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Candidates for Election to the Board of Directors

The candidates listed below are standing for election or re-election to the Board of Directors of the BCCLA.

The BCCLA Board of Directors

The BCCLA Board of Directors is at the heart of our organization. BCCLA Directors are deeply committed to our mandate to preserve, defend, maintain, and extend civil liberties and human rights in Canada. Our Board manages the affairs of the Association, including setting policy, speaking for the Association, setting litigation, research, and educational priorities and overseeing the financial affairs and paid staff of the Association. Board members participate, according to their interests and skills, in a variety of ways in the work of the BCCLA, including serving on working groups and committees, drafting position statements, and representing the Association to the public.

Election process

The election will take place at our Annual General Meeting on May 7, 2014. Visit our AGM page for details. The vote will be by secret ballot. People who have been members in good standing of the BCCLA for three months prior to the AGM (meaning members who have been members since on or before February 7, 2014) are entitled to one vote. Only those members who attend the AGM in person may vote. There is no voting by proxy.

Each member may cast up to ten votes by marking ten “Xs” or checkmarks on the ballot. Members may cast fewer than 10 votes if they so choose. The ten candidates with the highest total of ballots cast in their favour will be elected. The totals will not be made public at the AGM, but we will inform each candidate of the totals. In the event of a tie for the tenth spot, the winning candidate will be determined by a run-off vote between the tied candidates.


List of candidates:


Paul Champ


I am a human rights and labour lawyer in Ottawa, Ontario. I have learned how organizations like the BCCLA play a crucial role in defending Canadians’ rights and democratic freedoms, often when they are most under attack. The BCCLA promotes and protects fundamental freedoms through civic education, direct advocacy and lobbying for (or sometimes against) legislative change. These are all activities I strongly endorse as both a citizen and a lawyer because history teaches us again and again that freedom requires vigilance.

Personally, I regularly represent individuals and trade unions as well as organizations such as Amnesty International, the Council of Canadians with Disabilities, the Elizabeth Fry Society, and the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society. I have helped my clients to establish legal precedents in Charter rights, privacy, discrimination, prisoners’ rights, corporate accountability for abuses in foreign countries, access to information, and freedom from torture. I have been a university lecturer on the law of armed conflict, surveillance and national security, and social justice and the law. In 2010, I was honoured to receive the BCCLA’s Reg Robson Civil Liberties Award and in 2013 I was the recipient of the Walter S. Tarnopolsky Human Rights Award.

I have been a Board member since 2011 but first became involved with the BCCLA in 2006 when I was retained to work on the Afghanistan detainees case. I was counsel for BCCLA on that matter (and its countless trips to the Federal Court and two-year hearing before the Military Police Complaints Commission) for nearly six years. I have appeared before Parliamentary standing committees on behalf of the BCCLA on the Afghan detainees issue and amendments to the Criminal Code making it an offence to wear a mask at a protest. More recently, I have been retained by the BCCLA to bring complaints against the RCMP and CSIS for spying on environmentalists who are opposed to the Northern Gateway Pipeline.


Caily DiPuma

Caily DiPuma is a Vancouver lawyer, called to the bar in 2009. She has just completed a year of contract work as a staff lawyer for the BCCLA and is returning to private practice at Hunter Litigation Chambers. During her time with the BCCLA, Caily spearheaded the Associations’s lawsuit against the Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC) and was integral to the launch of its Stop Illegal Spying campaign. As staff lawyer for the BCCLA, she performed a variety of legal work on behalf of the Association and appeared as representative for the BCCLA in a significant amount of media and public relations activities, particularly related to the CSEC litigation. Caily is a graduate of UBC Law School with a Magna Cum Laude B.A. (and Phi Betta Kappa membership) from Scripps College in Claremont, California. While at UBC law, she volunteered for the student legal aid program and served on the executive committee of Pro Bono Students Canada. She has also served on the executive committee of the Social Justice Action Network and as a development coordinator for the Stop Racial Profiling Campaign and MARU. Caily has done volunteer work for Lawyers Rights Watch Canada, Pivot Legal, Access Pro Bono Canada and is an enthusiastic and dedicated defender of civil liberties.


