Fixing the broken law of bail cannot happen without some belated action by legislators meeting this week. That’s why, last month, 18 prominent civil society organizations and academics wrote to the Minister of Justice urging the government to adopt a concrete set of Criminal Code reforms. This may be the last opportunity for Ottawa to […]
The cannabis industry is being legalized – but there are still plenty of laws that can criminalize recreational cannabis users. Here are ten new crimes that will come into effect on October 17th.
Today the three organizations fighting the federal government in BC and Ontario courts on solitary confinement responded to Bill C-83, tabled this morning by Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale. “What this bill shows is that this government knows that the current system of solitary confinement cannot continue. The question is whether this bill meets the constitutional standard,” said the BC Civil Liberties Association, Canadian Civil Liberties Association and John Howard Society of Canada, in a joint statement.
We are intervening in this case before the Supreme Court of Canada on Oct. 12 to ask the court to protect individual rights to privacy and equality when it comes to interactions with police. CCLA argues that the legal test that helps courts decide who has a reasonable expectation of privacy in a space like a backyard (and who as a result has standing to make an argument in court that their Charter right to be free from unreasonable search was violated) focuses too much on who owns or controls the property.
CCLA shares the Commissioner’s concern. Canadians cannot afford to wait several years until known deficiencies in privacy laws are fixed. Technology is evolving rapidly, and as he notes, “many new technologies disrupt not only business models but also social and legal norms. Legal protections must improve apace if consumer trust is to reach the level everyone desires.”
We have a justice system that continues to disproportionately incarcerate Indigenous People and racial minorities, a biased jury selection process, a culture of court delay, and a flawed bail system. It’s clear that we need to make changes. While Bill C-75 tries to tackle these problems, it also creates new problems that need to be addressed. Some of the proposed reforms are great. Others don’t go far enough. And a few are a serious affront to fair trial rights and the presumption of innocence. CCLA is keeping up the pressure to make real Criminal Code reform a reality.
The Divisional Court determined the other week that the applications of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario will be heard together. CCLA has originally secured a date of Sept. 24 before the Divisional Court, but now both applications will be heard in November.
Many of the undersea cables carrying the world’s internet traffic route through the U.K., which makes it inevitable that communications originating in Canada are frequently caught up in U.K. mass surveillance activities. Further, Canada is a participant in intelligence sharing activities with the U.K., the U.S. and others as a member of the Five Eyes Intelligence alliance. Not only are Canadians affected by the problem of mass surveillance, but we need to pay attention to this ruling at home.
Urge your MPP to vote against the Ontario government’s proposed usage of the notwithstanding clause. By misusing an otherwise legitimate constitutional tool, Queen’s Park invites chaos that destabilizes the governance of Canada’s largest city. The better way is to respect the rule of law, including the role that judges play in limiting the breach of our rights and freedoms. Tell your MPP now that they need to rise to the occasion and defend our fundamental freedoms.
Today, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and a courageous family have started the legal fight to keep our classrooms free of censorship, discrimination, stigma and degradation.