Menu
< class="what-entry-title">We’re hiring for a Staff Counsel (Policy)!>
Posted on

The BCCLA seeks a lawyer who is passionate about using their legal skills to uphold civil liberties and human rights in Canada.

The position will commence as soon as possible. Applications close on September 16, 2016. Apply here.

About us: The BC Civil Liberties Association is one of Canada’s leading social and democratic justice not-for-profit organizations. With a mandate that includes work on police accountability, government transparency, voting rights, prisoners’ rights, national security issues and women’s rights, we are one of the most vibrant and visible advocacy groups in Canada. The BCCLA is a small team with a big reach, and we want you to be a part of our work.

About the position:

The successful candidate will work on a wide range of constitutional and administrative issues to uphold rights in Canada. We are working on a wide range of issues including: the rights impacts of national security law, solitary confinement, privacy, discrimination and racial profiling, patients’ rights, police and CBSA accountability, criminal law reform, and many more.

It is expected that the candidate will have the capacity and appetite to become a national-level thought leader on the issues on which they work.

The counsel in this position will have the following principal responsibilities:

  • Engaging in law and policy reform research, writing and advocacy;
  • Developing and delivering public legal education resources and events;
  • Engaging with media regularly;
  • External collaboration with coalitions and diverse allies to achieve common objectives; internal collaboration with legal and non-legal staff on organizational projects and objectives;
  • Managing project budgets and working with development staff to source funding, and prepare updates and reports for funders and the BCCLA board, including financial reporting;
  • Providing support to policy director, executive director and litigation director on an as-needed basis;
  • While this position is envisioned as principally a law reform/policy position, all lawyers may be involved in cross-cutting work that includes work on BCCLA’s litigation and other organizational functions such as planning.

About you:

You possess the following attributes:

  • You are a top-notch legal thinker with strong legal research, analysis, writing and advocacy skills – you can quickly analyze a new statute, policy or judicial decision and understand the key human rights and civil liberties issue at stake and formulate a creative and pragmatic response;
  • You are someone who is eager to thoughtfully challenge and argue in service of the BCCLA’s objectives;
  • You have excellent problem-solving and divergent thinking skills;
  • You have well-developed relationship-building and inter-personal skills;
  • You possess an understanding of the state of civil liberties and human rights in Canada, of current events and the political environment, and the ability to identify and prioritize the areas of opportunity to advance the BCCLA’s cause;
  • You have dynamic communications skills with an aptitude for public and media communications and community outreach – You can communicate the BCCLA’s legal analysis in a way that is credible, understandable and relatable to members of the public, media, to the academy and policy makers alike;
  • You are a comfortable public speaker;
  • You can analyze and articulate legal concepts and communicate them to a variety of audiences, including to the public and policymakers;
  • You are able to strike the right tone to be effective in a variety of settings, whether community meetings, meetings with allied groups, testifying before a Parliamentary committee or press conferences;
  • You are a thoughtful strategist with an aptitude developing proactive law reform solutions;
  • You are capable of working in a self-directed and self-learning way, with appropriate support from your colleagues;
  • You have experience in supporting and advancing organizational goals and are comfortable with project and budget management;
  • You are committed to the organizational goals of the BCCLA;
  • You are able to able thrive in highly charged situations and adapt to changing conditions to get the job done.

The successful candidate will work on a wide variety of issues. Important current focuses of our work include national security and human rights; criminal law and sentencing reform including discrimination against Indigenous people and people of colour; drug policy; police and Canada Border Services Agency accountability and reform; civil forfeiture and many more. Candidates need not have a current understanding of each of these areas but an aptitude to engage on a range of issues simultaneously is a requirement of the position.

Experience and Qualifications:

  • Demonstrated interest in and commitment to human rights, civil liberties and social justice is an asset;
  • Member of the Law Society of British Columbia or eligible for call to the BC Bar;
  • J.D. or LLB degree; other advanced degrees an asset;
  • Preference is for a minimum of three but preferably at least five years of legal and law reform experience;
  • Excellent legal research and writing skills;
  • Ability to engage in complex legal analysis and fact investigation in an impact litigation setting;
  • Excellent oral and written communication and analytic skills;
  • Excellence in media and public relations or potential to develop it;
  • A deep understanding of the national and provincial policy environment in which we conduct our work is an asset;
  • Experience in community outreach preferably including work with marginalized communities a strong asset;
  • Ability and willingness to travel periodically within BC and Canada;
  • Ability to work long hours when needed, for an employer that strives to ensure its employees can enjoy a balanced lifestyle;
  • Ability to work independently as well as within a team; and
  • Ability to manage several projects in a fast-paced work environment.

