Backgrounder: Abbotsford Homeless Lawsuit

For years, the homeless population of Abbotsford has been the target of city and police actions that have effectively made their existence illegal. Bylaws prohibit sleeping in a park overnight, erecting a basic survival structure, or even sleeping in a car. City and police enforcement of these bylaws have resulted in slashed tents, confiscated possessions, and evictions from public spaces

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Submissions from Drug War Survivors to the BC Supreme Court

The lawsuit BC/Yukon Association of Drug War Survivors (DWS) v City of Abbotsford was heard by the BC Supreme Court during a six-week trial that ended August 6, 2015. Here are the DWS submissions to the Court.

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Statement Condemning The Passage Of Bill C-2, The So-Called Respect For Communities Act

We, the undersigned, firmly believe that today’s anticipated Senate passage of Bill C-2, the so-called Respect for Communities Act, undermines the rights of people who use drugs to access life-saving and health-protecting services.

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Health First: Legal issues with C-2

Bill C-2, an Act to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, undermines the rights of people who use drugs to access lifesaving and health-protecting services. Read Pivot Legal Society's submission to the Senate Standing Committee Legal and Constitutional Affairs outlining the legal issues with Bill C-2.

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Reckless Endangerment — Q & A on Bill C-36

The federal government introduced Bill C-36 in early June 2014 in response to the 2013 Supreme Court of Canada unanimous decision that several parts of Canada’s Criminal Code dealing with prostitution are unconstitutional because they violate the rights of sex workers by undermining their health and safety.

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Legal Issues with Bill C-2

Pivot Legal Society acted as a witness on Bill C-2, The Respect for Communities Act, before the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security.

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Final Investigation Report in the Matter of Sandy Davidsen and Cst. Taylor Robinson

At the public hearing into the discipline of Cst. Taylor Robinson, who was found guilty of Abuse of Authority and Neglect of Duty after pushing Sandy Davidsen to the ground in the Downtown Eastside and then failing to help her up, media asked for a copy of the Final Investigation Report by the New Westminster Police Department. Pivot sought to enter a full copy of that report as an exhibit to the proceedings, however it was marked for identification purposes only, meaning that it may not be made available to the public. 

Pursuant to the Police Act a complainant is provided with a copy of the Final Investigation Report, with third party information and sensitive portions redacted. While Pivot maintains that a full copy of the report should be made available to the public for the purposes of police accountability and transparency, Ms. Davidsen has agreed to provide media with the redacted version to assist in their coverage of the public hearing into Cst. Robinson's misconduct in the event that adjudicator Wally Oppal does not make the full report public. 

The redacted version of the Final Investigation Report will be available here after the determination of the matter. 

 

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"Criminalized just for trying to survive"

Pivot Legal Society is leading a challenge of the City of Vancouver’s bylaws prohibiting street vending.

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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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I’m barely home from Ottawa and here we go again, readying for another challenge to mandatory minimum sentences.
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At the Supreme Court of Canada. That's me next to David Fai (centre), counsel for Joseph Lloyd, and Maia Tsurumi...