John Dixon


John Dixon, PhD, LLD,  is a retired philosopher. Since joining the BCCLA in 1981 he has twice served as its president, for a total of ten years, and has been involved in many of its key Charter cases.  He has a special interest in freedom of expression issues, drawn from his work as student and colleague of Robert Rowan and Joseph Tussman, at UBC and Berkeley.

For two years – 1990 and 1991 – Dixon served as Senior Policy Advisor to the Deputy Minister of Justice and Attorney General for Canada.  He was then Special Advisor to the Minister of National Defence in the first half of 1992.  In the Spring of 1994, he was a guest of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, where he spoke on gun control and the integration of gays into the military.

Dixon is the author of Catastrophic Rights: Experimental Drugs and AIDS, New Star Books, 1991, and, with co-author Stan Persky, On Kiddie Porn: Sexual Representation and the Robin Sharpe Case, New Star Books, 2001. On Kiddie Porn won a $10,000 Donner Prize as runner-up for best book of the year on Canadian public policy.  Three of  Dixon’s many essays on law and public policy are available in In the Agora: The Public Face of Canadian Philosophy,  2007, ed. by Irvine and Russell, University of Toronto Press.

Dixon was recipient of the University of Victoria Law Faculty’s “Begbie Prize” in 1990 for his contributions to law reform in British Columbia and Canada.  He received the “Joe Average” award in 1996 for his work for AIDS patients in Canada and his contribution to bringing the 11th International Conference on AIDS to Vancouver in that year.   In 2003 he was honoured with a Doctor of Laws Degree from Simon Fraser University in recognition of his contributions to public life.   Last year, on the occasion of the Association’s 50th Anniversary, he became the first recipient of the BCCLA Lifetime Achievement Award.

Although he is 70, Dixon is still moderately alert, and imagines that he can continue to be of some use to the BCCLA.


Michael Friedlander

Michael is a long-time BCCLA supporter, BCCLA member since 2000, and is passionate about civil liberties.

He is a former federal public servant and would bring to the BCCLA Board a range of skills and experiences acquired over the course of his career of over 30 years. Michael has experience in negotiation, policy change and people management, with a focus on team leadership including a strong emphasis on values and ethics.

Most recently, Michael was a member of the executive leadership team of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada’s treaty negotiation office for British Columbia in Vancouver, as the Director responsible for fiscal negotiations. Before that, he spent 10 years in central agency roles at Finance Canada, on economic as well as social policy issues. He was based in Vancouver and in Ottawa at different stages of his career.

Michael has an M.A. in Mathematics from the University of British Columbia. He has taken numerous training courses on leadership and management, and completed the Public Executive Program at Queen’s University.

He was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal in 2013.

Michael is keen to contribute to the work of the BCCLA through service on the Board.


Stephen Katz


Stephen has been a BCCLA Board member since 1999. Steve was born, raised and educated in the United States. He has a B.A. in English Literature and an LL.B. from the University of Florida. He also has an LL.M. in taxation from New York University. Steve practiced law in New York City and worked as an Assistant Commissioner in the New York City Housing Administration.

Steve has lived in Vancouver for 40 years and has been working as a cross-border tax consultant at a firm that he started in 1974.

Steve gave up his U.S. citizenship in 1981 and is now happily and solely Canadian.

Unlike many Board members whose professional foci overlap with many issues the Board deals with, Steve’s involvement in Civil Liberties’ issues springs solely from his personal commitment to the principles with which the BCCLA deals. Steve would like to continue assisting with the integrity of decision-making processes on issues discussed at the Board meetings.


