Canada

Violations of COVID-19 protocols lead to fines and detentions for protesters in Canada

During January and February 2021, organisers and attendees of events to protest COVID-19 restrictions were detained or fined in multiple cities. In Hamilton, two people were charged for organising two “Hugs not Masks” events that reportedly drew about 100 people combined, despite local restrictions that limit gatherings to a maximum of 10 people outdoors. Read more

Violations of COVID-19 protocols lead to fines and detentions for protesters in Canada

Canada: protests against COVID-19 restrictions as country struggles with new wave of infections

On 7th November 2020, about 2,000 people demonstrated in Aylmer, Ontario, to express their opposition to facial coverings and social distancing rules implemented by the provincial and federal governments in response to COVID-19. Read more

Canada: protests against COVID-19 restrictions as country struggles with new wave of infections

Canada: Local and global concerns move people to rally and call on government to take action

On 18th October 2020, hundreds of people rallied in Halifax to express support for Mi'kmaw fishers who are pushing back against commercial fishers’ claims on local lobster fisheries. Read more

Canada: Local and global concerns move people to rally and call on government to take action

Protests across political spectrum in Canada: demonstrations for liberty, defunding police

On 29th August 2020, hundreds of people demonstrated on Parliament Hill in Ottawa to protest pandemic safety measures which they say infringe on their personal rights. Read more

Protests across political spectrum in Canada: demonstrations for liberty, defunding police

Protests against police brutality and harassment of Black and First Nations people across Canada

In solidarity with those protesting in the U.S., tens of thousands of people participated in protests to oppose police brutality and to denounce state-sanctioned violence and harassment of Black and First Nations people by law enforcement. Read more

Protests against police brutality and harassment of Black and First Nations people across Canada

Response to coronavirus saves lives, but complicates daily life

In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, several provincial governments in Canada introduced state of emergency legislation in March 2020, with measures that range from banning public gatherings to restrictions on movement. Canadian civil society organisations have highlighted that some measures adopted by provincial and local governments in response to COVID-19 may threaten fundamental civil freedoms. Read more

Response to coronavirus saves lives, but complicates daily life

Canada: Natural gas pipeline project on Wet’suwet’en territory sparks national protests

Throughout February 2020, Indigenous-rights and environmental activists participated in country-wide demonstrations and set up blockades on major rail lines to challenge a natural gas pipeline project in British Colombia. Read more  |  Read in French

Canada: Natural gas pipeline project on Wet’suwet’en territory sparks national protests

Public sector employees vow to protest restrictive legislation in Canada

Ontario’s four major teachers’ unions announced that they would challenge a recently passed bill that caps public sector employee raises at one per cent per year. Bill 124, passed by the government in November 2019, affects more than a million workers at universities and colleges, hospitals and other groups. Read more

Public sector employees vow to protest restrictive legislation in Canada

Courts uphold protections for free expression and assembly

In September and October 2019, three court rulings upheld freedom of peaceful assembly and expression in Canada. On 27th September 2019, a ruling by Canada’s Supreme Court allowed reporter Marie-Maude Denis to maintain confidentiality of her journalistic sources. In a separate case, on 4th October 2019, the Supreme Court ruled that police cannot arrest lawful protesters for their own protection, in order to prevent violence by others. Also in October 2019, a court official determined that it was improper for an investigator to face legal liability for requesting public information.

This update also details a series of protests on climate, autism and labour, as well as some incidents related to freedom of expression. Read more

Courts uphold protections for free expression and assembly