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We have been broadcasting since 2013. Here is a selection of our recent episodes:
Details about recent episodes:
The Site C Dam is a large-scale hydroelectric dam currently under construction on the Peace River in northeastern British Columbia. It is situated on the traditional territory of the Treaty 8 First Nations. The dam has been highly contested by these First Nations and has been the subject of a number of cases brought before both the Federal Court and BC’s courts. In early February, the BC Court of Appeal, affirming the decision of the Supreme Court of BC, dismissed the Prophet River and West Moberly First Nations’ petition for judicial review of the provincial government’s decision to grant environmental permits to BC Hydro for the project. Although the cases discussed in this episode relate to the Site C Dam, they have much broader implications for First Nations peoples with respect to securing recognition of constitutionally protected rights.
We were joined by John Gailus, a founding partner and director of the firm Devlin, Gailus & Watson in Victoria. John appeared as counsel for the Prophet River and West Moberly First Nations in their applications for judicial review and has extensive experience practicing in the area of Aboriginal law. We were also joined by Caleb Behn, a member of the West Moberly First Nation, a former lawyer, and fervent advocate. Caleb has worked diligently to promote awareness and education surrounding Aboriginal Rights and issues through a variety of avenues, including the documentary ‘Fractured Land’, the organization Keepers of the Water, and countless articles and interviews featured on a variety of platforms.
In 2013, the Canada v Bedford case saw the Criminal Code provisions regulating sex work in Canada struck down as unconstitutional. The new legislation introduced by the federal government to regulate this area, titled the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act, came into force the following year. Pivot Legal Society, a Vancouver-based anti-poverty group, recently released a report on the impact of the new laws, titled Evaluating Canada’s Sex Work Laws: The Case for Repeal.
Brenda Belak is a lawyer at Pivot and a co-author of the report. Kerry Porth is a former sex worker, former executive director of the sex worker advocacy group PACE Society, and current chair of Pivot’s board of directors. They joined us in the studio to tell us about the work that went into the report, share their experiences, and why they think the current laws are doing more to hurt than help sex workers.
The UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women recently published a report following its review of Canada’s progress and fulfillment of its obligations under the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in late October. In the report, the Committee expresses concerns over a lack of access to affordable child care, resulting in a tendency for women to take on part-time, low paying work as a result of their roles as caregivers. The Committee also expressed concerns about access to legal aid and the resulting lack of access to justice facing Canadian women. In this episode we examine how these issues relate to the bigger picture of gender inequality facing women in British Columbia.
We first speak with Kendra Milne, Director of Law Reform at West Coast LEAF about West Coast LEAF’s annual CEDAW report card, which documents the province’s performance with respect to its obligations under the Convention. We also discuss the current state of access to child care in BC, as well as its relationship to poverty, violence against women, and other gender inequality issues.
Next we speak with Tracey McIntosh, Director of Justice for Girls about access to justice, legal outreach and advocacy, and related issues facing young women in the province. Tracey is joined by a number of Justice for Girls’ Young Women Interns.
In November the Supreme Court of Canada rendered a decision which brings to a close a 14-year legal battle between the BC Teachers’ Federation and the government of British Columbia. The court concluded that in 2002 the BC government violated the Charter of Rights and Freedoms by passing a law restricting what the BCTF could bargain with the government and re-writing their existing collective agreement. The government then compounded that error a decade afterwards with new, but substantially similar, legislation. What did the government do? What does the Charter require? And just what has all of this meant for teachers, students, and the BCTF? Hear BCTF President Glen Hansman and BCTF General Counsel Diane MacDonald discuss these issues with hosts Joshua Prowse and Daniel Oleksiuk.
June 2016 – Human Rights Commissions are considered part of the trifecta of human rights institutions: a tribunal to adjudicate complaints, a clinic to represent complainants, and a commission to represent the public interest. BC’s commission was shuttered about 15 years ago. In this episode we look at what the commission did, what other commissions do, and what the prospects for such a commission are in BC.
Harinder Mahil was the head of the BC Human Rights Commission when it was shut down in 2002. Therese Bouillard was the Director of Human Rights at the Northwest Territories Human Rights Commission. They spoke with us about a Poverty and Human Rights Centre report released through the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives calling for the re-establishment of a Human Rights Commission in BC.
November 14, 2016 – The case of Adam Capay in Ontario has risen to media prominence this fall as a troubling example of the use of solitary confinement in the criminal justing system, a practice that a United Nations Special Rapporteur has equated with torture.
Valerie Napoleon is the Law Foundation Professor of Aboriginal Justice and Governance at the University of Victoria. She talks to us about her work writing about indigenous legal practices, and how she and other scholars are working to make space for indigenous laws in the Canadian legal system. Jennifer Metcalfe is Executive Director of Prisoners’ Legal Services (PLS) in BC, part of the West Coast Prison Justice Society. She joins us for the second half of the show to discuss solitary confinement in BC’s prisons, the support provided by organizations like PLS, and the ways in which prisoners’ rights are (un)noticed our public dialogue.
The Vancouver Co-op Radio Broadcast Centre at 2014 Wall St. in Vancouver
The team behind the program
Hasan Alam, Alnoor Gova, Daniel Oleksiuk, Joshua Prowse, Julia Riddle, Josh Sved, Kegan Pepper-Smith, Abudi Awaysheh