Nine nasty days for democratic processes and institutions

Premier Doug Ford held a rare midnight session Monday to begin the second reading of Bill 31

On September 10, 2018 Premier Doug Ford rushed in where no Canadian First Minister had ever gone. A few hours earlier, the Superior Court had declared that Bill 5, cutting the size of Toronto City Council from 47 to 25 members in the midst of a civic election season, curbed freedom of expression by candidates and voters and was, thus, in violation of s.2(b) of the Charter. Doug Ford convened a press conference where, while invoking the Notwithstanding Clause of the Charter of Rights, he noted that he would not be shy about using the Clause in the future. His justification “I was elected, the judge was appointed” strikes at the heart of our democratic processes and institutions. Voices-Voix wishes to comment as strengthening these pillars of our democracy is one of its core commitments.

Équiterre accused of breaking election law in Quebec

Sidney Ribaux, executive director for Équiterre, and Graham Saul, executive director for Nature Canada

19 September 2018, Équiterre has accused Quebec's elections watchdog of trying to "muzzle environmental groups," and is defying the watchdog's demand to remove an election campaign survey from its website.

Équiterre received a notice Monday from the Directeur général des élections du Québec (DGEQ) demanding that it pull the questionnaire by midday Wednesday or face a fine up to $50,000.

Charities, 'political activity' and free speech

On August 29, 2018, Pearl Eliadis, a Montreal-based human rights lawyer and long-term Editorial Board member of Voices-Voix, published an article in the Montreal Gazette on the recent developments of the Ontario judgement regarding "Charities, 'political activity' and free speech".

"It's disappointing that Ottawa is appealing a court ruling defending charities' freedom to undertake non-partisan political work."

Joint statement on Canada’s position regarding the detention of Saudi women’s rights defenders

Voices joint other organizations in a statement supporting Canada's position on women human rights defenders in Saudi Arabia and demand their release from detention.

Great day for Freedom of Expression in Canada

Last week, the Ontario Superior Court judge ruled that the Income Tax Act infringes on charities’ constitutional right to free expression and finally overturned the section which limited charities’ ability to speak out on behalf of Canadians.

This is a step in the right direction, however, the ruling can be appealed by the federal government abandoning his promise to “allow charities to do their work on behalf of Canadians...". That’s why it is important to sign the petition once more to tell him to respect the Court's ruling and create a new law protecting Canadians' free speech

Transparency,​ ​Digital​ ​Rights,​ ​and​ ​NAFTA

NAFTA: Don’t trade away our digital rights

August 18, 2017

Voices-Voix signed on to a joint statement by organizations from Mexico, Canada and the United States regarding NAFTA and its implications for our digital rights and democratic rights.

The statement highlights the need for increased transparency and protection of digital rights. It also demands that the NAFTA renegotiation process be more transparent, inclusive and accountable. The implications are also on free expression, privacy and democratic rights.

An excerpt from the statement:

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