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