Conference report launch: Enabling Civil Society

Tuesday, April 23, 2019 - 16:00
Conference report launch: Enabling Civil Society

The Voices-Voix Coalition in partnership with the Human Rights Research and Education Centre (HRREC), University of Ottawa are pleased to invite you to the launch of an important new report, Enabling Civil Society: Democracy & Dissent featuring Ms Leilani Farha, former member of the Voices-Voix Strategy Group and Executive Director of Canada without Poverty (CWP) and United Nations Special Rapporteur on adequate housing.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019, 4 PM
Alex Trebek Alumni Hall, University of Ottawa
157 Séraphin-Marion, Ontario, ON K1N 6N5


The report builds on the main outcomes of a multidisciplinary and multi-partner conference at McGill University in October 2017, convened by Voices-Voix, the Canadian Council for International Co-operation and the McGill Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism that convened activists, organized labour, academics, and UN mandate-holders for wide-ranging discussions and presentations on an enabling environment for civil society. A brief summary of the report can be found here.

The launch will also serve as the capstone event of the work carried out by the Voices-Voix Coalition since its launch in 2010, responding to serious concerns at that time about laws, policies and measures that were directly threatening the work of civil society groups in Canada and the need to theorize a more robust understanding of the enabling environment. The event will offer an opportunity to reflect on Voices’ challenges and accomplishments over those nine years as well as necessary reforms and changes that remain.

Ms. Farha will speak to CWP’s groundbreaking 2018 court challenge in Canada Without Poverty v. AG Canada and its implications for Charter rights, charity law, and longstanding restrictions on advocacy imposed by the Canada Revenue Agency (see also Voices-Voix' case study).

All are welcome to join this event and the small reception afterwards. As places are limited, we would kindly ask to confirm your attendance by 16 April 2019 via email to the Voices-Voix coordinator, Michaela Mayer. The detailed programme of the event launch will follow shortly.

The conference is hosted by the Human Rights Research and Education Centre (HRREC), University of Ottawa.