Lindsay M. Lyster, President
Lindsay M. Lyster, President is a partner in the Vancouver law firm of Moore Edgar Lyster. She served as a member of the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal between 2002 and 2010, where she adjudicated and mediated human rights disputes. She was the Policy Director of the BCCLA before joining the Tribunal. Before that, Lindsay practiced labour, employment and public law with a major national law firm for seven years, appearing before all levels of courts and tribunals.
Lindsay’s legal practice includes acting for employees and trade unions in labour, employment and human rights matters. She also conducts third party investigations and mediations.
Lindsay has a particular interest in administrative and constitutional law, having appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada in leading human rights and Charter cases. She has taught Administrative Law, Federalism, Charter Litigation, and Human Rights in the Workplace at UBC Law School. Lindsay graduated from UBC Law School in 1991 as the gold medalist, following which she clerked for Madam Justice McLachlin at the Supreme Court of Canada, before being called to the bar in 1993.
Lindsay is a frequent lecturer in labour, human rights, employment and administrative law. She is on the Executive of the Administrative Law and Human Rights Sections of the CBA – BC Branch.
Lindsay can be contacted at:
or by e-mail at:
John Dixon received a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of B.C. in 1974 and has been a philosophy instructor at Capilano College since 1973. He was elected to the board of the BCCLA in 1981 and served as the Association’s president from 1985 to 1990 and from 2001 to 2003. In the early 90′s John worked as a senior policy advisor to the Deputy Minister of Justice and Attorney General for Canada and as a special policy advisor to the Minister of National Defence.
John has been the recipient of a number of awards and fellowships and he has authored numerous papers and articles. Among his publications is a book, Catastrophic Rights: Experimental Drugs and AIDS that became the blueprint for the reform of the Federal Health Protection Branch approval process of catastrophic therapies. John has also delivered many interesting talks and lectures on a wide range of subject matter.
Reem Bahdi teaches Access to Justice and Torts at the University of Windsor. Her current research focusses on the feasibility of using Tort Law to hold government decision-makers accountable for actions resulting in the torture of Canadian citizens abroad.
Professor Bahdi is Co-Director of the Project on Judicial Independence and Human Dignity, a multi-million dollar initiative which aims to support access to justice in Palestine through continuing judicial education and directed civil society engagement.
Warren Bourgeois is a professor of philosophy who received his doctorate at the University of California, Irvine. He has taught at the University of Salzburg, Austria, the University of California, San Diego, the University of British Columbia, and now teaches at Kwantlen University College where he chairs the Research Ethics Board.
Since 1977 he has been a director of the BC Civil Liberties Association. He has helped to found and served on two hospital ethics committees locally. Among his published writings is the book Persons: What Philosophers Say About You released in its second edition by Wilfrid Laurier University Press in 2003. His current project is an online textbook in Bioethics.
Alister Browne PhD (philosophy). Clinical Associate Professor & Ethics Theme Director, Faculty of Medicine, UBC. Member, Ethics Committees of Vancouver Hospital, GF Strong and Geo. Pearson Centres, BC Children’s Hospital, Sunny Hill Hospital, Burnaby Hospital. Canadian Correspondent, Cambridge Health Care Ethics Quarterly. Canadian Editor, Health Care Ethics Forum.
Recently retired as Ethics Consultant and Chair of the Ethics Committee, Vancouver Hospital, and as Chair, Department of Philosophy, Langara College. Alister has a wife, Missy, and a daughter, Katharine, who are both philosophers, grows roses competitively, and plays softball increasingly non-competitively.
Michael Byers holds the Canada Research Chair in Global Politics and International Law at the University of British Columbia. Prior to 2005, he was Professor of Law and Director of Canadian Studies at Duke University; from 1996-1999 he was a Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford University.
Professor Byers writes and teaches on issues of military force, terrorism, human rights, international law, and Canada U.S. relations. He is the author of War Law: Understanding International Law and Armed Conflict(Douglas & McIntyre), Custom, Power and the Power of Rules (Cambridge University Press) and Intent for a Nation: What is Canada For? (Douglas & McIntyre, June 2007). He is the editor of The Role of Law in International Politics (Oxford University Press) and United States Hegemony and the Foundations of International Law (Cambridge University Press).
Dr. Byers is a regular contributor to the London Review of Books, Globe and Mail, and Toronto Star.
