CCF releases civil liberties “naughty and nice” list

CCF releases civil liberties “naughty and nice” list

The Canadian Constitution Foundation has released a Christmas-themed civil liberties “naughty and nice” list, ranking different government responses to COVID-19. The tongue-in-cheek report lists the government COVID measures which showed the least respect for our fundamental freedoms in the “naughty list”. The CCF report also lists the times where government struck the right balance between civil liberties and public health in their “nice list”.

The report, which is available to download on the CCF website here, listed the following government measures on the “naughty list”:

  1. Nationwide: arbitrary lockdowns
  2. Atlantic Canada: bans on interprovincial travel
  3. Nationwide: the failure to provide data to justify restrictions
  4. Ontario: police snooping in private health records
  5. Nationwide: COVID snitch lines
  6. Nationwide: high and frequent fines
  7. Nationwide: arbitrary enforcement at protests
  8. Ontario: unclear vaccine policies
  9. Quebec: considered warrantless searches
  10. Nationwide: cancelled Christmas

On the “nice list”, the CCF found that the following government measures struck the right balance:

  1. Federal: COVID-Alert app developed with strong privacy protections
  2. Nationwide: medical exemptions for mandatory masks
  3. Alberta: repealing the overreach in Bill 10
  4. Federal: backtracked on inappropriate spending clause in emergency legislation

“The ‘naughty list’ of ways governments have treaded on our most fundamental rights was quite long this year, and we had to cut it off at just ten. Whether the measures were travel bans, snitch lines, gathering limits or arbitrary lockdowns, these unjustified measures did more to hurt our civil liberties than they have done to protect us from COVID,” said CCF Litigation Director, Christine Van Geyn. “While our ‘nice list’ was quite short this year, we were pleased there were at least some examples where government has walked back their extreme measures, for example by modifying some of the emergency laws. We hope that next year governments do a better job. Until then, we will push back against over right in the courts of law and public opinion.”

Download the report here.