Lindsay Lyster


Lindsay is a dedicated civil libertarian and human rights advocate. She currently serves as the President of the BCCLA, a position she has held since mid-2012. She joined the Board in 2011 and was elected Vice-President shortly thereafter. Lindsay has acted as pro bono counsel for the BCCLA in three recent cases before the Supreme Court of Canada, in which the Association has sought to advance the freedoms of association and expression for workers, in the contexts of access to collective bargaining rights, picketing and the right to strike. As President, Lindsay frequently acts as spokesperson for the Association on a broad range of issues.

Lindsay is partner in Moore Edgar Lyster, a Union-side labour firm. Before joining Moore Edgar Lyster, she served as a Member of the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal between 2002 and 2010. Immediately prior to that, she was the Policy Director for the BCCLA. Before that, Lindsay practiced with a major national law firm for seven years.

Lindsay’s law practice focuses on acting for employees and trade unions in labour, employment, human rights and privacy matters. She also practices administrative and constitutional law, and has appeared before a wide range of administrative tribunals and all levels of courts, including the Supreme Court of Canada.

She is committed to public and continuing legal education, and frequently lectures and writes in the areas of human rights, labour and administrative law, including co-chairing the Annual BC Continuing Legal Education Human Rights Conference. She has served as an Adjunct Professor in the UBC Faculty of Law, teaching courses in Administrative Law, Federalism, Human Rights in the Workplace and Charter Litigation.

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.


Richard Marcuse

I’ve had a deeply-felt engagement with social issues and civil liberties since I was a child. A supporter of the ACLU as a teenager, I’ve been a member of the BCCLA and the CCLA for decades.

Now that I’m semi-retired, I want to find an organization that could use my contributions; the BCCLA seems like an excellent fit.

Building on experience as administrator, teacher, researcher, editor and consultant, I would hope to complement the range of skills already on the board – in particular, in areas like strategic planning, marketing, fundraising, community-engagement and change-crafting.

Academically, I’m a social anthropologist, studying at the University of California, Berkeley, during, and after, the period of Berkeley’s Free Speech Movement. My dissertation research explored the lives of a company of professional dancers (working title: The Professional Dancer: A Study in Culture, Counter-Culture and Ideology).

My work history is wide-ranging – overall, I’ve thought of my work as a kind of applied anthropology guided by anthropology’s holistic approach. Positions include:

  • Researcher, Institute of Criminology, University of Tel Aviv
  • Lecturer in Anthropology, University of Victoria (Matsqui Institution and the BC Penitentiary)
  • Western Representative, Canadian Actors’ Equity Association
  • Managing Director, Judith Marcuse Dance Company
  • Planned Giving Officer, Oxfam Canada
  • Director of Co-op Development, BC Cooperative Society

I have served on a number of boards including the Association of Cultural Executives and Oxfam Canada and have written and edited many publications including Israel Studies in Criminology (1973) and, with Judith Marcuse, Art for Social Change: A Call for Partnerships (2011). During 2009-2010, I worked with the BCCLA as editor of Racial Profiling: A Special BCCLA Report on Racial Profiling in Canada.

I continue to work actively with my life partner, Judith Marcuse, in support of her initiatives with Judith Marcuse Projects and the International Centre of Art for Social Change.


Richard Rosenberg


Curriculum Vitae

B.A. Sc. Engineering Physics, University of Toronto (1961); M. A. Sc. Electrical Engineering, University of Toronto (1964); Ph.D. Communication Sciences, University of Michigan (1967); Visiting Assistant Professor, University of Michigan (1967- 1968); Assistant Professor, University of British Columbia (1968- 1976); Associate Professor, University of British Columbia (1976 – 1998); Director, Division of Computer Science, Department of Mathematics, and Computer Science, Dalhousie University (1984-1986); Professor, University of British Columbia (1998 – ), Professor Emeritus (2004 – )


In spite of extravagant claims by its proponents that the Internet is a revolutionary technology with profound implications for all aspects of society, it is becoming increasingly clear that its emergence is a mixed blessing. It has been my concern to identify and explicate a number of issues associated with the astonishing pervasiveness of the Internet. More specifically, such issues as privacy and anonymity, free speech, access, and ethics and professionalism, have been at the forefront of my research efforts. The focus of my research has been two fold, namely, developments of national and international privacy policies, particularly with respect to electronic media, in Canada, the United States, and Europe as well as national and international approaches to the regulation of free speech on the Internet. My most recent book was published in 2004, The Social Impact of Computers, 3rd edition, 2004, Elsevier, Academic Press, 728 pp.