Larry Cohen has background in the practice of Criminal Law, teaching at the UBC Law school, and as a Legal Services Society (Legal Aid) administrator. As a businessman, he has been a commercial fisherman, a restauranteur, and a real estate developer. As well, he has received a Masters of Fine Art from UBC, is a practicing sculptor, and has taught foundation art.
Michael Feld taught philosophy at the University of Manitoba before retiring to Vancouver. He specialized in moral theory, applied ethics, and the philosophy of law.
Tom Gore has worked as a photographer ever since spending a summer in the mid sixties photographing in eight European countries. He joined the University of Victoria in the seventies to run what became the Advanced Imaging Laboratory. At the same time Gore curated fifty photographic exhibitions at Open Space Gallery, consulted for the Winnipeg Art Gallery, wrote many articles for Arts West Magazine and taught photojournalism in the UVic Writing Department.
He continues to photograph and exhibit and been published in the U.S., Europe and Japan. Subjects of his photography include English 18th century gardens, Venice, Rome and old Paris while recent work is mostly computer based. Gore has served on the boards of the Communication Arts Society, the Society for Photographic Education, the Professional Employees Association and the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association. He has written and edited a number of books about photography and has received several Canada Council grants.
Jason Gratl is a Vancouver lawyer practicing in the area of criminal and civil litigation. He has appeared at all levels of Court, from traffic Court to the Supreme Court of Canada and was counsel to the BC Civil Liberties Association in Vancouver Sun v. O.N.E. and Charkaoui v.Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.
Among his accomplishments, Jason assisted Robert Latimer in obtaining release into parole, and assisted in preventing Shell Canada Energy from engaging in Coal Bed Methane extraction in the Sacred Headwaters (Tahltan) territory of Northern British Columbia.
Jason is a graduate of U of T Law School, where he was awarded the Torys Prize in Private International Law, the Jeffrey W. Egner Prize in Labour Law, and the Ting Sum Tang Prize in International Law and Finance.
Before law school, Jason obtained an M.A. in philosophy from the University of Waterloo. In 2005, Jason was appointed as Adjunct Professor at the University of British Columbia, where he co-teaches a seminar in Public Law.
Jason served as President of the BCCLA from 2005 to 2008, and loved almost every minute of it. In 2007, he joined the Board of Directors of Pivot Legal Society. Jason’s website can be found at: www.gratlandcompany.com
Ms. Heafey was appointed Director of Appeal/Complaints at the newly-formed Security Intelligence Review Committee (SIRC), a civilian agency that oversees the activities of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service. Ms. Heafey was primarily responsible for conducting investigations on matters of national security. Ms. Heafey graduated with a law degree from the University of Ottawa Law School. She also studied Islamic Law and Administrative Law at Harvard Law school, and received certificates in Advanced Negotiation and Mediation from Harvard. In 1993, she established her own law firm, concentrating on administrative law, employment law, and human rights. Ms. Heafey was appointed as a member of Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP presiding over quasi-judicial hearings inquiring into public complaints about police conduct. In addition to presiding over sweeping changes in the structure and operation of the Commission, she has instituted the largest and most far-reaching public interest hearing and public interest investigation in the Commission’s history.
Ms. Heafey made two sets of significant submissions to Mr. Justice O’Connor’s enquiry into the Maher Arar matter. As Chair, she has traveled extensively across Canada to promote understanding, and to enhance public awareness of the Commission’s important role. Ms. Heafey completed her 8-year term as Chair of the Complaints Commission in October 2005. Ms. Heafey was also a part-time Assistant City Solicitor (Ottawa) conducting litigation and defending challenges to municipal laws based on the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, appointed Chair of City of Gloucester Task Force reporting on Remuneration of Elected Representatives and appointeded as member of the Evaluation Committee for the Action 21 Program at Environment Canada.
Rob Holmes is a lawyer practicing trial and appellate civil and commercial litigation and arbitration with Holmes & King in Vancouver, B.C. He did undergraduate studies at U.B.C. (B.A. Poli. Sci 1978; LL.B. 1981), clerked for the B.C. Court of Appeal, was called to the Bar in B.C. in 1983 and thereafter did graduate studies in law at Yale (LL.M., 1984). He has taught as an Adjunct Professor at U.B.C. Law School and has written and delivered many papers and presentations on a variety of legal topics.
