5 people arrested in Ottawa during protest
On 9th June, at least 5 people were arrested in Ottawa for protesting an anti-LGBTQ event taking place on a popular street near several schools. The two groups chanted slogans like "protect trans rights" and "leave the kids alone" at each other, at times separated by a line of police officers. It’s unclear what the charges were or when the people were released.
In late April, flight attendants demonstrated at four major airports over what they say are unfair rules that require them to work without compensation. The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), which represents 18,500 flight attendants across the industry, says flight attendants aren't paid for many duties they perform when the planes aren't moving, working on average 35 hours each month without compensation. CUPE is currently negotiating a new collective agreement with several airlines, including WestJet and Air Canada.
On 1st May, faculty and graduate students called on the federal government to increase financial support for graduate and doctoral students. Organised by Support Our Science, hundreds of students, professors and supporters walked out of their classrooms at dozens of schools in cities across the country, including Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Montreal and St. John's. The organisation had penned an open letter calling on the federal government, specifically Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and François-Philippe Champagne, the minister of science, innovation and industry, to boost graduate student funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council.
On 5th May, over 300 Sudanese Canadians travelled from Toronto to Ottawa to protest against the war in Sudan and deliver a statement of demands to the federal government. Outside the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Ottawa, protesters called for ending the violence in Sudan and demanding the Canadian government do more to help. Earlier, the Canadian government announced they are waiving application fees for family members of Canadians who fled Sudan.
On 4th May, police released video of suspects in an alleged assault at a Surrey protest from March that prevented India’s High Commissioner in Ottawa from attending a nearby event. At least three people are wanted for their role in the attack, including against a journalist covering the protest.
CBC News Changed the Headline: [Flight attendants to rally at 4 major Canadian airports to protest unpaid work]- to - [Flight attendants rally at 4 major Canadian airports to protest unpaid work] https://t.co/XR9m52KUHn— CBC News Edits (@CanNewsEdits) April 25, 2023
The International Longshore and Warehouse Union Canada, which represents thousands of workers who load and unload cargo at port terminals in Vancouver and other B.C. ports, said its negotiating committee has authorized a strike vote after failing to negotiate a new contract with the employers’ association. The collective agreement between cargo loading workers and the employers’ association in BC expired on 30th March, and they have been negotiating a new contract since February. Canadian law prevents either side from exercising their right to strike for 21 days after the end of conciliation on 30th May, and both sides have agreed not to file a 72-hour strike or lockout notice before 21st June, leaving the earliest possible strike date of 24th June.
In early June, the Hamilton Police Service said it is reviewing its policy on drones after the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) issued a statement demanding the police service "immediately suspend" its drone programme. "HPS' drone programme has operated without consultation with the public, the Ontario Privacy Commissioner's office, or the marginalized communities that stand to suffer the most from increased aerial surveillance," said the CCLA. A CBC Hamilton investigation published in April revealed details about when, how and why police use drones. It prompted privacy researchers to point out "red flags" in the programme, including a lack of transparency and gaps in its privacy impact assessment.
In early May, thousands of people signed an emergency petition against a provision to permanently exclude federal political parties from federal privacy laws hidden in a recently introduced budget implementation bill (Bill C-47). Free speech advocates warn against the move, saying that political parties are regulated under privacy laws in almost every other democratic country in the world. “Our right to privacy is fundamental to our democratic process, but right now political parties are enjoying a privacy wild west. If Bill C-47 passes, federal political parties will never have to abide by privacy laws, nor face scrutiny from independent regulators. Why should there be one law for them, and another for the rest of us?,” said Bryan Short.
On 2nd May, Calgary pastor Artur Pawlowski was found guilty of mischief for encouraging truckers to continue blocking the Canada-U.S. border crossing during a 2022 protest that lasted more than two weeks. Pawlowski was also convicted of breaching a release order to keep the peace. Back in February 2022, Pawlowski urged protesters to hold their ground after making a deal with RCMP to leave the border crossing. In his speech, Pawlowski told them not to give up and said there were not enough RCMP officers to deal with the situation. "I'm not ashamed of what I did. If I had a chance to do it again, I would do it again, gladly — I stood with the truckers, I stood with the farmers, I stood with Canadians," said Pawlowski.