Alors que la Charte des valeurs québécoises fait jaser sur toutes les tribunes, trois féministes du groupe Femen ont réussi un véritable coup d’éclat mardi le 1er octobre à l’Assemblée nationale.
Elles ont interrompu les travaux parlementaires portant sur la situation alarmante de l’emploi au Québec en immergeant à l’Assemblée en scandant des slogans contre la présence du crucifix. Seins nus, les trois jeunes femmes arboraient des messages frappant tels: “crucifix décâlisse” ou “patrimoine au musée”.
Si leur manifestation remarquée n’apporte certes rien de nouveau au débat entourant la Charte des valeurs, les trois femmes ont certainement réussi un tour de force médiatique. Les Femen s\'attaquent au crucifix
On September 21st, it was reported that Nova Scotia Progressive Conservative leader Jamie Baillie made a promise to launch a judicial inquiry into the handling of the Rehteah Parsons case within his first 100 days in government if elected.
This report came just over a fortnight away from Nova Scotia’s upcoming provincial election, and the same day as a cyber-bullying panel at the 2013 CCLA RightsWatch Conference in Toronto. The panel included David Fraser of McInnes Cooper and Penny Milton of the External Review panel of the Halifax Regional School Board’s Support of Rehtaeh Parsons, who spoke about the Nova Scotia Government’s legislative reaction to this case through the Cyber-safety Act.
As the Government of Nova Scotia is unable to legislate amendments to the Criminal Code of Canada, this Act provided for a more immediate reaction to combat cyber-bullying in that province without the help of Federal Parliament. In short, the legislative provides the guidelines for liability of a new statutory tort of cyber-bullying.
The legislation offers some aid to victims of cyber-bullying through protection orders. While not exhaustive, s. 9(1) provides a list of suggested provisions to be included in a protection order and leaves the court with discretion to impose other provisions it sees fit for the victims protection. When taken into consideration with the recent Supreme Court decision in favour of victim anonymity in cyber-bullying litigation in A.B. v Bragg Communications Inc., this legislation helps augment procedural protections for those bullied.
However, concerns were also raised during the panel regarding the shortfalls of this legislation. Of particular note is the breadth of terminology used to define cyber-bullying in the Act, with no mention of age restrictions in the defining provision for “cyber-bullying”. The act of cyber-bullying in the legislation is described as what appears to be a broader example of the common law tort of defamation, with injuries to self-esteem, emotional well-being, and health being included in the Act along with injuries to the reputation. In practice, this could impose liability on any adult who makes a series of virtual communications (as defined in the Act) towards another adult with the intention to injure their self-esteem. In addition, recovery under this tort may be impossible for families unable to go through the expensive process of civil litigation.
With just over a week to go until Nova Scotians go to the polls, it is a matter of speculation as to whether further legislative measures may be pledged by parties involved in the election. However, to combat cyber-bullying, the elected party may need to engage with Federal Parliament to enact effective legislation under the Criminal Code to prevent a similar situation from happening again.
The rainy weather in Toronto didn’t deter a large group of civil libertarians from gathering to listen to prominent experts on the issues of privacy, democracy and expression in the digital age. There were many exceptional sessions on everything from police search and seizure to cyber-bullying. The right to personal privacy was a fundamental theme throughout the conference, opening eyes to the realities of where information goes when it’s sent off into cyberspace. Want to know more? Check out http://www.theglobeandmail.com/technology/mobile/out-of-sight-officials-tell-wireless-firms-to-let-them-monitor-devices-data/article14331615/ and http://www.ixmaps.ca
Just over a week ago, the CCLA RightsWatch Conference 2013, held in Toronto, provided me with an opportunity to attend several interesting panel sessions on hot topics relevant to the discussion of civil liberties and democracy in the digital age. Following this experience, one issue has continued to stick in the forefront of my mind; that is, the subject of cyber-bullying, particularly as it occurs among teenagers.
My teenage years were not without their growing pains: the awkward struggle of trying to stand out as an individual, sometimes clashing with the feeling of simply wanting to fit in with my peers. However, thinking back nearly a decade ago to my own high school days, I mostly recall the good times, the learning experiences, and the wonderful people I was fortunate to meet. Some of the saddest stories in the news today are those of young people who have had these formative years cut short; their lives filled with promise and potential, over much too soon. Read the rest of this entry »
Le Haut-Commissariat des Nations Unies aux droits de l’homme a condamné vendredi l’emploi excessif de la force par les forces de sécurité soudanaises dans le cadre des manifestations qui secouent le pays depuis le début de la semaine. Les forces de sécurité auraient ouvert le feu sur des manifestants, faisant 4 morts selon la police et au moins 50 selon des groupes locaux de droits de la personne. Read the rest of this entry »
I can’t imagine what it would be like to go through junior high with social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Read the rest of this entry »
The University of Saskatchewan’s student’s association in the department of Social Services and Saskatoon’s Avenue Community Centre have started petitioning for anti-bullying city bylaws in the wake of 15-year-old Todd Loik’s suicide.
Read the rest of this entry »
Seven West Papuan independence activists who sought asylum in Australia on September 25 have been deported to Port Moresby, the capital of Papua New Guinea. The West Papuan activists include six adults and one ten-year-old child. Their two-day asylum is in line with the Abbott government’s 48-hour turnaround target for asylum seekers.
The West Papuans are in fear of their life after taking part in a protest to raise awareness of human rights abuses in West Papua, which has been under Indonesian rule since 1969. The Indonesia government has not ruled out using lethal force against the protestors.
It has been speculated that the Australian government deported the West Papuans to Papua New Guinea in order to avoid diplomatic trouble with Indonesia. Prime Minister Tony Abbott has said that he doesn’t want Australia’s relationship with Indonesia “defined by this boats issue”.
The Guardian Australia reports that the West Papuans have been denied access to a lawyer.
Notre ère est celle dite « numérique », et il faut bien s’y résoudre. Cela dit, est-ce pour un bien ou pour un mal? Bien que nous soyons quotidiennement reconnaissants des nombreux outils technologiques qui caractérisent notre génération, et desquels nous pourrions aujourd’hui difficilement nous passer, notons qu’il existe plus d’un revers à ces ressources nouvelles, en innovation constante. Voilà d’ailleurs la réalité qui fut exposée les 20 et 21 septembre derniers, dans le cadre de la conférence annuelle « RightsWatch », organisée par l’Association canadienne des libertés civiles. Celle-ci se déroula au rythme de plusieurs conférences ayant pour racine commune l’objectif d’explorer les libertés civiles et la démocratie dans le contexte de l’ère numérique. Ainsi furent abordés la vie privée, les médias et la liberté d’expression, tous sujets que les experts invités traitèrent sous plusieurs angles d’approche.
Une des conférences portait plus particulièrement sur la liberté de la presse ainsi que le rôle et les responsabilités du citoyen reporter. Read the rest of this entry »