Civil Liberties

Robert Nickelsberg via Getty Images

Stephen Harper's Islamophobia Is a Product of Canadian Muslim Apathy

We have seen how "Islamicism" has become a convenient tool for the government to employ a more aggressive foreign policy. Although it's easy for Canadian Muslims to lay blame on the Conservatives and Stephen Harper for such discriminatory and exploitative tactics (and doing so would be justifiable), it would also be disingenuous. The current situation is simply a culmination of years of political apathy from the Muslim community whose voter turnout is consistently below the national average.
CP

Could This Be the Antidote to Bill C-51?

Today's the big day, folks: Wednesday morning, OpenMedia is launching our positive, pro-privacy action plan, packed with ideas from everyday Canadians about how to roll back Bill C-51, end mass surveillance, and restore the privacy rights of everyone who lives in Canada.

Alberta Continues to Erect Human Rights Fences

Bill 10 as a response to Bill 202 makes it clear that students can have any range of clubs they wish, except if it applies to homosexuals, then restrictions apply. Such clubs require school board approval and there is no guarantee that approvals will occur. If a school board or its parents are intolerant in anyway, a board can easily disapprove any homosexual tolerating clubs.
AP

Canada Should Remember the Afghanistan War With Shame

It was five years ago today that Richard Colvin delivered his explosive testimony to a House of Commons committee examining Canada's role in the torture of Afghan detainees. In no uncertain terms, he told the House committee on November 18, 2009, that Canadian Forces personnel were capturing Afghans and turning them over to Afghan authorities to be tortured in contravention of the Geneva Conventions. Indeed, Canada's war in Afghanistan was a shameful episode in our history. There was damage inflicted in Afghanistan and damage done to our democracy and civil liberties at home -- things we ought to reflect on as we now get involved in the new Iraq war.
CP

Canada's New Privacy Legislation Fails

This week, Industry Minister James Moore quietly tabled a new Digital Privacy Act in the Senate. The proposed legislation should safeguard Canadians' privacy online but sadly does not. The proposal is likely to reinforce the feeling that the Conservatives are just bad on privacy issues.
Getty

What Canadians Need to Know About CSEC Spying

Thousands of Canadians are speaking out to defend their privacy rights, after recent revelations that an ultra-secretive government agency is spying on our everyday online activities. This agency, the Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC), was revealed to be systematically collecting the private information of law-abiding citizens, including Canadians, from around the world. This is real.
Getty Images

The Turban Ban Doesn't Teach Kids to Play Fair

If we want our own children to learn to be courageous defenders of rights, we must first engage them in thinking critically about those rights. While adults may feel uncomfortable talking to children about the place of religion in society, we can still teach our children that people whose beliefs and practices differ from their own are deserving of respect and understanding.
AP

Whistleblowers Should Be Celebrated, Not Silenced

In a society that values liberty, a whistleblower should be a hero. A whistleblower should not be forced to choose between their personal well-being and coming forward. Edward Snowden's insider announcement on the scope of the NSA's ability to gather, archive, and analyze information should come as no shock to the more cynical among us. It was easy enough to assume, but now we're staring down the truth of it. If we don't find a way to pressure the powers that be to give up some of their hidden power, contrary to all of their self-aggrandizing instincts, we're in for a very stark decline into a classically dystopian future.
AP

Innocence of Muslims and Fear of the Other

One of the most frustrating things about watching a story like the one surrounding The Innocence of Muslims unfold is knowing that there are a whole lot of people set to profit on the chaos. These puppet masters of public opinion know that in both the west and the Islamic world, most people will have knee-jerk reactions that are fueled primarily by hate and mistrust of the other.

Hey Officer -- Get Out of My Backyard

Section 436 of the Ontario Municipal Act allows municipalities to pass bylaws that give their officers permission to walk into your backyard, and onto your private property, without having to give the property owner notice, and without a warrant.In short. Don't we have a reasonable expectation of privacy in our backyards?
Alamy

Should By-Law Officers Have All That Power?

Did you know that while a police officer must have a warrant to enter your home, a by-law officer can come by any time without so much as a hello? No notice to the landowner is required, no warrant needed. Apart from a requirement that the officer present "proper identification" upon request, there are no hoops to jump through whatsoever. By-law might argue that it's because by-law offenses are minor -- typically resulting in nothing more than a fine -- that power of entry is warranted. But this reasoning is precisely backward.

Generation Terror

I don't feel safer at all, and both fronts in Iraq and Afghanistan have proven themselves to be quicksand for the world's mightiest military. They were drains of money, manpower and lives.
alamy

Dying With Their Rights Intact

Even though people suffer from a disease of the brain that impairs their rational thinking, most jurisdictions in North America have stringent legislation that makes it difficult to impose treatment. And, because society allows them to refuse treatment, some die. But, their civil liberties remain intact. Or do they?