I have been a member for several years, since I retired as a UBC professor. I was asked about 3 years ago to be a member of the Executive and I accepted. I have found this experience to be very worthwhile and rewarding. As a computer scientist, I have found that my experience on the Executive complements the legal background of most of the other members of the Executive. I would like to continue my membership as I believe I play a useful role.


Alan Rowan


Presently semi-retired, I was for many years involved in the local renovation business, and have an extensive background in the British Columbia shellfish aquaculture industry, both as an employee and as an owner.

I come by my passion for civil liberties and civil rights honestly, as my father is Bob Rowan, one of the founders of the BCCLA, and a past president. Many early meetings were held at our house, and I carry fond memories of far-ranging discussions covering topics that were engagingly foreign to my then teen-aged years. I was then and continue to be deeply committed to the ongoing fight for real equality for all men and women, free speech and a free press, and the right to freedom of expression.

My service on the Board of the Association began over twenty years ago, and I have proudly served as the Association’s Treasurer since 1999. During this period the BCCLA has experienced unprecedented growth. Our budget and staff have both more than doubled, necessitating a move in 2012 to alleviate over-crowding. Membership and donations continue to increase as we refine and expand our outreach to many communities and causes previously under-represented.

Underlying this success, I can justly point to our presently very strong and well-managed financial position. Over the years, the incumbent Executive Directors, Presidents and I have worked diligently with our investment partners to maintain and build on the trust placed in us to ensure the long-term viability of the Association. As a non-profit organization, we continue to depend on the support of our donors and members, and the on-going funding we receive from various groups, most notably the Law Foundation of British Columbia.

Still unswervingly persuaded of the need for this Association to continue the good fight, I seek your support for another term on the Board. There is work yet to be done.


Tom Sandborn


I have served as a board member for the BCCLA now for nine years, and would be very pleased indeed to be chosen to serve another term. During my time on the board I have been involved in drafting our 2010 reaffirmation of support for women’s reproductive choice, our 2009 position paper on racial profiling and our position on access to clean water as a human right and civil liberty issue. I served for several years on the executive of the board, and have been actively involved over the decade in fundraising to support the work of the Association. (Prior to my time on the board, I did contract work as a BCCLA fundraiser for several years.) As a free lance writer and social justice activist, I cherish the work we do to protect freedom of expression and of association, not to mention our defense of privacy and all the work we do to protect and extend policies and legislation that support a vigorous democracy in Canada. We live, in the words of the old curse, in interesting times, rife with challenges, old and new, to democracy. If re-elected, I will commit to ongoing work to see that the Association continues its defense of the preconditions for democratic self-governance, and continues to pursue our ongoing, rich and important reflections on how we can update the classic concerns of civil libertarians by more adequately addressing the impacts of sexism, racism and class on democratic participation.


Jeremy Shragge


Jeremy has served as a director of the BCCLA since 2011. He is the author of the organisation’s policy on SLAPP suits (strategic litigation against public participation), a particularly insidious and corrosive form of anti-democratic law suit. He practices commercial litigation, defamation and child protection law in Vancouver. Whenever possible he serves as civil duty counsel with Access Pro Bono, assisting litigants who would otherwise be unable to afford counsel. He is looking forward to working with the BCCLA for another three years, where he hopes to develop further litigation-related polices that contribute to social justice.