Compensation

Salary is based on the BCCLA’s Salary Structure, and commencing at $60,000 for a first year call and proceeding through to $90,000 for 16th year of call and beyond. Benefits include extended health and dental plan for the employee, spouse and dependents, a life insurance plan, as well as four weeks’ annual vacation and generous sick leave policy. Our progressive workplace environment includes the possibility for flexible work arrangements. Although the position will begin as a one-year contract position, our intention is to continue the position as permanent if funding is available. We are also open to discussing a longer initial term length for an appropriate candidate.

Application and Selection Process

We are accepting applications here until September 16th, 2016.

The BCCLA offers a welcoming and respectful work environment. The BCCLA is an equal opportunity employer that is committed to building an inclusive and diverse workplace, and encourages applications from all qualified applicants. We encourage applicants from traditionally underrepresented or marginalized groups including Indigenous people, people of colour and queer people to self-identify in their covering letter or in the body of their email when they send us their application.

Please submit your resume and cover letter as PDFs. In your cover letter, please include up to two writing samples as appendices: one sample of your legal writing, and, if available, one sample of your writing for a public audience. Please provide the contact information for three professional references in the designated field.

When submitting your application, please name and save your attachments with your first and last name in the title, in the format: “Ann_Smith_Cover_Letter.pdf” and “Ann_Smith_Resume.pdf.”

Candidates are invited to share their LinkedIn and Twitter profiles, but are in no way expected or required to do so.

Closing date: September 16, 2016

We thank all applicants for their interest, but we will respond only to candidates who are being considered for an interview.

Interviews will be conducted by BCCLA staff at our office in Vancouver. The BCCLA will make appropriate accommodations if needed for candidates that we interview.

< class="what-entry-title">In memory of Elayne Shapray>
Posted on

We wish to share with our friends and supporters a few words about a tireless advocate, and our friend, Elayne Shapray.

Volunteer, activist, spokesperson, and indomitable spirit. Born on Sept. 30, 1946, in Montreal; Elayne died on May 2, 2016, in Vancouver, of a consensual physician-assisted death, age 69.

This tribute to Elayne was written by her husband Howard Shapray.

Elayne and HowardIn 1968, when I met the woman who would become my wife until her death did us part, Elayne Auerbach was a nurse working with disturbed children in a child psychiatry ward. Early on she told me that that was not her career of choice. She had wanted to become a doctor working in the jungle villages of Africa alongside Albert Schweitzer, aiding sick and dying people who knew no hope. How ironic that she would, at the end of her life, fulfill her goal while sitting in a wheelchair in Vancouver, fighting for the constitutional rights of future generations of suffering, incurably ill people.

When she was not being a wife and guiding light of two children and four grandchildren who she cherished above all else, Elayne gave her life to volunteerism. She was a doer. Although she sat on the boards of numerous community institutions, she was always happiest when she got her hands dirty working in the trenches with society’s outcasts and underprivileged; clothing the poor and helpless through a coat drive she ran for 20 years, educating disadvantaged children with a mobile preschool she helped to establish, adopting a Russian refugee family, creating a welcoming drop-in centre for lonely seniors, counselling distraught people at a family planning clinic or crisis centre, or tending to the dying in Vancouver General Hospital’s palliative care unit. Volunteer work energized Elayne and fuelled her existence.

During her 15 years as a volunteer in the palliative care unit, she saw how cruel and wrenching death could be in spite of morphine drips and other forms of palliative sedation.

For almost 20 years, Elayne hid the fact that she was afflicted with a form of progressive multiple Elayne Shapray in bubblesclerosis from her many friends, allowing them to speculate as her ability to walk began to disappear. Her smile and her often sardonic sense of humour was the mask she adopted, until her last breath, to protect her friends and family from the truth of her suffering.

