It is almost impossible to imagine how a democracy could work without the protection of these most basic rights and freedoms, and yet–in Canada–they continue to be under attack in many ways.
Fundamental Freedoms allow individuals and groups to express themselves, to believe and practice what they choose, and to exercise their right to vote.
Our Recent Cases and Reports
Learn more about our major ongoing litigation, research, and advocacy in the area of Fundamental Freedoms.
COVID-19Stay updated with all the latest news from CCLA, including our work monitoring the response to COVID-19 to ensure it’s based on science and is not unnecessarily intrusive to our liberties
Bill 21Bill 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.
Fill Up On 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.
Fighting 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.
Fighting Solitary Confinement
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. We went to Canada’s highest court for a showdown with the federal government.
Protest Rights & the G20Canadians deserve to know why the security failed to fulfill its role to protect the right to protest, which brings together a number of basic civil liberties including freedom of expression, freedom of association and freedom of peaceful assembly.
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