WHAT WE'RE WORKING ON RIGHT NOW.

Bill 21: Defending equality

Bill 21 is a law which disproportionately impacts people who are already marginalized. New Quebec laws ban Canadians working as teachers, lawyers, police officers, and more from wearing religious symbols such as crosses, hijabs, turbans and yarmulkes. This not only affects people currently working in the public sector, but also the youth who aspire to those careers.

privacy during covid

Providing personal health information directly to law enforcement is an extraordinary invasion of privacy. 

It is difficult to understand how first responders will effectively use testing information that is both incomplete and out of date. There is a real risk that using this database will create a false sense of security when first responders are interacting with individuals who have not been flagged, thus serving to create rather than mitigate danger.

If having this information is not strictly necessary to respond to the pandemic, then sharing it is not legal

Families and COVID

Children’s Aid Societies are responsible for the delivery of child protection services, in accordance with legislation, regulations, and ministry policy and standards. This includes decisions around how best to proceed with family visits during the pandemic while safeguarding the safety and well-being of children, youth, caregivers and families.

At CCLA, we believe while the existence of a public health emergency requires caution, denying parents and children the opportunity to be together or risking a loss of the valuable child-parent bond is a violation of human rights and freedoms.

prison strip searches

In 2001, the Supreme Court of Canada called strip searches “one of the most extreme exercises of police power” and “inherently humiliating and degrading”. So why has Canada’s federal prison system carried out hundreds of thousands of unnecessary strip searches since then?

These are not trivial intrusions. Canadians serving sentences are forced to undergo highly invasive searches in low-risk situations, such as leaving a secure area, or even upon release from prison. These searches can inflict severe psychological trauma, particularly for those with a history of being abused. 

We’re asking the federal government to end these harmful practices.

Defending mobility in nl

Bill 38 gives “inspectors” – as defined by the Minister – the ability to conduct warrantless searches and gives the police the right to remove individuals to a point of entry, such as an airport or ferry terminal. The province has also used a Special Measure to ban non-residents from entering the province, with limited exceptions. This amounts to a Newfoundland “travel ban”, as well as essentially legalizing banishment.

We think this is unconstitutional. Provinces with much higher population densities and COVID cases than Newfoundland have been effectively managing the COVID crisis without resorting to these extreme measures.

fighting for safe shelter

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we are deeply concerned that the City continues to operate and oversee shelters that do not adhere to physical distancing standards.The overcrowded conditions in Toronto’s homeless facilities have created a humanitarian crisis that threatens the people who use these spaces, along with the shelters’ staff and volunteers, and the city’s broader neighbourhoods and communities.The City is endangering those who use the shelter system.

PEOPLE IN PRISON AND COVID

Prisons are densely populated making social distancing protocol impossible and living conditions hazardous during the COVID-19 pandemic. Proactive steps are immediately needed to reduce the population of prisoners in institutions to the greatest extent possible consistent with public safety, especially for those who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 due to age or underlying health conditions.

fighting
Solitary

Solitary confinement is the practice of confining someone in conditions of extreme isolation.

Getting the practice ruled unconstitutional has been a major goal of both CCLA and BCCLA.  This year we go to Canada’s highest court for a showdown with the federal government.

Toronto's
"Smart"
City

Waterfront Toronto contracted with Google’s sibling Sidewalk Labs to create a smart city project in downtown Toronto. This project would be a sensor-laden neighbourhood, collecting data on people who live, work, or visit the area. Losing the ability to be a face in the crowd, and so much of our privacy, is what’s at stake. So we launched a legal action to reset the project.

free sPEECH

The Ontario legislature passed a law that forces gas station owners to put up stickers with the government party line on pollution pricing or the carbon tax. The government should not force anyone to share their message. If the station owners choose to not put up the stickers, they can be handed a new fine every day. That’s called “compelled political speech.” That’s unconstitutional.