In 2011, ravaged by her interminable disease, Elayne surrendered her privacy by lending her voice to become a witness in the most important human-rights lawsuit of her generation, Carter v. Attorney-General of Canada. Later she became one of the most visible and outspoken advocates for the cause of physician-assisted dying in Canada. Her fight for dignity and justice became the focus of media coverage in Canada and the United States as the issue worked its way through the courts. Elayne relished her role as a spokesperson for a cause dear to her conscience – ending the unconstitutional repression of individual autonomy by denying the choice to experience a “good death.” She was dismayed by the government’s attempt to deprive her and thousands like her who have untreatable illnesses that progress indefinitely, but where a natural death is not “reasonably foreseeable.”

Elayne died at the time and place of her choosing in the presence of a caring physician. Hers was by any reasonable definition a “good death” – smiling, joking, surrounded by best friends and family as she peacefully slipped away into her final slumber, instructing me to, and hoping others would, continue her fight for fundamental justice.

Howard Shapray is Elayne’s husband.

< class="what-entry-title">Water is Life>
Posted on
Drinking_fountain

Darwin Bell/Wikimedia Commons

 

110.

That’s how many people died in the Lower Mainland during a one-week heat wave in 2009 – a 40% increase in mortality compared to an average week. And as new research out of UBC shows, the bulk of those deaths occurred in high poverty areas of the city.

SOCIAL DETERMINANTS OF HEALTH

It’s probably no surprise that people living in poorer areas are at a greater risk of dying during a heat wave. It’s increasingly well-known that the “social determinants of health” – the social and economic factors that influence people’s health – are critical to understanding and addressing health outcomes and inequities. The primary factors that shape the health and well-being of Canadians are not medical treatments or lifestyle choices but rather the living conditions they experience. The health of a community is shaped by how income and wealth are distributed; whether or not we are employed, and if so, the working conditions we experience; the health and social services we receive; and our ability to obtain quality education, food and housing.

When the World Health Organization’s Commission on Social Determinants of Health published its final report, it concluded that “social injustice is killing people on a grand scale.” Clear evidence of this exists in our own backyard.

A LETHAL COMBINATION

UBC researchers used the Vancouver Area Neighbourhood Deprivation Index (VANDIX), a public health research tool that measures social and material deprivation factors including education, employment, income, and single parent family status, to study how extreme heat affects different populations in different parts of the city. They found that heat exposure and social vulnerability can be a lethal combination, with higher rates of death in higher poverty areas of the city, most particularly in the Downtown Eastside.

Some possible explanations: some rooms in Single Room Occupancy hotels (SROs) don’t have windows that open. People who are unemployed aren’t escaping to air conditioned offices. Poorer areas often lack trees and shady park spaces and are covered instead with asphalt and cement. And people with mobility challenges and other barriers may not be travelling to local service providers and community spaces to seek assistance and respite from the heat.

PUBLICLY ACCESSIBLE DRINKING FOUNTAINS

Publicly accessible drinking fountains are an important public health response to the problems of heat stroke and dehydration. Many vulnerable Vancouver residents, particularly people living in poverty and experiencing homelessness, rely on publicly accessible drinking fountains to meet their basic water needs.

The 2009 heat wave was a major driver in the City of Vancouver’s creation of an Extreme Heat Plan, which sees the installation of temporary water fountains around the city when temperatures climb past 31 degrees. Media reports indicate that the City is currently doing a risk assessment to determine whether more fountains are needed in particularly vulnerable areas, like the Downtown Eastside.

A CIVIL LIBERTY AND HUMAN RIGHT

Access to clean drinking water is an essential human need that deserves to be protected as a civil liberty and human right. At the BCCLA we believe that the right to water should be recognized and protected in legislation and policy by all levels of government. Urgent action is required to address the shameful lack of clean water on too many First Nations reserves, and access to clean drinking water must be treated as a public health priority.

To that end, we’ve written to the City of Vancouver urging them to take immediate action to improve the accessibility of public drinking fountains, with a special focus on vulnerable areas like the Downtown Eastside and other high risk areas identified in the research. Water is life, and our ability to access it should not depend on where we live.

See our Right to Water position paper here.

Read the letter we sent to the City here.

