Category Archives: Blog

On December 6, we remember and we will continue to work to end violence against women

Today, we remember the 14 women who lost their lives in a horrific act of gender-based violence at the hands of a lone gunman in Montréal. Though the incident occurred over 25 years ago, our society continues to struggle with the structural violence against women that manifests in many forms, and in many arenas, all […]

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New Canadian Coalition to Reform HIV Criminalization Launched

On October 20 and 21, people living with HIV, community workers, lawyers and academics from across the country met in Toronto to officially launch the new Canadian Coalition to Reform HIV Criminalization. The Coalition was founded by a group of Canadians and representatives of Canadian organizations who met at the HIV Is Not A Crime […]

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International Assistance Review: an opportunity for Canada to stand up for human rights abroad

When International Development Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau took up her post in November 2015, she was tasked with leading Canada’s efforts to “provide humanitarian assistance to help reduce poverty and inequality in the world” and refocusing Canada’s development assistance “on helping the poorest and most vulnerable.” This renewed focus on marginalized communities must underlie the current […]

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Consensus crumbling: report from the UN General Assembly Special Session on drugs

By Richard Elliott, Executive Director April 29, 2016 It was a surreal exercise that unfolded at the UN in New York last week — a pretend consensus, and a terrible dereliction of duty by some of the world’s governments. And yet, paradoxically, I left the event at the end of the week feeling profoundly encouraged. […]

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Canada on drugs at the UN: Standing up for a long-overdue policy shift

By Richard Elliott The applause persisted until the chair of the session eventually gavelled it to an end. The occasion? Canada’s statement last month at the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) in Vienna, where countries were negotiating the text of a declaration to be adopted next week at the UN General Assembly’s Special Session on […]

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R. v. Lloyd: A coalition condemns mandatory minimum sentencing at the Supreme Court

By Mclean Ayearst, legal research volunteer and former Legal Network intern January 13, 2016 The Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network is part of a coalition which is intervening at the Supreme Court in the case of R. v. Lloyd, the latest challenge to Canada’s harsh and damaging drug laws. In R. v. Lloyd, the Supreme Court […]

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Up for Vote: A New Vision on Drug Policy

October 19, 2015 The following blog post was written jointly by Richard Elliott, Executive Director of the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, and Donald MacPherson, Executive Director of the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition. How encouraging that the state of our outdated and ineffective drug policy is getting some attention during this federal election. Finally, after decades of […]

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Proud to Vote: LGBTQ Issues in the Federal Election

October 1, 2015 On September 24 in Toronto, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) issues were front and centre on the campaign trail as the Dignity Initiative (co-founded by the Legal Network) co-hosted “Proud to Vote: LGBTQ Issues in the Federal Election.” September 24 also marked the launch of the Dignity Initiative’s Call to […]

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#JustSayNyet: Say No to Russia’s Drug Policy

September 28, 2015 In Russia, discriminatory drug policies and their practical applications continue to fuel the spread of HIV by targeting those least able to defend themselves. The Russian government’s response to the world drug “problem” has been a distorted reflection of United Nations drug conventions. The result has been an ugly form of unrestricted […]

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Researching the effects of surveillance on women living with HIV

Researching the effects of surveillance on women living with HIV September 2015 While media headlines focus on individuals prosecuted for alleged HIV non-disclosure, we know that the impacts of criminalizing HIV non-disclosure go far beyond those who are formally charged. I was therefore delighted to learn in April that our 3-year community-based research (CBR) proposal […]

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