BCCLA honours leadership in promoting freedoms in Canada

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The BC Civil Liberties Association is pleased to announce the five honourees for the 2013 Liberty Awards. Under the categories of Excellence in Legal Advocacy, Youth Activism, Journalism, and the Arts, the Liberty Awards celebrate outstanding achievements to protect and promote human rights and freedoms in Canada.

BC Civil Liberties Association President Lindsay Lyster said:  “The Liberty Award recipients are devoted in their own ways to the cause of protecting and expanding hard-won democratic rights and freedoms.  Their principled, creative, and often courageous efforts to do right and seek justice are invaluable – and essential – to promoting a free society in Canada.”

“From successes at the Supreme Court of BC to support the right to choice at the end of life, to in-depth coverage of police investigations, to challenging discrimination through the Arts, the Liberty Award winners showcase the importance of protecting freedoms in Canada.  We are delighted to honour their dedication and efforts at the Liberty Awards Gala.” Said BCCLA Policy Director Micheal Vonn.

The Liberty Award recipients will be honored at the BC Civil Liberties Association ‘s Liberty Awards Gala on Wednesday, June 12, 2013. The evening will also feature a keynote address with BC Civil Liberties Association  founder, the provocative and widely admired Dr. David Suzuki. The list of Liberty Award recipients, as well as tickets, are available on the BC Civil Liberties Association’s website at


Media Contact:

Lindsay Lyster, BCCLA President, 604-710-7227
Micheal Vonn, BCCLA Policy Director,  604-630-9753


About the 2013 Liberty Award Recipients

Full details and photos for the 2013 Liberty Award Recipients can be viewed here.

Sheila Tucker, Lawyer – Excellence in Legal Advocacy – Individual
Sheila Tucker, as co-counsel on Carter v. Canada, secured a watershed victory from the B.C. Supreme Court where the court ruled that the right to die with dignity is protected by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

McCarthy Tetrault – Vancouver Office, Excellence in Legal Advocacy – Firm
Under the guidance of Michael Feder, the Vancouver office of McCarthy Tetrault has shown outstanding leadership through the provision of pro bono legal assistance to support the BCCLA’s mandate of promoting and protecting human rights and civil liberties in Canada.

Openmedia – Excellence in Youth Activism
OpenMedia is a youth-driven organization that fights for the open Internet, working toward informed and participatory digital policy. Led by Steve Anderson, Reilly Yeo, Lindsay Pinto, and Shea Sinnott, Openmedia played a key role in stopping federal legislation that would give unprecedented access to security forces to monitor an individuals’ online activity.

Brian Hutchinson, The National Post – Excellence in Journalism
A journalist at the National Post, Brian Hutchinson is best known to the BCCLA for his investigative journalism on the theme of police accountability. He uncovered the “Cowboy Mountie” who was involved in the 2003 death of Clayton Alvin Willey in Prince George, and his in-depth coverage of the more recent Missing Women Commission of Inquiry was unparalleled.

Shane Koyczan, poet – Excellence in the Arts
A spoken word poet, writer, and performer, Shane Koyczan has received notoriety for his ability to addresses and challenge discrimination through his poetry. He has performed at the 2010 Olympic Opening ceremonies, and his poem ‘To this Day’ has been viewed over 8 million times after being featured at the TED2013 conference.


About the Liberty Awards

Established to commemorate the BCCLA’s 50th anniversary in 2012, the BCCLA’s Liberty Awards recognize outstanding achievements to protect and promote human rights and freedoms in Canada. The 2013 Liberty Awards Gala will take place on Wednesday, June 12, 2013. The evening features a keynote address with BC Civil Liberties Association  founder, the provocative and widely admired Dr. David Suzuki.

Partners of the 2013 Liberty Awards Gala include: International WebexPress Inc, Scandal Brewing, McCarthy Tetrault, CUPE BC, Moore Edgar Lyster, St Hubertus Wines, Ethical Bean Coffee Company, BC Federation of Labour, Martland Saulnier, McGrady & Company, and Colour WebexPress Inc.