< class="what-entry-title">We did it!>
Posted on

You brought us to our goal!Crowdfunder funded- julia

What incredible week. In just 6 hours we raced passed our initial goal of $25,000. Then, just over a week after launching our crowdfunder, we hit $75,000!

We continue to be floored by the generosity, passion, and commitment of this amazing community. You have already fought so long and so hard to ensure access to physician-assisted dying for those who are suffering intolerably. After our victory at the Supreme Court of Canada last year, none of us expected to have to do this again.

But we were left with no choice, and so we have come together again. We will make sure that suffering Canadians are not left behind. It’s your unflagging support that will bring this case to victory.

Thank you for standing with Julia Lamb, with suffering Canadians, and with this amazing community, for compassion and respect for choice.

Now the hard work begins. We will continue to send updates and new information about the case as it progresses. For timely updates, make sure you follow us on Facebook and Twitter. And keep an eye on our website, where we’ll continue to receive donations and update the case page as new information becomes available: www.bccla.org/lamb

Your support is the reason we’ve made it this far. Thank you for standing with us.

Sincerely,

Josh Paterson, Executive Director, and the BCCLA team.

< class="what-entry-title">Where Did the Stingray Inquiry Go? >
Posted on

stingray

On Monday, July 25, 2016 BCCLA Policy Director Micheal Vonn will be speaking at the International Society for the Reform of Criminal Law conference in Halifax, N.S. Her talk “Neither Confirm Nor Deny: British Columbia Grapples with Whether Police Need to Come Clean on the use of IMSI Catchers/Stingrays”, delves into B.C.’s experience trying to get to the truth about the use of these controversial surveillance devices.

The Inquiry into the Vancouver Police Department’s (VPD) records on surveillance devices known as “Stingrays” has been scuttled.

“Stingrays”, also known as “IMSI Catchers” are devices that mimic cell phone towers to intercept information about and from cell phones in a given area. These cell-site simulators trick nearby mobile devices into connecting, revealing the phone’s location and data transmissions, including texts, emails and even voice conversations.

In 2015 Pivot Legal Society, filed Freedom of Information (FOI) requests to find out whether Vancouver police have bought one for use. The answer they got, left them with more questions.

The VPD, said that it would neither confirm nor deny the existence of any such records using an exemption to access to information which shields disclosures that “harm the effectiveness of investigative techniques and procedures used or likely to be used in law enforcement.”

In response, the BC Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner (OIPC) launched an Inquiry into the VPD’s refusal to respond to the freedom of information request.

VICTORY? NOT QUITE THAT SIMPLE

The Inquiry was to determine whether the VPD could refuse to respond to the request for information.  And we are not going to know the answer to that question, because the Inquiry has folded. 

It folded because mid-Inquiry the VPD “volunteered” the information, making the Inquiry moot.  And this should be a victory of course, because we got the information we’d been seeking.  Only it’s not quite that simple…

The first problem is that, with the folding of the Inquiry, we’ve lost the opportunity to get clarification on how the “neither confirm nor deny” provision in the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act is supposed to work. In our submission to the Inquirywe said that the VPD did not meet the test for this exemption and should never have used it in the first place.  Access to information is a critical tool for governmental accountability and it could be years before we see a clarification of this provision, which now has to await another case.

Stingrays“WE GOT NOTHING”

Meanwhile, what did we learn from the “volunteered” disclosures?  Well, here they are in their entirety:

As you noted in your Submission, since the filing of your complaint and review, information about the device commonly referred to as an IMEI Device or IMSI Catcher has been accessed through court records in Canada and reported on by media organizations.  In consideration of all the relevant circumstances, the Vancouver Police advises that it does not have this device and does not hold records responsive to your access request of July 23, 2015.

Presumably the first draft of this letter was something along these lines:

Ha-ha-ha.  All that work on your part and we never had nothing in the first place!  Wa-ha-ha.

But there are very important questions that flow from this response.

On the substantive side, the question is not whether the VPD “has” such a device, but whether it has access to one.   That is a distinction that is incredibly important in light of the news reports from Motherboard and Vice News that the RCMP has allowed other police departments to use the RCMP’s Stingrays or has given other police departments access to the data captured from their Stingrays.  We are signed on to this letter requesting that the VPD clarify whether it has access to the RCMP’s devices or access to data collected from the RCMP’s devices.

