CPD Course: Criminal and Civil Liability for War Crimes, Genocide and Torture

October 13
9:00 am

Info >>

Canadian Civil Liberties Association Rightswatch conference

October 13
1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

David Eby, Police Oversight and Accountability
Info >>

The Social Cost of National Security

October 19
9:00 am

Carmen Cheung, speaker

Info >>

BCASW Fall Conference

November 2
1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Human Rights and Civil Liberties Strategies for Social Workers
Info >>

Media Democracy Day

November 3
12:00 pm

Micheal Vonn, speaker
Info >>

8th Annual Youth, Civil Liberties and Citizenship Forum

November 21
SFU Harbour Centre
9:00 am

Info >>

Quality Improvement in Health Care Conference

November 30
9:30 am

Micheal Vonn, speaker

Info >>

Support Our Work

Your generous donations make protecting rights and freedoms in Canada possible.

Support the work of the BCCLA


Lindsay LysterDear friends,

A $40,000 matching donation could be on its way to the BC Civil Liberties Association! Donations to the BCCLA in October will be matched dollar for dollar up to that amount, thanks to a very generous donor. I hope you will help us make the best of this exciting challenge and donate to the BCCLA by October 31, 2012.

The matching donor was inspired to support the BCCLA through our work in our Dying with Dignity challenge, or Carter et al vs. Canada. They also recognize that taking on such monumental challenges does – and will continue to – take financial resources in order to ensure that rights and freedoms are protected for all people in Canada.

Participating in this donation matching drive is a special and timely opportunity to show your support for human rights and freedoms in Canada, and have your contribution go even further. By donating today, your support will go twice as far to help challenge the laws criminalizing medically-assisted dying in the courts.

As Canada’s oldest civil liberties group, we’ve been protecting and enhancing human rights for the past fifty years. We rely on the support from individual people to protect our basic rights and freedoms. All donations receive a charitable tax receipt for the full amount.

I hope that you will give generously during this month. You can donate by credit card at this link, or by calling our Development office at 604-630-9750.

Lindsay Lyster

Members Event: Author and Activist Cory Doctorow

Cory DoctorowWe love our members! One way we hope to show our appreciation for the ongoing support of BCCLA members is by extending invitations to exclusive events. In October, the BCCLA is pleased to extend this special invite to our members:

On Monday Oct. 22, 2012 from 11:00 am-12:00 noon, Cory Doctorow will be delivering a lecture entitled ‘An Appliance Is A Computer With Spyware On It Out Of The Box’ at the Centre for Digital Media (CDM).

Cory Doctorow is a science fiction author, activist, journalist and blogger — the co-editor of Boing Boing and the author of novels For the Win and the bestselling Little Brother. He is the former European director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and co-founded the UK Open Rights Group.

Our friends at the CDM have graciously allowed the BCCLA to invite up to 50 members to attend this highly anticipated event.

Event Details:
What: Cory Doctorow lecture and book signing
When: Monday, October 22nd 11:00 -12:00 noon
Where: Centre for Digital Media 685 Great Northern Way Cost: $10.00 with membership

This event is for members only. Those wishing to attend are welcome to purchase memberships online or by calling BCCLA Membership and Community Outreach Coordinator Charlotte Kingston at 604.630.9750

Register for the event >>

BCCLA launches patients' rights resources on HIV testing

HIV HandbookThe BCCLA is has published two new guides on patient rights in the context of HIV testing. The tremendous benefits of new treatment options for HIV have fostered a push for “routine” HIV testing, but information about patients’ rights has not kept pace. Micheal Vonn, Policy Director of the BCCLA: “Everyone supports the goals of increased access to testing and treatment, but we can’t build a supportive culture for HIV testing by denying people essential information to make their own choices and exercise their rights. There’s been an unfortunate trend to minimizing information for patients that urgently needs to be reversed”....more

Supreme Court decision grants public interest standing to organization run by and for street-based sex workers

SWUAVThe BCCLA successfully intervened to support survival sex workers in their court battle with the federal government just to get their case heard. The Sex Workers United Against Violence society had brought a challenge to Canada’s criminal code provisions on sex work as increasing danger for marginalized women. But the federal government said the group of survival sex workers didn’t have legal “standing” to bring the case. We argued that courts should be generous in giving standing to public interest groups like SWUAV in constitutional cases. ...more

BCCLA asks Translink to investigate free expression issue, again

The BCCLA has written to ask Translink and the Transit Police to investigate allegations that the transit system has again infringed on basic free expression rights. A group of political activists distributing a free publication that discusses international political issues allege that they were arrested and 150 of their newspapers seized in the common area of Metrotown Skytrain Station. They were released without charge, but did not get their newspapers back. Translink’s posted rules, and the BCCLA’s understanding of free expression rights protected under the Charter, permit the distribution of non-commercial information at Skytrain stations in common areas. ...more

Elected officials must defend women’s rights to autonomy

The BCCLA successfully urged elected federal officials to vote against Motion 312, the motion which proposed to re-open a debate within the House of Commons about a woman’s right to access an abortion. Currently, there is no criminal law in relation to abortion in Canada, following the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in R v. Morgentaler in 1988. ...more

Survivors of police use of force to meet in Vancouver

A group of families and friends of individuals seriously injured or killed by police will be meeting in Vancouver to discuss the formation of a new advocacy group. The group is asking families who have lost loved ones who have died in custody or as a result of police action to contact the BC Civil Liberties Association for an invitation to the meeting. ...more

BCCLA welcomes the opening of the Independent Investigation Office

Richard RosenthalThe BCCLA welcomed the news that BC’s new civilian watchdog will be investigating police involved deaths in the province, starting September 10th. The Independent Investigation Office is finally opening its doors after two public inquiries recommended it, years of advocacy for its establishment by the BCCLA, and a call for independent investigations by the BC Association of Chiefs of Police. ...more

BCCLA action gains media equal access to Terrace RCMP releases

The BCCLA has been notified by the TerraceDaily.ca that the RCMP in Terrace are now equitably posting press releases on the provincial RCMP website following action by the BCCLA. Previously, Terrace RCMP had stopped sending releases to TerraceDaily.ca after the news website ran a satirical story critical of local politicians and police officers. ...more

Deal with it! Free Speech, Ethics and the Law in Canada

Deal With ItA new book that aims to promote discussion and careful examination of free speech and the limitations we put on it will be released on October 3, 2012 by the Calgary-based Sheldon Chumir Foundation for Ethics and Leadership.

Deal with it! Free Speech, Ethics and the Law in Canada includes essays by civil libertarians, human rights experts, journalists and academics from across the country.

BCCLA Policy Director Micheal Vonn extends the book’s conversation with her chapter entitled Takin’ it to the Streets: Social Justice Needs Room to Move. Her discussion reminds readers that respect for civil liberties demands not only that we tolerate the content of all kinds of expression, but that we facilitate that expression in practical and on the ground ways.

We commend the Chumir Foundation for this important contribution to our public conversations about human rights and civil liberties in Canada, and we encourage you to check out Micheal’s chapter and the whole book >>

B.C. Civil Liberties Association
900 Helmcken Street, 2nd floor, Vancouver, B.C. V6Z 1B3

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