Explore current civil liberties issues arising in the news, before the courts, in government and in the streets.

 

This page includes two great sources to learn more about current issues relating to civil liberties in Canada.

First, CCLA is now excited to include  in-depth breakdowns of new bills and legislation and other new material produced by volunteers, under the heading “Current Issues”.

This space is also the new home of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association’s longstanding rights and freedoms monitoring blog, RightsWatch. RightsWatch is a joint project of CCLA and Pro Bono Students Canada. Updated and maintained by law students across the country, it compiles local and national news and events regarding basic rights and freedoms in Canada.

The opinions expressed here do not necessarily represent CCLA or Pro Bono Students Canada’s policies or positions. For official publications, key reports, position papers, legal documentation, and up-to-date news about CCLA’s work check out the In Focus section of our website.

Current Issues

R. v. Spencer: Keeping Your Digital Identity Private

April 13, 2017

Would you want the government to know every webpage you’ve seen? Every Google search you’ve run? Every social media post you’ve clicked? Every file, photo, or video you’ve downloaded? If not, you can thank R. v. Spencer, 2014 SCC 43, 2 SCR 212

Bill 87: Protecting Patients Act, 2017

April 12, 2017

The government of Ontario is currently considering Bill 87: An Act to Implement Health Measures and Measures Relating to Seniors by Enacting, Amending or Repealing Various Statutes, which sounds like a series of pedantic bureaucratic changes irrelevant outside of the medical community. But behind that boring veneer is a threat to privacy worth taking seriously.

Federal Accessibility Law Is in the Works…

December 1, 2016

The federal government has initiated action on the nation’s first accessibility legislation. This legislation hopes to promote the equality of opportunity and increase the inclusion of Canadians who have disabilities or functional limitations.

Rights Watch

Diversity on the Bench: Recent Judicial Appointments in Nova Scotia

April 3, 2017
3 of the 4 recent Nova Scotia provincial court judicial appointees announced on March 31 are women, and 2 of the 4 new judges are African Nova Scotian’s. This has been praised as a great step forward towards...

Australia’s Policy on Refugees and Asylum-Seekers “fits the definition of torture”

March 31, 2017
*Author’s note: all quotations are taken from this report by Amnesty International, unless otherwise noted. Australia’s current policy on refugee and asylum-seekers is that “no person who arrives in the country by boat seeking asylum...

Hate Speech Trial Against Anti-LGBT Journalist Heard in South African Lower Courts

March 30, 2017
After a long delay, the South African Human Rights Commission’s case against controversial journalist and former ambassador to Uganda Jon Qwelane was heard in the South African High Court. Qwelane’s case, now into it’s ninth...