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:
- Legal resources and legal clinics
- Complaints about police
- Letters or lawsuits threatening legal action against protestors or activists (also known as “Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation”)
We also encourage you to browse previous questions and answers:
- Concerns about discrimination (including harassment) – in the workplace, in housing, public services, private stores and businesses – on the basis of sex, race, disability, gender identity, etc.
- Representing oneself in court as a “self-represented litigant”
- Concerns about harrassment
- Special needs accommodations
- Non-conviction records and police record checks
- Treatment at the border
- Representing oneself in court as a “self-represented litigant”
- Prisoners’ rights
- Concerns about gangstalking
- Rights when stopped by police
- Discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation in housing or work
- Voting without ID
- US No-fly List
- Assembly rights
- Do I have to show my face? When?
- Hate speech or free speech?
If your question is not answered here, please email us at the address below. We are currently experiencing technical difficulties with the form that was previously available on this page.
For more information about CCLA’s work and our role in the fight for freedom, we invite you to refer to the growing content available on our website.
before Submitting a question
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 legal question or issue that you feel is urgent or that requires the attention of a professional, you may consider contacting a lawyer or an organisation that provides legal support in your community. Information about where to find some of these can be found here.
CCLA is not a government agency or a community legal clinic and does not generally provide members of the public with legal advice or direct legal representation.
We 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 always appreciate hearing from members of the public. Unfortunately, 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 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] ccla.org. In your email, please feel free to send us a brief (one page) summary of your civil liberties concerns. It will be easiest for us to understand this summary if it includes a short description of the important facts and events in chronological order, and what you are hoping to do at this time.
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) Questions 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.
Read Previous Answers
I think I have been discriminated against – at work, or in a store or restaurant, by a landlord or a government body. What can I do? Discrimination is an action or a decision that results in unfair treatment of person or a group for unfair reasons such as their race, age, disability, sexual orientation, or […]
I will be representing myself in a legal proceeding. Where can I find resources for self-represented litigants? If you will be representing yourself in a lawsuit, you may find it helpful to search the website of the courthouse that will be hearing your case. Most court websites provide information for self-represented litigants, or links to […]
I believe that I have been harassed on the basis of my sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, race, or another prohibited ground of discrimination, in my workplace, or in a store or restaurant, by a landlord or a government body. What can I do? Harassment on the basis of a prohibited ground of discrimination such […]
I have particular needs because of a disability, my religion, or another prohibited ground of discrimination, and I was not adequately accommodated by my workplace, or a store or restaurant, by a landlord or government body. What can I do? Failure to accommodate (to the point of undue hardship) can be a form of discrimination. […]
I believe that I am the victim of gangstalking. Where can I go for help? Unfortunately, CCLA does not have the resources to investigate individual claims of gangstalking. As a small organization, we are unable to provide assistance to individuals who are experiencing threats to their health and safety. If you believe your safety is […]
I am currently incarcerated and believe that my rights are being violated. What can I do? CCLA has done a great deal of systemic work in relation to prisons and jails (see below). Individuals who believe that their rights as prisoners are being violated, or who believe that their loved ones’ rights in prison are […]
I believe that I was mistreated and/or my rights were violated by the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA). What can I do? Individuals who wish to make a complaint regarding CBSA’s conduct can access their complaint form here. CCLA has long advocated for the need for more robust oversight of CBSA – you may read some of […]
I have a police record even though I have not been convicted of a crime. I am worried about how this will affect my employment prospects or ability to travel. What can I do? In recent years, CCLA has advocated for significant changes in the police record check system. In particular, our work has focused […]
What are my rights when stopped or searched by the police? In Ontario, Community Legal Education Ontario has produced a resource guide regarding police powers when it comes to stops and searches. This resource is dated September 2016. Stepstojustice.ca provides information about legal problems in Ontario. You may wish to browse their information page on police […]
A landlord refused to lease me an apartment because of my sexual orientation. Is that allowed? What are my options?