Statement from the CBA President Stephen Rotstein

  • February 15, 2022

In light of the current blockades and occupations across Canada, the Canadian Bar Association reiterates the importance of the rule of law and the value of rights and freedoms as constitutional principles of Canadian democracy. These are not just theoretical constructs. They have a tangible reality. It is an intrinsic part of our society that everyone is held accountable to the same laws.

As the federal government invokes the Emergencies Act, it is important to remember that public safety must be accompanied by the well founded and secure belief that Canada remains a democracy that scrupulously protects privacy rights and civil liberties. The government must strike delicate balances between collective safety and individual liberties. The Charter of Rights requires governments to demonstrate that any limitations they place on guaranteed rights and freedoms are necessary and properly tailored to provide minimum impairment of those rights and freedoms. Measures to ensure a comprehensive, effective and transparent mechanism for the review and oversight of the response must also be in place.

Stephen Rotstein
Canadian Bar Association President