The surpression of human rights is not a new concept and is taking place at an increasing rate worldwide. When people think about oppressive governments, Canada is definitely not the first that comes to mind. Recent student protests however, have lead the Canadian government to take a more tyrannical approach to maintaining order. CBC News reports on Canada’s Bill 78 and its explicit violation of citizens’ freedom of speech and right to protest:
Quebec’s special law, Bill 78, that suspends a school semester and limits some protests, impedes on peoples’ fundamental rights, according to the province’s Human Rights Commission.
The commission, known as the CDPDJ, issued its review of the emergency legislation, that was enacted in May at the height of Quebec’s student protests over tuition increases.
The 56-page commission analysis finds Bill 78 doesn’t respond to minimum requirements laid out by Quebec’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
In particular, the commission takes issue with sections of the law that prohibit protests on school property as direct attacks on freedom of expression and association as guaranteed under the Quebec Charter of Rights.
Sections of Bill 78 CDPDJ says violate the charter:
- Article 13, because it affects freedom of expression, of reunion and peaceful association.
- Article 14, because it affects freedom of peaceful gatherings, and, in association, freedom of expression by making it illegal to assemble group within or outside an educational institution.
- Articles 12 to 14, because they directly impact people’s sense of solidarity and personal convictions towards a cause.
- Article 15, because it imposes certain responsibilities on student associations (under Quebec’s charter, associations do not have control or the right to exert such control over members.)
- Articles 16 and 17, because it requires approval for protests larger than 50 people, in violation of freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.
- Articles 18 to 31, because it imposes financial sanctions, in violation of freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.