I’m proud to be a member of the British Columbia Civil Rights Association and I commend the organization to all who care about justice, civil rights and institutional accountability. The organization is supported by members, donors and foundations such as the the BC Law Foundation, The Vancouver Foundation and others. However, funding is always lacking while issues never are.
- Sobering centres – A group of non-profit organizations, along with police, health authorities, first responders and housing groups will be convened by the BCCLA to discuss how to save the lives of those who are arrested for being drunk, high or otherwise intoxicated in public.
- Torture inquiry – BCCLA Litigation Director Grace Pastine and Counsel Carmen Cheung have been in Ottawa at the inquiry by the Military Police Complaints Commission into whether military police failed to investigate if commanders illegally ordered the transfer of detainees to a known risk of torture in Afghanistan.
- Police oversight – The BCCLA discovered that the province of B.C. completed a secret, unreleased audit of the RCMP’s performance under the controversial untendered 20-year policing contract signed in 1990.
- In-custody deaths – The RCMP confirmed the BCCLA’s findings that B.C. had more than twice as many police deaths as Ontario. Professor David MacAlister and BCCLA Executive Director David Eby spoke in Kamloops, Prince George and Vancouver during November on the BCCLA’s recently released report on police-involved deaths.
- Freedom in Action student forum – Close to 200 high school students attended the day-long event held at SFU Harbour Centre. Presentations were made by BCCLA Executive Director David Eby, Caseworker Jesse Lobdell and volunteer presenters such as Joe Saulnier of Smart, Harris & Martland, David Beers of the Tyee, Ashley Zarbatany and Mavaddat Javidd who were G-20 participants, David Dennis from the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, Andrea Reimer, Vancouver City Councillor, Mathew Kemshaw from the Environmental Youth Alliance, Ben West from the Western Wilderness Committee and Romi Chandra from PeerNet B.C.
- Legal education seminars – Continuing programs for both lawyers and laypersons.