree’s work on poverty and human rights. Prior to joining Maytree, Kate conducted research with vulnerable children and youth in Victoria, B.C. and taught at the University of Victoria, Brock University and Ryerson University. She holds a PhD in Sociology from the University of Victoria.

Indigenous Overrepresentation, Truth, Reconciliation and Wrongful Convictions 
Amanda Carling, Manager of Indigenous Initiatives, University of Toronto Faculty of Law
Amanda Carling is a Métis lawyer who grew up in Winnipeg and earned her undergraduate degree in criminology at the University of Manitoba. She graduated from the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law in June 2012. In June 2013 Amanda completed her articles with Innocence Canada (formerly the Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted (AIDWYC) and subsequently launched Innocence Canada’s Legal Education Initiative. In 2014 Amanda was appointed by the Minister of Justice for the Province of Ontario to Debwewin, the First Nation Jury Review Implementation Committee. Amanda is currently the Manager of Indigenous Initiatives at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law, where she provides support to Indigenous law students and develops programming for all students – Indigenous and non-Indigenous – interested in Aboriginal law. She is currently Board President of Aboriginal Legal Services (formerly Aboriginal Legal Services of Toronto) and enjoys yoga and spending time with her dog, Jake.

Who Decides What’s Right for Me? Medical Treatment, Counselling and Physician Assisted Death: Consent, Capacity and Privacy Laws for Young People
Lee Ann Chapman, PBLO at SickKids Triage Lawyer
Lee Ann Chapman, B.A., J.D. is a graduate of the University of Toronto Law School. Since her call to the bar she has focused her practice on social justice issues, particularly with respect to children and youth. Lee Ann is currently Triage Lawyer at Pro Bono Law Ontario at SickKids Hospital. PBLO at SickKids is a Medical Legal Partnership which links health care and legal care to improve children’s health. The Program is a partnership of Pro Bono Law Ontario and SickKids. Before coming to SickKids, Lee Ann was a lawyer at Justice for Children and Youth, where she represented young people on health, education, family, criminal, and other legal matters at all levels of courts and tribunals.

Religion and Sexuality: The Right to Show the World Who You Are
Brenda Cossman, Professor of Law and Director of the Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies, University of Toronto
Professor Brenda Cossman is Professor of Law and the Director of the Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies at the University of Toronto. She joined the Faculty of Law in 1999, and became a full professor in 2000. She holds degrees in law from Harvard and the University of Toronto, and an undergraduate degree from Queen’s. Prior to joining the University of Toronto, she was Associate Professor at Osgoode Hall Law School of York University. In 2012, Professor Cossman was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. In 2009, she was awarded the Mundell Medal for contributions to letters and law. In 2002 and 2003, she was a Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard Law School.

Professor Cossman’s teaching and scholarly interests include family law, law and sexuality, and freedom of expression. Her most recent book on Sexual Citizens: The Legal and Cultural Regulation of Sex and Belonging was published by Stanford University Press in 2007. Her publications include the co-authored Bad Attitudes on Trial: Pornography, Feminism and the Butler Decision (University of Toronto Press) and Censorship and the Arts (published by the Ontario Association of Art Galleries). Professor Cossman is also a frequent commentator in the media on issues relating to law and sexuality. She served as a member of the Pink Triangle Press Board of Directors for ten years, working as a frequent contributor to Xtra!

C-59, National Security, and What it Means for You
Lex Gill, Advocate, National Security Program, CCLA
Lex conducts advocacy and legal analysis for CCLA on issues of national security. She joined the organization in 2014 as the co-coordinator for CCLA’s TalkRights project, an initiative designed to develop accessible digital civil liberties resources funded by the Canadian Internet Registration Authority. She became a researcher to the Privacy, Technology, and Surveillance Project in 2015, supporting CCLA’s efforts to map institutions, practices, and civil liberties impacts of government surveillance in Canada. Lex holds a B.C.L./LL.B. McGill University’s Faculty of Law and a current Research Fellow to the Citizen Lab, an  interdisciplinary laboratory based at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs. Lex also served as the 2016 Google Policy Fellow to the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC) and is a former affiliate and researcher at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University.