On the procedural side, the question is how it is possible that one of the biggest municipal police forces in the country has “no records responsive” to a request for records about one of the most talked about police surveillance devices in this and many other countries?  No memos, no briefing notes, no emails, no agenda items for discussion, no deliberations recorded in meeting minutes?  Nothing!  How is that possible  — unless you’re practicing the “oral governance” technique of deliberately not putting things in writing to avoid having them accessed through freedom of information?

Surely “we got nothing” is a little hard to understand in this context.

SO, WHERE ARE WE NOW?

So, where are we now? We are awaiting a response from the VPD on the questions about the RCMP’s devices.  And while the BC Inquiry was set to be precedent setting, ours is not the only jurisdiction attempting to get police to provide information about Stingrays.  Between advocates and intrepid media reporters we are going to get the real story on how these mass surveillance devices are being used in domestic policing.  And then our work will be to shape how (and if) these devices can be used in compliance with individuals’ Charter rights.  These, after all, are mass surveillance devices, not targeted individual surveillance devices and how (and if) they can be used in a Charter-compliant fashion has yet to be decided.

And none of this is as it should be.  Public interest organizations, the media and courts should not be playing hide n’ seek with the police to get information about whether they are breaching our Charter rights.  New technologies that necessitate controls in order to be used lawfully by the police should not be allowed to be hidden and insulated from constitutional scrutiny.  The media stories on the RCMP’s devices say they have been used for a decade.  It is likely that, as with the recent case about cell phone tower dumps that we reference in our submission on Stingrays (at page 14) ,we are going to find out that people’s rights were violated for years on mass.

ACCOUNTABILITY ON THE FRONT END

We’ve got a huge accountability deficit with “innovative” devices and techniques used in Canadian policing.  And while we need to have effective investigative tools in the hands of the police, too often the claimed need for secrecy has prevented appropriate accountability.  One of our aims is to bring the accountability piece to the front end of this process, instead of filing access requests to uncover rights violations that may have been occurring for years.

< class="what-entry-title">Victory: deportation is not entertainment>
Posted on

cbsa

In 2013 the BCCLA joined a coalition of impacted families, human rights groups and community organizers advocating for the cancellation of the “Border Security” reality TV show.

Today, we are celebrating victory.

Amidst sustained public outcry and a finding by the federal Privacy Commissioner that it had broken the law, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has finally agreed to end its involvement in the controversial show.

The death knell for this show came in the form of findings from the federal Privacy Commissioner.  A privacy complaint was brought by the BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) in 2013 on behalf of Oscar Mata Duran, who was removed to Mexico following a CBSA raid of his Vancouver workplace in 2013. The federal Privacy Commissioner found that CBSA broke the law by participating in the show’s production, violating key provisions of the Privacy Act, and relying on inadequate consent.

In his decision, the federal Privacy Commissioner found that the “consent” the CBSA relied on to justify the disclosure of people’s private information was grossly insufficient. “[I]n large part due to the context in which filming occurs, individuals are not providing full and informed consent to the disclosure of their personal information, as would be required by the Act,” he wrote.

20160613_101717

Diana Thompson,who campaigned against the show after her husband was illegally filmed and then deported.

At least seven other men at the construction site were also non-consensually filmed and deported following the raid. “This is actually difficult news for us to hear given all the hardship our family suffered,” says Diana Thompson, an Indigenous mother whose husband Tulio Renan Hernandez was filmed and deported to Honduras after the raid. “CBSA should never have been involved with a show that exploits families’ pain in the first place. We are grateful for all our supporters that stood with us for three years.”

Ms. Thompson authored a petition that garnered 25,000 signatures and forced the episode featuring the raid off the air. She was joined by 90 human rights groups including Amnesty International, Idle No More, Canadian Labour Congress and the Canadian Bar Association asserting that deportation is not entertainment. In addition, as part of the Cancel Border Security Campaign, 250 actors, directors, screenwriters, authors producers and musicians who released an open letter challenging the show’s ethics on informed consent.

Alejandra López Bravo of the group Sanctuary Health said “This decision is an important recognition that everyone has human rights regardless of immigration status. Unfortunately CBSA continues to act unfairly off camera with the migrant workers who grow our food, raise our kids and build our cities, and families continue to live in fear of accessing basic services such as health, education and workplace safety. That needs to change too!”

