Human Rights

Asad Ansari

Asad Ansari, a Canadian-Pakistani dual citizen, faced the revocation of his Canadian Citizenship under the provisions of Bill C-24 (Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act). Convicted of terrorism charges under section 83.18(1) of the Criminal Code, and therefore facing revocation of his citizenship, Ansari joined the BCCLA and CARL in their challenge of the constitutionality of the law. The law is now in the process of being amended, under Bill C-6 (currently in front of the Senate). Mr. Ansari has retained his Canadian citizenship, but concerns continue to exist that C-6 does not go far enough in protecting other citizens from revocation of status.

First Nations Child and Family Caring Society

First Nations Child and Family Caring Society - Updated

Updated study: Chronic underfunding of child and family services for 163,000 First Nations children prompted First Nations Child and Family Caring Society to file a discrimination complaint against Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) with the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal in 2007. After almost ten years of litigation and 72 days of hearings, an NDP motion may have forced the Liberal government into action. This is a fully updated version of the study first published in 2011.

Loyalty Oaths and the Public Service

Since 2012, the federal government has instituted a series of legislative and policy changes that threatened the freedom of expression guaranteed to members of the public service, both through their Charter rights as Canadians but also through decisions of the Supreme Court of Canada.

Canadian Unitarian Council

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has told the Canadian Unitarian Council (CUC) that it can no longer work for justice in the world. This is an unexpected development given Prime Minister Trudeau’s Mandate Letter directing the Minister of National Revenue to implement a policy to “allow charities to do their work on behalf of Canadians free of political harassment.”

Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement

On February 22, 2016, the House of Commons passed a Conservative motion to “reject the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement” and “call upon the government to condemn any and all attempts by Canadian organizations, groups or individuals to promote the BDS movement, both here at home and abroad.” The Canadian government has repeatedly silenced criticism of the policies of the state of Israel, as well as discussion of Palestinian human rights.

Canadian Human Rights Commission and Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act

Canadian Human Rights Commission

The Harper government rolled back longstanding human rights protections in Canada by repealing section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act (CHRA).[1] Section 13 prohibited speech inciting hatred of people based on race, religion, sexual orientation and other protected characteristics.

Court Challenges Program

Court Challenges Program

En septembre 2006, le gouvernement Harper a coupé le budget entier du Programme de contestation judiciaire du Canada. Les coupures de financement étant sous l’autorité de l’exécutif seulement, cette décision n’a exigé aucun débat ni ratification de la part de la Chambre des communes.

Public Science

The previous federal Conservative government waged a systematic assault on public science. ​The assault included the natural and social sciences. It was not restricted to government scientists, but ran the full gamut of organizations connected to scientific research: government departments, at arms-length government funded organizations, organizations that funded other research, universities, NGOs and individual researchers who obtained grants through one of the funding agencies, and even included a UN convention conducting research relevant to climate change.

Federal Judicial Appointments

Chambers of the Supreme Court of Canada

An independent and impartial judiciary is a cornerstone of Canada’s constitutional democracy. However, the past decade has seen trends towards political judicial appointments and opaque appointments processes that threaten to undermine the judiciary’s role as protector of the rule of law and facilitator of a robust and diverse Canadian democracy.

Voices-Voix

Voices-Voix logo

Since 2010, Voices-Voix has been documenting the federal government’s treatment of civil society groups, Indigenous organizations, public institutions, and science.

On June 16, 2015 Voices-Voix released a report synthesizing more than 100 case studies, entitled Dismantling Democracy: Stifling debate and dissent in Canada. The report received widespread public attention and was raised by Liberal and NDP MPs in the House. Conservative Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney responded by alleging that Voices-Voix “supports a terrorist group.”

Voices-Voix itself now joins a list of more than 30 groups and individuals targeted by similar official government statements designed to publicly vilify and smear those who express their right to dissent in Canada.

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