He is active in the Canadian Bar Association and the Trial Lawyer’s Association of B.C. In 1981 Rob wrote a position paper for the BCCLA on administrative agency investigation powers. Rob was counsel for the BCCLA in the 1980’s in the Dixon v. AGBC litigation in which the provincial electoral boundaries laws were held to be an unconstitutional violation of Charter voting rights and in 1992 in the Carter v. AG Saskatchewan reference to the Supreme Court of Canada concerning Saskatchewan’s electoral boundaries. He was also a director and secretary of the BCCLA in the 1980’s.
Jacob Hunter is an advocate for drug policy reform and social justice based in Vancouver, British Columbia. Jacob is the Policy Director of the Beyond Prohibition Foundation and sits on the Board of Directors of the Pivot Foundation. Jacob is also the founder and administrator of the activist website WhyProhibition.ca as well as a member of RightsCity.org editorial board.
Though he considers himself a non-partisan progressive, Jacob has volunteered on various political campaigns since 2000, working with likeminded candidates regardless of party affiliation. During the most recent provincial election Jacob served as Campaign Manager for the Green Party in Vancouver-Fraserview, while during the most recent federal election, Jacob served as Communications Director for the NDP in West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country.
Jacob attended the University of Northern British Columbia where he studied political science and economics. Jacob lives with his girlfriend, Nicole Seguin, and two dogs, in the West End of Vancouver.
Stephen Katz, B.A., LL.B. University of Florida, LL.M.(Tax) New York University. President of Stephen Katz Limited (A Vancouver firm specializing in U.S.-Canadian income tax matters). Formerly, Associated with Dewey, Ballantine, Bushby, Palmer & Wood, New York City. Instructor at Law, University of Florida.
Author of U.S. Citizens Resident in Canada and the Foreign Tax Credit, Tax Management International Journal (1989); Double Exposure: The Taxation of U.S. Citizens Resident in Canada, Pacific Business & Law Institute Conference ( 1991); and, The Impact of Article (9) of the Third Protocol to the Canada-U.S. Tax Convention on Cross-Border Pension Benefits, Pacific Business & Law Institute Conference (1995). Taxation of U.S. Citizen Resident in Canada, B.C. Institute of Chartered Accountants (1999).
Ross Lambertson teaches Political Science at Camosun College and writes about the history of human rights (including civil liberties) in Canada. He has just finished a book, Repression and Resistance: Canadian Human Rights Activists, 1930-1960.
After obtaining a PhD, Ed Levy taught philosophy of science at the University of British Columbia from 1967-1988. In 1988 Ed joined QLT Inc., a biotechnology company that developed a treatment, now used worldwide, for age-related macular degeneration, the main cause of vision loss among the elderly.
At the end of 2002 Ed retired from QLT and became an adjunct professor at the W. Maurice Young Centre for Applied Ethics at UBC. Ed is a mentor with Inno-Center Alberta and he is a member of the boards of several technology companies and Genome B.C. Ethics Advisory Committee, as well as of some non-profits, including BCCLA and the PIVOT Foundation.
Stan Persky is a long-time Vancouver public intellectual and literary activist. His most recent book is The Short Version: An ABC Book. He teaches Philosophy at Capilano College and lives in Vancouver and Berlin.
Kent Roach is a Professor of Law at the University of Toronto where he holds the Prichard-Wilson Chair in Law and Policy with cross-appointments in criminology and political science. Kent is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, a graduate of the University of Toronto and of Yale, and a former law clerk to Justice Bertha Wilson of the Supreme Court of Canada. Professor Roach’s books include Constitutional Remedies in Canada (winner of the 1997 Owen Prize for best law book), Due Process and Victims’ Rights: The New Law and Politics of Criminal Justice (shortlisted for the 1999 Donner Prize for best public policy book), The Supreme Court on Trial: Judicial Activism or Democratic Dialogue(short-listed for the 2001 Donner Prize), September 11: Consequences for Canada (named one of the five most significant books of 2003 by the Literary Review of Canada) and (with Robert J. Sharpe) Brian Dickson: A Judge’s Journey (winner of the 2004 J.W. Dafoe Prize for best contribution to the understanding of Canada).
