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HOTTIES and NAUGHTIES for 2006

HOTTIES:

Maher Arar and Monia Mazigh
In recognition of their dignified and courageous battle to clear Maher’s name and to reform Canadian security procedures.

Dugald Christie
For challenging the tax imposed on legal services and its effect on delivery of legal services to the poor. Also, kudos to his counsel, Darrell Roberts, Q.C., of Miller Thomson who provided pro bono legal services and will carry the torch on to the Supreme Court of Canada.

The Anti Poverty Committee in the Downtown Eastside
For its direct actions drawing public attention to the horrors of homelessness and the role government foot dragging has played in worsening this public scandal.

Mark Holland, Member of Parliament
For his critical support of the BCCLA’s draft Prevention of Torture Act, his work fanning the flames of the Arar scandal, and his willingness to hold the RCMP’s feet to that fire.

The Western Standard
Speaking of journalistic chutzpah, we commend this paper’s audacity in publishing controversial material and reminding us of the value of free speech.

Shannon Kari, Globe and Mail journalist
We’re routinely impressed by his incisive, accurate legal reporting, in particular his lucid and thorough coverage of the death of Ian Bush in police custody.
Peter and Murray Corren Congratulations are definitely in order now that this couple has finally won their 6-year battle to incorporate sexual orientation issues and queer-friendly material into the school curriculum, including a new Grade 12 elective course on social justice.

NAUGHTIES:

Attorney General Wally Oppal
For introducing Bill 30, which rolled back important privacy protections by allowing our personal information to cross the border into the reach of USA Patriot Act.

The City of Vancouver
For its astounding and unprecedented move to keep Pivot Legal Society from ordinary contact with city employees.

The RCMP
This organization has distinguished itself on several fronts this year including its failures in the Arar case and ongoing failures to make anyone within the force accountable and its ongoing opposition to independent investigation of deaths in custody.

The federal government
The Feds have also done some pretty remarkable work undermining freedom by bringing in a “no fly” list for Canada, tabling a “three strikes” law like those that exist in some American states, and proposing legislation (Bill C-31) that would require Canadians to produce ID in order to vote in federal elections which is sure to disenfranchise thousands of eligible voters.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper
For failing to place adequate controls against torture of prisoners of war who are transferred by Canadian armed forces to Afghan authorities.

Vic Toews, federal Minister of Justice Minister and Attorney General
Mr. Toews is hereby granted the dubious honour of Most Absurd Proposal: the addition of police representatives to judicial advisory committees that make recommendations for the appointment of new judges.

Paul Kennedy, Chair of the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP
In deciding to uphold the RCMP’s dismissal of the complaint by the BCCLA against the RCMP in the death of Mr. Ian Bush of Houston, B.C., Mr. Kennedy has sided for delay in independent civilian oversight of police conduct rather than timely investigations of implicated police officers. The BCCLA has now launched five complaints involving incustody deaths over the last two years.

The Government of British Columbia
For denying immediate health insurance coverage to agricultural workers brought into the
country under the Federal Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program.