Jason Tockman

I am a Doctoral Candidate in UBC’s Department of Political Science, and draw on ten years of experience working for labour, citizens, and environmental organizations. My PhD research has focused on indigenous rights, social movements, and questions of citizenship and democracy. An advocate for citizens’ rights in both scholarly and public contexts, I seek to build stronger connections between academic and activist communities. Having lived in British Columbia for the past nine years, I have been alarmed by the frequency of civil rights violations: police brutality and in-custody deaths of those held by police, people held in solitary confinement, unreasonable search and seizure (including of cell phones), and unjust deportations and extraditions. As I have followed the tenacious work of the BC Civil Liberties Association, I have come to appreciate its critical role in bringing justice to these types of cases. I hope to join the BCCLA’s Board of Directors to more actively support the Association’s work to protect the rights of the province’s residents. My background of working for labour, citizens, and environmental groups – such as the Teaching Support Staff Union (TSSU, at Simon Fraser University) – has enabled me to develop administrative, fiscal, and personnel skills that I believe will contribute to the effective functioning of the BCCLA. I have also served on the Board of Directors of the Alliance for Sustainable Jobs and the Environment, the Citizens Coal Council, and the National Forest Protection Alliance, and have experience working on litigation to ensure government compliance with the law.


Vanessa Wolff

I am proud to stand for a position on the Board if elected.

As a woman of color, who emigrated from the Netherlands 26 years ago, it has been quite a struggle for me to understand the Canadian stifling of democracy. I am a social worker by trade prior to my life in the trade union movement, and could not understand how we could disenfranchise ourselves as a society from the most vulnerable. My husband and I fostered for many years in Ontario, where we tried to help hard to serve kids who often had to wait for several years to get a long term placement. I have worked in the labour movement now for the past 17 yrs, where I have negotiated collective agreements, facilitated courses and speeches, mediated and arbitrated settlements and made submissions to the government.

Neither our provincial nor our federal government has figured out how they have shaped the future of our children who will not know how to be compassionate or have a society that takes care of each other. The ‘state’ is only concerned about cutting what people currently enjoy, focussing eyes everywhere instead of having the sense that you live in a free democracy. We need to support a society that promotes Human Rights and more importantly Equal Rights for all. My contact with BCCLA has been through my dear friend Tom Sandborn, who got me invigorated to get involved in the various causes when I moved to BC a couple of years ago. I applaud what the BCCLA is doing and the fact that you assist the most vulnerable. I want to be part of an organisation that fights for those that are incapable of taking the charge. I commit to help in any capacity you see fit.

What roles can I fulfil: I have been a Manager, Facilitated courses, Public Relations, Mediation.


Fadi Yechoua

My first direct contact with the BCCLA was in July 2013 when my partner and I attended the BCCLA’s Liberty Awards Gala, where I learnt about the breadth and strength of the BCCLA’s advocacy. In August 2012, I listened to my heart and quit working at a national law firm in Toronto to move to Vancouver and be with my partner. I started practicing immigration and refugee law, an area that complements the BCCLA’s advocacy work surrounding human rights, national security, law enforcement and privacy.

My commitment to human rights advocacy began as a member and organizer in the anti-war movement during my early years as an undergraduate physics student at York University, and continued through my work in Johannesburg at the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre helping youth overcome the systemic barriers that remained post-apartheid. My commitment was reinforced while training to become a lawyer at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto as I advised physicians on the importance of respecting patients’ civil liberties while assessing whether they should be admitted and treated involuntarily.

Having immigrated to Canada from the Middle East in 2001, I have an acute understanding of, and appreciation for, the privileges of being a member of Canadian society. We enjoy civil liberties that many people around the world are paying a heavy price to access. Apathy and complacence are not an option at a time when we are witnessing concerted efforts to limit our civil liberties and rights, from mass indiscriminate surveillance, to the denial of adequate healthcare to refugees.

My background as an immigrant, professional experience as a lawyer and demonstrated commitment to human rights inspire me to join the BCCLA’s Board and contribute to the association’s mandate of ensuring the protection and enhancement of our civil liberties.