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:

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.

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.

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

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?