We often take the rights and freedoms we enjoy in Canada for granted.  Why not?  We have every reason to be proud of what we have achieved as a society. Unfortunately, not everyone enjoys the same benefits of our democracy.  And, many of our precious rights, including ones as basic as citizenship and the right to vote, are under attack and are in danger of being undermined or eliminated. Covert domestic spying on Canadians without oversight is another big issue. We must not stand idly by in face of these dangers. That's why I support and participate in the work of the BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) in defence of our charter and human rights.

 

BCCLA's mandate is to promote, defend, sustain and extend human rights and civil liberties in British Columbia and Canada. This is achieved through four core programs: litigation, law and policy reform, public education and complaint assistance.

 

In recent years, BCCLA has focussed on cases that involve the rights of marginalized and vulnerable persons, including the issues of police accountability and in-custody deaths, particularly in relation to marginalized communities and Indigenous people; missing and murdered Indigenous women; abuse of national security powers; patients’ rights; medical assistance in dying; ending solitary confinement; the protection of freedom of expression and section 2 Charter rights; drug law reform; privacy; and government surveillance.

 

The BCCLA believes in working in coalition or collaboration with networks of community groups, experts, and activists.. These collaborations present the best opportunities for system-wide impacts.

 

© 2016 Paul Schachter

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