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On June 4, 2024, Anaïs Bussières McNicoll, Director of the Fundamental Freedoms Program and Interim Director of the Privacy, Technology and Surveillance Program at the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, made the following statement:

The CCLA is pleased to report that it was just granted intervener status by the Quebec Superior Court in the McGill University’s injunction proceeding seeking the dismantlement of the student protest encampment located on its campus.

Freedom of speech and freedom of peaceful assembly are crucial in our democracy. They should only be limited in the presence of a pressing and substantive reason – for instance in case of threats to the physical safety of individuals or incitement to imminent violence. Strong protections for these fundamental freedoms are particularly appropriate in the context of university campuses, where the free flow of speech, opinions and debate has been – and should continue to be – encouraged and protected. Likewise, universities’ right to free enjoyment of their property must also be interpreted in light of the particular mission of universities and the unique nature of university campuses.

By intervening in the McGill University’s injunction proceeding, the CCLA is not endorsing nor condemning the content of the expression and protest at issue but will rather assist the Court in seeking an appropriate reconciliation of the rights and public interests at stake.

The CCLA is thankful for the excellent pro bono representation of Bruce Johnston, Lex Gill and Jessica Lelièvre from Trudel Johnston Lespérance in this matter.

About the Canadian Civil Liberties Association

The CCLA is an independent, non-profit organization with supporters from across the country. Founded in 1964, the CCLA is a national human rights organization committed to defending the rights, dignity, safety, and freedoms of all people in Canada.

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