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Civil liberties and human rights for all

Dear BCCLA supporter,

We know that the influx of information about emergency powers and public health orders have made it confusing to understand what our rights are at this time. As governments take extraordinary measures to contain COVID-19, we stand firm in our belief that while measures that promote public health are essential, over-policing the pandemic simply won't work.

As we've seen time and time again, when the state is given unreasonable and unnecessary powers, the most marginalized are over-policed and under-protected. This is why it's crucial for us all to understand how government measures are impacting our civil liberties and privacy rights.

To make sure that you are equipped with up to date legal information on your rights at this time, we have put together factsheets outlining your rights in a pandemic.

Read all of our COVID-19 factsheets here.

What is an emergency order?

We've seen... emergency orders get invoked across the country. But what is an emergency order, and what powers does it give governments? Click here for an overview of the laws that governments have been using to mitigate the transmission of COVID-19.

Policing the Pandemic - Enforcement of Public Health Orders in BC

Did you know that in BC, police and bylaw officers are not allowed to enforce provincial public health orders, unless they are assisting health officers? They can provide information but cannot ticket or detain you for these violations. If you're wondering what the scope of the enforcement powers of BC public health orders are, check out our factsheet here.

COVID-19 and Tenant Privacy Rights

We have received numerous questions about tenants’ privacy rights at this time. Rest assured you don't need to provide your medical information, including COVID-19 diagnosis, to your landlord. If you choose to provide your COVID-19 status to your landlord, they can't disclose that to anyone, including other tenants, without your consent. Learn more about your privacy rights as a tenant here.

In the face of so much uncertainty, we're grateful for supporters like you for taking action to protect everyone's civil liberties and ensuring that no one is left behind.

Together, we can look out for each other and keep each other safe.

Stay safe and be well,

Latoya Farrell (she/her)
Staff Counsel - Policy

P.S. Make sure that those in your community have the information they need. Share our factsheets with your friends and family on Facebook and Twitter.

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