Letter to the President of Dalhousie University

The OCLA wrote today to the President of Dalhousie University, regarding the university’s disciplinary proceedings against a student for her postings on Facebook.

The OCLA’s letter is posted online here and embedded below.

Letter OCLA to Dalhousie University President Florizone by Ontario Civil Liberties Association on Scribd

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Release: Jeannette Tossounian to Receive the 2017 OCLA Civil Liberties Award

(Ottawa, October 16, 2017) — The Ontario Civil Liberties Association (OCLA) will present its 2017 Civil Liberties Award to Jeannette Tossounian at a public event in Ottawa, Ontario, on Friday October 27 (7pm, PSAC building, 233 Gilmour St., Ottawa, Ontario).

Senator Kim Pate, defender of women prisoners’ rights, will introduce the award recipient.

Ms. Tossounian will speak about her work and life experience related to civil rights and liberties, followed by a question-answer and discussion period open to the participating public.

Jeannette Tossounian is a life-long artist, author, and an authentic and dedicated defender of civil rights. She was self-represented and was wrongly convicted in a trial in which the Crown violated its disclosure obligations (see 2017 appeal decision, link here). She spent
two years in harsh conditions in an Ontario jail for women. She was put into solitary confinement for defending her prisoner’s civil right not to be forced to wear a bra. Her 2016 book The Human Kennel, which was written in jail, is a compelling and incisive examination of inner and institutional life behind bars. This quote illustrates Ms. Tossounian’s spirit:

“I doubt I’ll make parole, I’m not into submitting to a corrupt unjust system and telling them what a bad person I have been and how much I’ve changed for the better thanks to my incarceration. … I still have my mind and won’t lose what is inside of me.”

Her continued revelations and commentary are helping to reform police and prison practices in the province.

Past recipients of the OCLA Civil Liberties Award were Harry Kopyto (2013), Terri-Jean Bedford (2014), Connie Fournier (2015), and Bruce Allan Clark (2016).

The OCLA thus co-celebrates its five-year anniversary and hopes the free public event will be an occasion for meetings and discussions on these vital issues.

Award page, updated regularly: http://ocla.ca/ocla-civil-liberties-award/
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1168544253247543/

About the OCLA

The OCLA vigorously advocates for authentic and unqualified freedom of expression of individuals, on all topics and in every form, in accordance with the right to free expression enshrined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The OCLA also advocates for
unimpeded civil liberties and civil rights of all persons, in dealings with public and private institutions and corporations.

The OCLA is not affiliated with the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) or the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA). All three associations are separate and distinct.


Joseph Hickey
Executive Director
Ontario Civil Liberties Association (OCLA) http://ocla.ca
613-252-6148 (c)

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Communiqué : Jeannette Tossounian recevra le prix de l’Association des libertés civiles de l’Ontario 2017

(OTTAWA, le 16 octobre 2017) – L’Association des libertés civiles de l’Ontario (ALCO) décernera son prix annuel à Mme Jeannette Tossounian lors d’une réception publique à Ottawa, Ontario, vendredi le 27 octobre à 19h00 (édifice de l’Alliance de la Fonction Publique du Canada, 233 rue Gilmour, Ottawa).

La sénatrice Kim Pate, défenseure des droits des femmes incarcérées, présentera Mme Tossounian.

Mme Tossounian parlera de son expérience reliée aux droits et libertés civiles. Une période de questions et discussion avec les personnes présentes suivra.

Jeannette Tossounian est une artiste, une auteure et une défenseure authentique et dévouée des droits civils. Elle s’est représentée elle-même à la cour et a été condamnée injustement lors d’un procès dans lequel la Couronne a violé ses obligations de divulgation (voir la décision de la Cour d’appel de l’Ontario de 2017, lien ici). Elle a passé deux ans dans une prison pour femmes en Ontario dans des conditions sévères. Elle a été mise en isolement cellulaire pour avoir défendu son droit de ne pas être forcée à porter une brassière. Son livre The Human Kennel (publié en 2016) est un examen pénétrant et captivant de la vie à l’intérieur de l’institution carcérale. Ses révélations, tout comme ses interventions publiques et dans les médias, contribuent à la réforme des pratiques policières et carcérales en Ontario.

Les récipiendaires des derniers prix de l’ALCO étaient M. Harry Kopyto (2013), Mlle Terri-Jean Bedford (2014), Mme Connie Fournier (2015) et Dr Bruce Allan Clark (2016).

L’ALCO profitera de l’événement pour fêter son cinquième anniversaire et espère que l’événement, gratuit et ouvert au public, sera une occasion de se réunir et de discuter des enjeux fondamentaux soulevés par Mme Tossounian.

Page web du prix de l’ALCO 2017 (le contenu de cette page sera mis à jour régulièrement) : http://ocla.ca/ocla-civil-liberties-award/
Événement Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/events/1168544253247543/

À propos de l’ALCO

L’ALCO défend avec vigueur la liberté d’expression authentique et sans réserve de tout individu, sur tout sujet et sous toute forme, conformément à la Charte canadienne des droits et libertés. L’ALCO milite aussi pour le libre exercice des libertés civiles et des droits civils de toute personne, dans toute interaction avec les institutions et corporations publiques et privées.

L’ALCO n’est pas affiliée à l’Association canadienne des libertés civiles (ACLC) ni à l’Association des libertés civiles de la Colombie-Britannique (ALCCB). Ces trois associations sont distinctes.

Contact :

Joseph Hickey
Directeur exécutif
Association des libertés civiles de l’Ontario (ALCO) http://ocla.ca
613-252-6148 (c)

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Media Notice: OCLA condemns the inoperative civil right of physician-assisted dying of a grievously ill patient in Thunder Bay, Ontario

Grievous and irremediable medical conditions give rise to circumstances in which any administrative delay is a denial of justice regarding the civil right of physician-assisted dying (PAD).
The OCLA condemns that such inadmissible delays occur in Ontario, despite the strong 2015 Supreme Court ruling that enshrined the right of PAD for an illness, disease or disability that causes enduring suffering that is intolerable to the individual.
“My mom has repeatedly expressed her wish to terminate her life with MAID and has filed a request letter with her md and voiced her wishes with her specialist. She is currently unable to give consent as she requires narcotics to control the pain which make her unable to reaffirm her wishes. The process to get her on the registry for MAID has taken so long and her disease has worsened so quickly that the doctors say she no longer has capacity and must endure radiation and sedation which I know is against her wishes. … This should not happen. Her rights … are not being upheld,” said a family member of the patient to the OCLA.
The patient has now recently reaffirmed her request, the OCLA was told.
The family is also in contact with Dying With Dignity Canada, and the ethical office of the hospital.
Contact (English), specific case:
Shanon Kerr
Patient’s family member, in Thunder Bay
tel.: 519-546-8698
Contact (English / Français), OCLA’s position:
Denis Rancourt (PhD)
Researcher (OCLA)
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OCLA Calls on the Government and Media to Exercise Calm, Reason and Objectivity

The OCLA has appealed to Canadian governments and media to “exercise calm, reason, and objectivity” in response to recent events which threaten civil liberties in Canadian society.  The OCLA’s call for sanity is posted online here.

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