Do you have a question about your civil liberties? Read something in the news lately that made you wonder about the state of your rights and freedoms in Canada?  Frequently Asked (Civil Liberties) Questions is a place to come for answers, and includes a tool that allows you to submit your civil liberties questions to the CCLA team.

CCLA is a national, non-profit organization that fights for the rights and freedoms of people in Canada through law reform advocacy on systemic issues. We strive to use our resources to make an impact for the greatest number of people, and those facing the most difficult violations of their fundamental rights and freedoms.

The CCLA provides general information on the following topics on our website. This includes not only information about the issues, but also about where you can find resources, make a complaint or otherwise advocate in your community:

We also encourage you to browse previous questions and answers below, and use the form on this page to submit your own question.


Submitting your questions

Frequently Asked (Civil Liberties) Questions is a public education and information resource. It’s here to help the public better understand timely civil liberties issues and find high-quality answers to general questions related to rights and freedoms in Canada.

Frequently Asked (Civil Liberties) Questions is not a substitute for legal advice. If you have a question you feel is urgent or that requires the attention of a professional, you should consider contacting a lawyer or an organization that provides legal support in your community.

We always appreciate hearing from members of the public. However, CCLA is not able to respond individually to each of the many emails, questions, and phone calls we receive. In some instances, we are able to provide individuals with general legal information and/or referrals to appropriate agencies or organizations.  If we have specific information or questions for you, or otherwise wish to reach you, we will attempt to do so within 15 business days. 

We do read, review and take note of all enquiries as part of our ongoing efforts to monitor the state of civil liberties in Canada, and greatly benefit when individuals and groups bring personal or public issues to our attention. Being informed helps us identify systemic issues, and promote rights and freedoms for all people in Canada.

We are not able to meet with you in person.

If you would like to make us aware of a civil liberties issue by email, please contact publicenquiries [at]

If you would like to reach us by phone, our hours for enquiries from the public are Tuesdays from 3 to 5:30 p.m., and Fridays from 12 to 3 p.m, at 416-363-0321 ext. 257.

Information you submit through Frequently Asked (Civil Liberties) Question is not privileged or confidential. We encourage you to avoid including personally identifying information in the body of your question, and if we publish a response we may edit what you’ve written to remove identifying information. Sometimes, we edit questions for length or clarity too.

Ask Us a Question

Read Previous Answers


January 31, 2017

This article is part of a series of interviews with advocates, legal thinkers, community organizers and academics on issues related to Canadian civil liberties produced by CCLA volunteers. All responses are the interview subject’s own, and do not necessarily represent the viewpoint or positions of the CCLA. I think I have been discriminated against – […]

Ask the CCLA: A landlord refused to rent to me, what can I do?

May 19, 2015

A landlord refused to lease me an apartment because of my sexual orientation. Is that allowed? What are my options?

Ask the CCLA: Harassed at work—what can I do?

May 19, 2015

People are harassing me at work because of my sexual orientation and/or my gender identity. What can I do to stop it?

Ask the CCLA: I’m on the US no-fly list, now what?

May 16, 2015

I was recently told I’m on the ‘No Fly List’ of the US. I would appreciate your help or connecting me to some helpful resources so I can understand this.

Ask the CCLA: How can I vote without identification?

May 12, 2015

I’m a student, don’t have identification, and I heard the vouching rules are changing: with a federal election coming up, how can I make sure that I can vote?

Ask the CCLA: Unlawful Assemblies?

May 12, 2015

A community organization that I’m part of worked to organize a peaceful demonstration to oppose a pipeline that may be built nearby. Despite the fact that we were on the town hall lawn and hadn’t blocked anyone’s access to the space, the police showed up and told us that we had to leave because we didn’t have a permit. Two members of our group were arrested but later released without charges. In the past, we tried to apply for permits but no one responds to our requests. Does this mean we’re simply not allowed to protest there? What can we do about this?

Ask the CCLA: Do I have to show my face? When?

May 12, 2015

I’m a Muslim woman and I receive social assistance to support myself and my daughter. Part of accessing this funding means that I regularly have to report to a government office and sometimes I need to meet with a caseworker. The last time I went, the man working at the counter told me that he would not help me until I removed my niqab and showed him my full face. I was eventually able to speak to a different representative and was helped as usual, but I felt humiliated and embarrassed, and am worried about this happening again. What can I do?

Ask the CCLA: Hate Speech or Free Speech?

May 12, 2015

Last week I encountered a truck with a bumper sticker stating: “Save Ontario: SHOOT TORONTONIANS!”I reported the experience to the RCMP – (who are the police force where I live), including a picture of the bumper and license plate, but the RCMP officer in question reported that this does not constitute a hate crime.I think this is totally inconsistent with the Criminal Code: How could this kind of incitement of hatred and explicit calls to criminal action not be addressed by the criminal law.Do you have a recommended course of action?