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Civil liberties group announces brickbats and bouquets for year 2000

Our third annual reporting of the best defenders of and worst offenders against civil liberties in British Columbia.

Brickbats

  • The Ministry of the Attorney General
    for introducing the Secure Care Act, which permits lengthy detentions of “at risk” youth, when there’s a severe shortage of services for youth available—a “lock ’em up” plan that is sure to fail.
  • The University of Victoria
    for a recent decision under their harassment policy to ban Lorenzo Bouchard from campus for protesting against aboriginal treaties.
  • The University of Victoria Student Society
    for suspending a student anti-abortion club’s official club status because their views are contrary to the student society’s pro-choice policy.
  • Statistics Canada
    for creating a survey that does not tell people that they don’t have to participate, or that their personal health information may be shared with researchers from other agencies.
  • Trankslink
    for having a policy that does not permit the expression of free speech rights on its property, without prior permission, and for enforcing that policy on an electioneer during the last federal election.
  • The City of Vancouver
    for enforcing its anti-postering by-law through criminal prosecution, while at the same time failing to provide adequate postering space.
  • Hope High School (and other high schools throughout the province)
    for creating a “drug free zone” around the high school that implies that any breach would result in double the normal criminal penalty for possession and triple the penalty for Trafficking. The plan also asks students to become police informers.
  • The Director of Film Classification (Ministry of the Attorney General) for trying to impose video surveillance on an adult store as a condition of business.
  • Victoria Police Department
    for raiding the Vancouver Island Compassion Society, which acts as a safe source of medicinal marijuana for people suffering from debilitating diseases.
  • Surrey School Board
    for instituting a club policy aimed at preventing gay-straight student alliances, a policy that undermines freedom of association and student autonomy.

Bouquests:

  • The University of British Columbia
    for ensuring that the free speech rights of anti-abortion protesters were respected during recent protests on campus.
  • The Canadian Senate
    for creating a special committee to investigate the need for harm reduction strategies, rather than continuing to offer blanket support for a never-ending war on drugs.
  • Vancouver Police Department and Police Board
    for rescinding billing policies for policing at political demonstrations and for acknowledging police abuse of civil liberties at Symphony of Fire and the New Year’s Eve celebrations.
  • National Citizens Coalition
    for its timely court challenge to the federal Election Act amendments that sought to ban all but minimal advocacy advertising during campaigns.