Reckless Endangerment — Q & A on Bill C-36: Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act

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Moving To Minimum Force: Police Dogs and Public Safety in British Columbia

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Every two days someone in British Columbia is injured by a police dog. Police Service Dog (PSD) bites are the leading cause of injury at the hands of municipal police, exceeding by a factor of six injuries incurred by all other forms of non-lethal force, including batons, pepper spray, fists, and Arwen rounds (beanbags). Unlike other police impact weapons such as fists and batons, police dogs are unique in their tendency to inflict permanent injury. 

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My Work Should Not Cost Me My Life

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On December 20, 2013, the Supreme Court of Canada rendered a landmark decision that substantially reshaped Canada’s legal framework regarding adultprostitution. The case of Bedford v. Canada resulted in the striking down of three provisions of the Criminal Code: the communication, bawdy-house and living on the avails laws. The Court found that these three provisions violate section 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms (the “Charter”) given their negative impact on sex workers’ security of the person. The declaration of invalidity of the laws did not, however, take effect immediately. The Court gave the government one year to contemplate whether new prostitution laws should be enacted.

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The Case for Heroin-Assisted Treatment in Canada

Heroin-Assisted Treatment, or HAT, is a medical intervention that provides prescription, pharmaceutical-grade diacetylmorphine (heroin) to people with long-term opioid dependency who have not responded to traditional treatments.  It is cost-effective, reduces crime, and promotes individual and public health.  Learn more about why HAT is good for Canada in this booklet we produced for Our public forum on October 30, 2013.

Download "The Case for Heroin-Assisted Treatment in Canada" (pdf, 3MB).

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Pivot Legal Society Annual Report 2012

Pivot’s work is grounded in the belief that poverty and social exclusion are not inevitable. Through our campaigns, our team focuses on making the possibility of a more just and compassionate society a reality. Our projects evolve from year to year, but our central mandate, to use legal tools and political advocacy to challenge laws and policies that intensify poverty and social exclusion, remains the same.

Download the Annual Report here

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Throwing Away the Keys: The human and social cost of mandatory minimum sentences

Crime rates in Canada are at their lowest point since 1972 yet last year, Canada’s federal government introduced sweeping legislative reforms to our criminal justice system. The stated goal of these expansive and expensive measures is to increase the safety and security of Canadians by getting “tough on crime” and holding offenders accountable.

Download the full report here

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Zoned Out: "NIMBYism", addiction services, and municipal governance in British Columbia

A new article by Scott Bernstein and Darcie Bennett, to be published in the International Journal of Drug Policy's special issue "Methadone Mess".  This article discusses restrictive zoning bylaws in Abbotsford, Mission, Coquitlam and Surrey, BC and their impact on access to health care for marginalized drug users.

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Know Your Rights with Private Security

The publication of the Know Your Rights with Private Security cards comes after years of conflict between private security guards and marginalized people in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. The cards will help residents better understand their rights and what they can do when their rights have been violated.

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BC's Residential Tenancy System- 13 Recommendations for Change


This report was co-authored by a group of legal organization that came together in the lead-up to the 2013 election to develop recommendations to ensure that BC's Residential Tenancy Act achieves its purpose of balancing the rights of tenants and landlords.

The current shortage of affordable housing in BC means that housing is costly and vacancy rates are low. This makes tenants vulnerable, and increases the likelihood that tenants and landlords will find themselves in conflict. In this context, our landlord/tenant legislation needs to contain reasonable protections for tenants. Just as important, the RTB needs to be empowered to effectively administer the legislation.

Download the report.

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Sex Work Rights Cards

The “Know Your Rights” card explains how the VPD’s new Guidelines, which became official policy on January 15, 2013, require officers to prioritize sex workers’ safety over the enforcement of the prostitution laws.  The rights card advises sex workers that the “POLICE SHOULD NOT harass, target, arrest or intimidate you for doing sex work.”

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