Zool Suleman

Lawyer Zool Suleman

While this is a critical recognition of the misconduct by the CBSA in their treatment of migrants, we must not lose sight of the continued injustices against migrants like Oscar who are held in detention for months or years without charge. In 2015 there were 2,458 migrants detained in Canada for 232,266 days, and 93 percent of refugee claimants were held without any allegations of causing a threat to public safety. The detention of migrants is unjustifiable and we must end immigration detention.”

Ultimately, this show is yet another reminder of what still needs to be done.

Oscar’s lawyer Zool Suleman captures our sentiment exactly: “CBSA needs independent public oversight now, not tomorrow, now.” 

We expect law enforcement across the country to heed these findings and commit to focusing on their responsibility to keep communities safe, not exploit them for for-profit ‘entertainment’.

< class="what-entry-title">Calling for a Public Inquiry on Canada’s transfer of Afghan detainees to torture>
Posted on

KAJAKI, Afghanistan – British Sgt. Rab McEwan, Kajaki Operational Mentoring Liaison Team, discusses the local situation with a local resident via a translator and Afghan National Army soldier during a patrol north of the Kajaki Dam here June 17, 2008. The ANA soldiers work closely with the British soldiers of the OMLT, which provides mentorship and liaison assistance with ISAF. The ISAF soldiers are responsible for the security of the dam as well as working with the Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police to assist in security for local villages. The dam provides electricity for the majority of Helmand province and Kandahar as well as irrigation control for the region. (ISAF photo by Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Duran, U.S. Army)

Yesterday, human rights lawyer and BCCLA Board Member Paul Champ stood with coalition members from across the country to present an open letter in the House of Commons calling for the government to launch a Commission of Inquiry into the transfer of hundreds of detainees to Afghan authorities during Canada’s military mission in that country.

There is overwhelming evidence that during this mission, in spite of very clear and credible risks of torture, detainees were transferred and tortured. This suggests strongly that Canada’s conduct in Afghanistan is in serious breach of its international obligations and fails to live up to basic Charter principles.

However, no one knows exactly how many detainees who were in Canadian custody were tortured, disappeared or died under Afghan custody – partly due to the lack of a rigorous monitoring regime for the conditions of detainees, and partly due to the cloud of secrecy the previous government relentlessly maintained over this matter. Citing operational security concerns, the previous government refused to provide uncensored information to the public, Parliament, the Federal Court, and the Military Police Complaints Commission (MPCC).  

This is unfinished business of the most serious kind: accountability for alleged serious violations of Canadian and international laws prohibiting perpetration of, and complicity in, the crime of torture.

The BCCLA has maintained for years that access to documents is essential to resolve inconsistencies between government-issued statements, and those documents that have been made public thus far. We need an independent commission with full access to documents and witnesses to resolve these inconsistencies and get to the truth. There is simply no other way to learn whether Canadian officials knew whether prisoners captured by the Canadian forces were being transferred to torture.

Read the open letter here:

English

Français

< class="what-entry-title">Your MP needs to hear from you today.>
Posted on

BC_Civil_Liberties_portraits001

Bottom line: The federal government of Canada has proposed assisted dying legislation that is much more restrictive than what the Supreme Court decided. The proposed legislation, Bill C-14, would leave out entire categories of Canadians, and restrict access only to those Canadians whose death is reasonably foreseeable. It is a violation of the Charter rights recognized by the Supreme Court in Carter v. Canada.

MPs will have a free vote in the House of Commons in less than 48 hours. We are already seeing that MPs who are hearing from their constituents are starting to understand just how important these changes are. Your MP needs to hear from you before then.

 

Contact your representative


Call your MP at their constituency office

noun_401509_ccUse this tool to find your MP using your area code: http://bit.ly/2322Ylm

Calling your MP at their constituency office in your community can be a better way to reach them than at their Parliamentary office in Ottawa.


Tweet your MP

noun_169354_ccConsider tweeting at your MP or finding them on Facebook. It might seem odd, but while most calls or emails will be received by staff, personal social media accounts are often still managed by your MP themselves. It can be a great way to reach them directly, and publicly. Find your MP’s twitter handle here: http://politwitter.ca/page/canadian-politics-twitters/mp/house


Email your MP

noun_106009_ccOur friends at Dying with Dignity Canada have put together a pre-written email that you can send to your MP, and the Minister of Justice.