He is also the author of Criminal Law, 3rd ed 2004 and co-author (with Robert J. Sharpe) of The Charter of Rights and Freedoms, 3rd ed 2005 and (with Ken Jull and Todd Archibald) Regulatory and Corporate Liability: From Due Diligence to Risk Management, 2005. Professor Roach was a contributor to the Oxford Companion to Legal Scholarship and he has written over 90 articles and chapters published in Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, Singapore, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States, as well as in Canada. Since 1998, Professor Roach has been editor-in chief of the Criminal Law Quarterly.
In recent years, Professor Roach has specialized in anti-terrorism law and policy and is the co-editor of The Security of Freedom: Essays on Canada’s Anti-Terrorism Bill 2001 and Global Anti-Terrorism Law and Policy, 2005) Professor Roach is presently serving on advisory committees for both the Commission of Inquiry into the Actions of Canadian Officials in Relation to Maher Arar and the Ipperwash Inquiry into the killing of Dudley George.
He also served as the research director for the Ontario Law Reform Commission’s Report on Public Inquiries, 1992. He has represented Aboriginal and civil liberties groups in many interventions before the courts, including in the landmark Supreme Court of Canada cases of Stillman, Latimer, Gladue and Sauve. His current research involves the comparative study of miscarriages of justice, comparative judicial review and comparative anti-terrorism law and policy.
Richard S. Rosenberg is a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Computer Science, at the University of British Columbia. His research interests are in the social impact of computers and in Artificial Intelligence (AI). In AI, he has published in computational linguistics, with a special interest in natural language interfaces to databases and the Web.
His work in the social impact of computers includes such areas of concern as privacy, freedom of expression, intellectual property rights, universal access, work and education. He has written many papers on free speech, ethics, and privacy issues, has appeared before Federal parliamentary and provincial legislative committees, and made presentations before the U.S. National Research Council.
His most recent book is The Social Impact of Computers, 3rd Edition, San Diego, CA: Elsevier Academic Press, 2004. He is also a Vice-president of Electric Frontier Canada and on the Board of the British Columbia Freedom of Information and Privacy Association.
J.S. Russell received his Ph.D. from Cornell University in 1994 and then did a year of post-graduate work at Oxford University. He headed the B.C. Civil Liberties Association’s office staff from 1980, resigning as Executive Director in 1988 to pursue graduate studies in philosophy at Cornell. He is now an instructor in the philosophy department at Langara College.
He has been Ethics Advisor to the University of British Columbia Clinical Research Ethics Board since November 2001. He has published articles in moral and political philosophy and philosophy of law and has taught philosophy and been an adjunct professor of law at the University of British Columbia.
A current research interest is in philosophy of sport where he has published several articles and serves on the editorial board of the Journal of the Philosophy of Sport. He is currently completing a manuscript on metaethics and is co-editing with Andrew Irvine a wide-ranging collection of essays by Canadian philosophers that are addressed to non-specialist audiences. In his spare time, Russell coaches little league baseball and, when any time is left over after that, he rides his motorcycle. He has a peculiar cognitive disturbance (which is perhaps an as-yet unlabelled character disorder). When he thinks of philosophy, he thinks of baseball; and when he thinks of baseball, he thinks of philosophy. He is married to Joy Russell and has two children, Nicholas and Keith.
Tom Sandborn is a Vancouver based writer, organizer and consultant. Born in Alaska, he has lived in the Lower Mainland since 1967, when a foreign policy dispute with the Kissinger Administration over the war in Vietnam brought him to Canada. Now a Canadian citizen, he has been a youth worker, a gestalt therapist and encounter group leader, a truck, bus and taxi driver, a bar tender and warehouse worker, a journalist, educator, social worker, broadcaster, fundraiser and organizer.
Raised in the wilderness by wolves, Sandborn is a sort of feral author who owes most of what he knows to the generous efforts of feminist women, poets of all genders, renegade nuns and Jesuits, itinerant anarchists, Reds and agitators of all sorts. His work has appeared in the Vancouver Sun, the Georgia Straight, the Democrat, the Globe and Mail, Compass and Makara magazines, Xtra West, the Tyee and the Straight Goods on line, the Columbia Journal, the Vancouver Review and the Rain, as well as in broadcast form on CBC radio.
He currently serves on the boards of directors for the BC Civil Liberties Association and the Judith Marcuse Project and has just completed three years of ongoing work to address sweat shop labour abuses both locally and around the world. During his decades in Canada, he has done extensive political and community organizing around issues of male violence and women’s liberation, first nations land claims, peace, environmental crisis, racism and civil liberties.
