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

Public Servant’s Discrimination Claim Against Government Heading to Tribunal

June 22, 2017
A complaint alleging that the federal government’s use of inaccessible computer programs is discriminatory against employees with disabilities is headed to the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT). Abigail Shorter, an employee of the federal government for...

On Cruel and Unusual Conditions in Alberta Corrections

June 21, 2017
Justice Macklin heard the most recent case of Lance David Blanchard at the Court of the Queen’s Bench of Alberta this month.  At 59, Blanchard has spent two thirds of his life incarcerated in maximum security facilities, much of...

SCOTUS: Offensive Trademarks Protected by Freedom of Speech

June 21, 2017
In a decision released on June 19, 2017, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that s. 2(a) of the Lanham Act, the act that regulates a national system of trademark registration, was unconstitutional....