Justice for Migrant Workers: Food without Freedom – The Precarity of Migrant Farmworkers in Southern Ontario; and Cruel and Unusual Punishment? Human Rights Abuses in Canadian Prisons 
Shane Martínez, Barrister & Solicitor, Martínez Law
Shane Martínez (BA, LLB, LEC) is a criminal defence and human rights lawyer based in Toronto. His criminal practice is focused on cases where police misconduct has led to Charter violations, while his human rights work primarily consists of advocating on behalf of prisoners and migrant workers. In 2013 he litigated the case of the Monrose v. Double Diamond Acres, the first successful human rights case on behalf of a migrant farm worker in Ontario. He regularly acts as pro bono counsel to the community group Justicia for Migrant Workers (J4MW), and is also qualified to practice law in the Commonwealth Caribbean. In 2013-2014 he resided in Kingston, Jamaica and worked as part of the defence team for one of the co-accused in the murder trial of dancehall artist Vybz Kartel. His ongoing advocacy on behalf of Caribbean migrant farm workers involves representing J4MW in a systemic investigation into racial profiling by OPP that is being conducted by the Office of the Independent Police Review Director.

Police, Surveillance and the Right to Privacy in Public Spaces
Stephen McCammon, Legal Counsel, Office of the Ontario Information and Privacy Commissioner
Stephen McCammon is Legal Counsel at the Office of the Ontario Information and Privacy Commissioner. Stephen provides the Commissioner with a broad range of legal services with an emphasis on issues relating to administrative law, privacy, transparency and the state. Prior to arriving at the Commissioner’s Office in 2004, Stephen spent 10 years at the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, first as an articling student, then as staff counsel. Stephen lives in Toronto with his spouse and their two ‘youths.’ When this middle-aged white male isn’t in the thick of things with work, family and friends – and sometimes when he is – he practices Tai Chi.

Hip Hop and Criminal Justice: Is There a Connection?
Christian Pearce, Barrister & Solicitor, CP Legal
Christian Pearce was born and raised in Toronto, earned a degree in political science from Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo and a law degree from the University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Law in Vancouver. Before being called to the Ontario bar, Mr. Pearce articled with the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) in Toronto. Since his call to the bar, he has acted as a dedicated and effective advocate for those charged with criminal offences, ranging from minor thefts to murder, appearing in Provincial and Superior court in and around Toronto.

Before becoming a lawyer, he co-founded the award-winning hip-hop magazine, Pound. Over 44 issues spanning more than a decade, the magazine has been an acclaimed source of knowledge on music, politics, and lifestyle. Christian’s work on the magazine culminated in Enter the Babylon System, an examination of firearms culture and violence from a hip-hop perspective. Published by Random House Canada in 2007, Enter the Babylon System was a finalist for the Governor-General’s Award, the Donner Prize for Canadian public policy writing, the National Business Book Award, and the Arthur Ellis Award for excellence in crime writing. The book also became a national bestseller in Canada.

Selfies, Sexting and Child Pornography: Kids, Technology and Law
Jennifer Saville and Alexi Nicole Wood, DLA Piper LLP
Jennifer is an Associate at St. Lawrence Barristers LLP and frequently represents clients in court, administrative tribunal proceedings, and private arbitrations.

Called to the bar in 2015, Jennifer maintains a broad civil litigation practice. She advises clients on complex commercial disputes, public and administrative law, media law and professional liability and regulation. She has appeared in various Ontario Courts, and, as an articling student, at the Supreme Court of Canada.

Prior to joining St. Lawrence Barristers LLP, Jennifer worked in the Toronto office of a global law firm. While completing her Juris Doctor at the University of Ottawa, Jennifer worked as a Research Assistant in Health Law, examining the use of neuroscientific and behavioural genetic evidence in Canadian courts. Jennifer received her B.A. (with distinction) in Philosophy from Queen’s University in 2011.

Alexi Wood is a litigator with St. Lawrence Barristers LLP. She frequently represents clients at all levels of court in Canada, including the Supreme Court, where she has been Special Counsel to the CCLA. Before entering private practice, she worked for the Canadian Civil Liberties Association as the Director of the Public Safety Project.

Ms. Wood has worked with a number of non-profit organizations including a teen-focused educational program operated through Planned Parenthood. In early 2002, she attended an international human rights academy held on Robben Island, the former prison of Nelson Mandela and in 2016, was a faculty member in Mumbai, India where she taught international law in a program combatting domestic violence and human trafficking.