Lawyering on the Margins

Since 2011, Open Society Foundations has sponsored Lawyering on the Margins (LOTM), a unique global gathering of lawyers working with marginalized groups: people who use drugs, sex workers, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans* people. 

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Care Not Criminalization: How the case of Bobbi O'Shea changed the way we look at our intoxication laws

Photo by Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press

When Bobbi O’Shea called for help while suffering an anxiety attack, she set off a chain of events that would forever change her life. Taken to jail and bound in a restraint device for over an hour, Bobbi left the Vancouver Jail angry and hurt. But because she refused to back down and continues to seek justice against the jail guards who harmed her, her perseverance could change how others in similar circumstances are treated.

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The law cannot progress without courageous clients

Over the past month, the BC Supreme Court heard a landmark lawsuit involving the City of Abbotsford and members of its homeless community.

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Access to Justice: Doug Smith gets his day in court

Doug Smith never thought he’d be homeless. He had a stable job and a steady income. All it took was an injury to lose both. It wasn’t long before he lost his home, too.

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Bill C-2 amounts to a death sentence law for drug users

This article originally appeared in the Toronto Star.

This week the Harper government, and the largely Conservative-appointed Senate, will effectively drive a nail into the coffins of thousands of Canadians living with addiction by passing legislation that will block the establishment of supervised injection facilities like Vancouver’s Insite.

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Pivot at the Alberta Harm Reduction Conference

Pivot's health and drug policy campaigner, Adrienne Smith, is at the 13th annual Alberta Harm Reduction Conference in Edmonton, AB. Here's what we're talking about.

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Tent City, B.C.: “This is where I live.”

Tent cities have arisen in the past two years across Lower Mainland B.C. -- in Abbotsford, Maple Ridge, Surrey, and Vancouver. A lack of accessible, safe, and affordable shelter and housing is often cited as the reason. With nowhere else to go, homeless people camping together can be the safest option.

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Explainer: What is a homeless tent city?

A homeless tent city is an informal community where residents erect tents and other temporary housing structures. Tent cities have been set up by homeless people in municipalities across Canada. 

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Criminalizing homelessness solves nothing

This article originally appeared in the Vancouver Sun.

Maple Ridge is the latest B.C. municipality to find itself the unexpected and unwilling host of a homeless tent city. With a burgeoning human, health, and political quagmire now at hand, the city has an opportunity to set an important precedent for how municipalities in this country deal with a national housing crisis that has landed on their doorstep.

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Standing with Abbotsford's homeless

Canada is the only G8 country without a national housing strategy. Pivot's Abbotsford housing clients are calling on our federal government to end homelessness. They've invited all federal MPs to meet with them, hear their stories, and develop a national housing strategy that is informed by the experiences of homeless and vulnerably housed Canadians. 

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Since 2011, Open Society Foundations has sponsored Lawyering on the Margins (LOTM), a unique global gathering of lawyers working with...
Photo by Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press When Bobbi O’Shea called for help while suffering an anxiety attack, she set off a...
Over the past month, the BC Supreme Court heard a landmark lawsuit involving the City of Abbotsford and members of...
Doug Smith never thought he’d be homeless. He had a stable job and a steady income. All it took was...