Together with his beloved wife Louise Alden, he tries to keep up with birthdays and other significant events for an ever growing Golden Horde of grown children, grand-children scattered across North America and a flying circus of treasured friends and accomplices. He tries, as advised by Gramsci, to maintain optimism of the heart and pessimism of the intellect. Most days he can manage this difficult balance for minutes at a time.
Kirk Tousaw is barrister and social justice advocate based in Vancouver, BC. He operates his own law practice, focusing primarily on criminal and constitutional litigation, and is also an associate of Conroy & Company, Barristers and Solicitors based in Abbotsford, BC.
Kirk began practicing law in 1998 in the United States and has a background in business litigation, criminal defence and social justice advocacy pursuant to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. He has been a practicing member of the Law Society of British Columbia since 2005. Academically,
Kirk holds a Bachelor’s of Art in political philosophy (Michigan State University) a Juris Doctor, cum laude (Wayne State University School of Law) and a Master’s in Law (University of British Columbia Faculty of Law). Kirk has completed two years of doctoral studies at the UBC Faculty of Law and is presently awaiting the opportunity to return to his studies and obtain the degree. Kirk and his wife Debbie are parents to three wonderful children, Kaya (age 8), Caiden (age 3) and Oaklen (age 2). Kirk is active in the community, volunteering as the Chair of the Drug Policy Committee of the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association and is a member of that Association’s Board of Directors.
Kirk has written and spoken extensively on issues related to drug policy, privacy, religious freedom and criminal justice policy. In addition, Kirk has had the privilege of testifying several times before the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights of the House of Commons and also before the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs.
Kirk may be reached at by telephone to 604.684.1420 or at the offices of Conroy & Company at 604.852.5110.
Reg Whitaker is Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus at York University and Adjunct Professor of Political Science at the University of Victoria. Recent books include The End of Privacy: How Total Surveillance is Becoming a Reality ( 1999) and Canada and the Cold Warwith Steve Hewitt (2003).
He served on the Advisory Panel to Justice O’Connor on the Commission of Inquiry into the Maher Arar affair; chaired the Advisory Panel to the Minister of Transport reviewing the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority Act in 2006; and is currently advising the Commission of Inquiry into the Air India bombing on the aviation security aspects of the Air India bombing.
Born in Vancouver but out of wedlock, I was adopted into a family famed for the James Inglis Reid Scottish butchery, a fixture of downtown Vancouver for the bulk of the last century: “Quality 1st, Value Always” and “We have One Store Only – You May Go Farther, and Fare Worse!”…Mottoes worth chewing over….
As a teenager in the 60s I embraced the creative spirit of the time and much to the disappointment of my family became a musician and allied myself with the worldwide movement for a more tolerant, more open society. Keen in my memory of those turbulent years were encounters with the late Bob Hunter (an instrumental figure in Greenpeace), a brilliant, passionate lecture on Thoreau by the UBC professor Kay Stockholder (a Past President of BCCLA) and a remarkable evening with the remarkable Isaiah Berlin, the 20th century’s great champion of diversity of views, of pluralism of values.
It was when living in the West End in the mid-80s that the famous conflict between Little Sister’s Bookstore (a few steps away from my rundown apartment) and Canada Customs emerged. Outrageously, a book (Edmund White’s The Joy of Gay Sex) anyone could find at the Vancouver Public Library or buy at Duthie’s was seized and pulped by the Federales, who seemingly felt they didn’t need no stinking badges…
Similar feelings of “not in my Canada, you don’t!” were raised by the 1997 APEC débâcle; I filed an official protest (along with 50 other Canadian citizens, UBC and the BCCLA) and endured two and a half years of hearings before I presented a final argument to Commissioner Ted Hughes that a key government witness had given substantially unreliable testimony. Apparently I had been pushing on an open door. In his final report, Ted Hughes concurred. I’ve been drawn more and more to civil liberties issues, as our freedom to think and feel as we wish seems increasingly threatened by authoritarian bullies of all stripes. In my experience, those who airily ‘know what’s best for us’ are the ones whose pat answers need the most sceptical questioning.
My gift of $47,000 to the BCCLA was inspired by what Thoreau told Emerson on the abolition of slavery: you only start fully living when you stand up for what is right – exactly at the times it would be so easy to look aside and do nothing.