More than 10,000 Canadians received a medically-assisted death in 2021: report
Quebec Superior Court suspends Bill 96โ€™s translation requirement until constitutionality determined
The Ontario government has given Maggie an ultimatum: the disabled teen can lose her funding or her independence
FBI took 11 sets of classified material from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home while investigating possible Espionage Act violations (US)
Ontario class action settlement reclassifies volunteers as employees, setting new precedent
Availability of Judicial Review in SABS Disputes
Are masking policies still valid?
Justice Canada releases commission report on impact of lack of legal aid in family law disputes
Harmonized sales tax part of maximum amount of attendant care benefits owed by insurer: court
New rules coming next month to help Canadians with cancelled and delayed flights
Stephen King set to testify for govt in books merger trial (US)
New law program in Quebec to begin next fall, a first in 50 years
The Impact of the Lack of Legal Aid in Family Law Cases
SCC rules that when someone is required by their partner to wear a condom but do not, they could be guilty of sexual assault.
Big Plastic suing feds over single-use ban โ€” again
Tim Hortons offers coffee and doughnut as proposed settlement in class action lawsuit
The SCC has refused to hear the appeal to declare the renewal of the state of health emergency by the Quebec government invalid
Federal privacy commissioner investigating controversial ArriveCAN app
Kraken, a U.S. Crypto Exchange, Is Suspected of Violating Sanctions (US)
Ontario court certifies class action on former patients’ anxiety from notice of risk of infection
The stakes couldn’t be higher as Canada’s top court decides whether to hear climate class action lawsuit
Professor Barnali Choudhury selected by EU as trade and sustainable development expert
The Supreme Court decision on the โ€˜Ghomeshiโ€™ amendments will help sexual assault victims access justice
AFN Reaches $20 B Final Settlement Agreement to Compensate First Nations Children and Families

Woman, civil liberties group allege Ontario law on jail strip searches unconstitutional

Canadian Civil Liberties Association filed challenge with Superior Court on Monday.

PHOTO: Maximum security yard for inmates at Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre on Oct. 27, 2016. (Ashley Burke/CBC News)
An Ottawa-area woman and a civil rights group are asking an Ontario court to strike down a law they say allows officials in provincial jails and detention centres to strip search those in custody “even in the absence of any specified reason or security rationale.”

The constitutional challenge was filed in Superior Court on Monday by the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and a plaintiff identified only as Vanessa, a mother of four and former prisoner who alleges she experienced many “unnecessary” strip searches in Ontario facilities.

The legal action alleges the law governing strip searches in Ontario jails and detention centres is overly broad and lacks “constitutionally required safeguards,” contravening two sections of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The statement of claim says the law grants superintendents in provincial facilities unrestricted power to strip search prisoners at any time and under any circumstances, and to delegate that authority as they wish.

Strip searches need legal limits, claim says

The claim says strip searches are “inherently humiliating and degrading,” and must be subject to appropriate legal limits.

The allegations in the statement of claim have not been tested inย court and the Ontario government has not yet filed a statement of defence.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of the Attorney General said the province is reviewing the statement of claim and will not comment further as the matter may be subject to litigation.

In a news release issued Monday, Vanessa said she has been “traumatized” by the “brutal” strip searches she experienced in Ontario facilities.

“I vividly remember being stripped along with my entire unit in the yard even immediately after I suffered a miscarriage. I remember many times when we were taunted and mocked by guards,” she said.

Province one of few without limits, report says

A lawyer for the CCLA said an independent review commissioned by the province previously recommended the strip search law “be scrapped and replaced with constitutionally valid provisions.”

“That has not happened. Instead, Ontario has unnecessarily strip searched many thousands of people, forcing them to strip naked, bend over, squat and cough, and do other degrading things,” Kent Elsonย said in a statement.

The 2017 report by an independent corrections adviser found Ontario is one of the only provinces without a law limiting the use of strip searches in jails, despite the charter strictly limiting the practice.

In fact, government policy requires Ontario’s jails to carry out regular strip searches of all inmates on a biweekly basis and daily for inmates in segregation, Howard Sapers found. Nearly all other provinces and the federal system place restrictions on strip searches, he said in the document.

At the time, the province said it would address all of Sapers’ 62 recommendations.


Want direct access to the latest LITN content?

Stay in the loop โžž Subscribe to LITN instant notifications.
Receive the latest content delivered directly to your device.
Unsubscribe at anytime.

Latest News


Join the LITN Newsletter โžž the latest news delivered to your inbox. Unsubscribe at any time.


Instagram Feed