Hotties and Naughties for 2009
BC Civil Liberties Association Releases the Best and Worst for the Year
For courageously bringing relevant evidence before the parliamentary committee on Afghan detainees; for speaking the truth to a hostile government that is playing mean and dirty to try to maintain its cover-up of detainee torture.
Chris Shaw and Alissa Westergaard-Thorpe
For taking the City of Vancouver to court over its Olympics anti-free expression bylaws and causing the City to amend every section of the bylaw named in their litigation.
BC Police Chiefs
For acknowledging that they’ve lost the confidence of the public when police investigate themselves, and asking the Province to appoint an independent agency to investigate when people die or are seriously injured in incidents involving the police.
Leonard Cler Cunningham
For uncovering the Clayton Alvin Willey videotape and exposing the wrongful police-involved death, leading to code of conduct investigations of more than four Prince George RCMP Officers.
Federal Court of Canada
A double smooch! (Uh, with respect). For ordering the Canadian government to seek the repatriation of child soldier Omar Khadr and for ordering the repatriation of Abousfian Abdelrazik, who had been stranded in Sudan by the Canadian government’s refusal to issue travel documents.
Victoria’s Tent City
A hottie for the second year running! For successfully defending the appeal of the landmark legal ruling that struck down a bylaw preventing homeless people from erecting temporary shelters.
For rescinding their policy that banned political advertising, because selling an idea is more important than selling widgets.
Stockwell Day and Peter Van Loan
For speeding the advent of the surveillance society: saying that the government was not going to introduce legislation to give police personal information of telecommunications service providers’ clients without a warrant, and after, doing exactly what they’d promised not to.
For insisting that there has not been a single incident of detainee abuse in Afghanistan despite mountains of evidence to the contrary and for trying to cast Richard Colvin as a Taliban dupe for speaking the truth: naughty acts of truly breath-bereaving repulsiveness.
Vancouver Police Department
For buying a surplus U.S. Navy military grade sonic weapon for use on protesters and miscellaneous pirates circa the 2010 Olympics (and not being very forthright about the fact either, we might add).
Who must actually believe that ‘might is right’, because his answer to homeless is the street-sweeping-the-public-poor law allowing the police to use force to get people into shelters in extreme weather.
BC Coroner’s Branch
For refusing to hold an inquest into the death of Rubin Coleman, shot in 2007 by the Vancouver Police Department, and for threatening to do the same in the death of Paul Boyd, shot in 2007 by the VPD.
Canada Border Services Agency
We are supposed to be a big, grown-up country, not some clueless Palookaville that harasses respected foreign journalists with questions about how they feel about Sumi, Miga and Quatchi.
Integrated Security Unit of the Olympics
For listing protesters as the greatest security threat of the Olympics, for tailing and harassing activists and Cowichan sweater-knitter, for not quite getting around to promising Canadians that they will not infiltrate peaceful protest groups, for not engaging in community consultations, etc.
All levels of Government involved in the 2010 Games and VANOC
For Beijing 2.0-style censorship, for stunning failures of transparency and accountability, for a billion dollar security budget that will leave us with the “legacy” of militarized public space and surveillance infrastructure, for breaking promises to protect the vulnerable, for failing to use a unique opportunity to leverage human rights.