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Surveillance, Prostitution, and Democratic Rights

Dear ,

The first month of 2014 has brought so much action to the BCCLA that we hardly knew what to feature. In this issue of the Civil Liberties Update we cover:

  • The Day We Fight Back Against Mass Surveillance
  • Canada's Prostitution Laws Struck Down!
  • Voter ID Laws are Undemocratic and Unnecessary
  • Civil Forfeiture and Police Record Checks
  • More to Come: Accountability for Death in Custody

The Day We Fight Back

On February 11th, more than 3700 websites will take part in an international day of action, urging our supporters to oppose mass surveillance.

Revelations of spying on Canadians in airports and other public spaces exposes the frequently repeated line that CSEC is not spying on its own people. Listen to Caily DiPuma discuss on Power and Politics.

This secretive, expensive, and out of control surveillance must end. It's time to Stop Illegal Spying. Visit www.bccla.org on February 11th to find out how you can take part in a Canadian action.

Supreme Court Strikes Down Prostitution Laws!

In a historic decision in the Bedford case, Canada's highest court struck down all three provisions of the Criminal Code concerning prostitution.

The BCCLA intervened in this case. We have long-advocated for sensible and compassionate legal responses to issues surrounding sex work. Read more here.

Canada's Voter ID Rules are Undemocratic and Unnecessary

Requiring voter ID without effective safeguards for those without ID is regressive and undemocratic.

It reverses the historic trend toward expanding the right to vote. It silences those most marginalized and vulnerable in our society. And that’s the real threat to the integrity of our democratic system. Read more here.

Civil Forfeiture Goes Too Far.

Civil forfeiture appeared in The National Post, The Globe and Mail, and again via the Globe's Gary Mason this week.

BCCLA maintains that "confiscat[ing] private property on the say-so of an investigation that wouldn‟t even support a criminal prosecution goes too far". Read more here.

Would a Police Record Check Cost You a Job?

What a lot of people don’t know is that most of the time police record checks are not actually a criminal record check: these police information checks actually turn up far more than just someone’s criminal record. Read more here.

More to Come: Accountability for Death in Custody

News of the tragic death of Lucia Vega Jiménez revealed that the woman died more than a month ago while in Canada Border Services Agency Custody.

Her death highlights the lack of appropriate oversight for Canada's border security agency. Watch for more action from us on this case. See Executive Director Josh Paterson discuss the issue here.

Freedom Means Different Things to Each of Us...

But we all deserve it equally.

Education. Litigation. Policy.  Advocacy. Casework. Your contributions make our work possible.

Support human rights and civil liberties in Canada by becoming a monthly donor or a member of the association. Read more here.

The BCCLA gratefully acknowledges the financial support provided by The Law Foundation of BC and the BC Gaming and Enforcement Branch of the Ministry of Public Safety.