Customize it, or send it right away: http://bit.ly/1qoSBeH

 

 

If Bill C-14 passes, suffering Canadians will be forced to return to court to fight for their rights again.

With respect, we do not accept the Justice department’s analysis that their new bill complies with the Carter decision or the Charter of Rights.  Justice department lawyers have been wrong in their analysis of assisted dying for years. Their analysis and arguments lost in Court. And they are wrong now.

They are wrong in characterizing the Supreme Court’s decision as being limited only to those who are nearing the end of their life. This case was not just about helping people to ease their dying process, but about allowing people who are not dying to escape intolerable suffering.

Bill C-14 must be amended to comply with the Carter v. Canada decision.

We are urging Parliament to amend Bill C-14 to ensure that it does not condemn Canadians to indefinite suffering simply because their death is not just around the corner.

Your voice can make all the difference. Debate on the legislation has just started in Parliament. Your MP needs to hear your voice before they vote on the proposed assisted dying bill. 

“The way government’s supposed to work”

After hearing from her constituents over the weekend, Toronto MP Yasmin Ratansi says Bill C-14 is much more restrictive than what her constituents want.

“Bottom line is I’d like to see some changes to suit my constituents’ needs and to respect the Carter (decision) as a benchmark,”  Ms. Ratansi said in an interview. “At the moment, they feel … that the bill has not met the benchmark. I don’t want people who are suffering to go to court and to (have to) challenge to get their rights.”

Toronto Liberal MP Adam Vaughan, parliamentary secretary to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said that the government is open to having debate on the bill and to making some changes and it has vowed to let MPs vote freely.

“I think now you’re looking at a process where Canadians, through their members of Parliament, can effect the changes they want to see … That’s the way government’s supposed to work,” Vaughan said in this CBC article.

Poll after poll tells us that more than 80% of Canadians support the right of  Canadians to make their own decisions about how much suffering to endure. This bill does not reflect their opinions, or those of the Supreme Court of Canada or the advice of the Parliamentary committee on medically assisted dying.

Members of the government are stating publicly that it is not too late to make changes to this bill to better align it with the Carter decision and the Charter of Rights, but they need to hear from you today.

We are not in the courts anymore. It’s up to you and I to convince our MPs to amend this bill.

Raise your voice. Contact your MP today.

< class="what-entry-title">>
Posted on

House of Commons Section

Find your Member of Parliament using your Postal Code

Note: The dataset provided by Elections Canada uses residential postal codes from the Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act of 2011 for the current 338 electoral districts; therefore, postal codes associated with business or government entities, for example, may not return results. If your postal code does not return a result, or provides an unexpected result, please consult  Elections Canada’s  advanced search function.

Related Link: Styles of address – Federal dignitaries

Source : Elections Canada.

Search Criteria


^

< class="what-entry-title">Welcome Maggie Knight, BCCLA’s Operations Manager>
Posted on

13002539_10153592021008602_8817816260092728767_o

Please extend a huge welcome to Maggie Knight, BCCLA’s first Operations Manager. Maggie has just joined the team last week.

Previously, Maggie ran communications and operations at RADIUS, a social innovation lab and venture incubator housed at SFU’s Beedie School of Business.

She served as President of McGill’s undergraduate student union during the Quebec student strike (2011-2012) and led the organizational development of start-up political advocacy non-profit Leadnow.ca as their first Managing Director.

Maggie holds a BASc in Environment (Honours) and Economics from McGill University, and has advocated for justice and human rights with organizations such as Journalists for Human Rights, Canadian Friends Service Committee, the Canadian Youth Climate Coalition, and Amnesty International. She enjoys working with social and environmental justice organizations to build teams, culture, and organizational infrastructure that empower everyone to do their best work.

Maggie is passionate about transforming structural injustices and building people powered movements that can hold governments accountable. Raised on Coast Salish Territories in Victoria, she lived in Montreal and Halifax before coming to call Vancouver home.

Maggie is joining the team after our dearest former Office Manager Jim Braunagel retired, after more than 15 years with us at BCCLA. We wish Jim a happy retirement!