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British Columbia Civil Liberties Association - APEC Inquiry fonds
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- British Columbia Civil Liberties Association
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2.26 m of textual records.
3 computer diskettes.
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The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) is a "non-partisan, autonomous and charitable society" whose mandate is to "preserve, defend, maintain and extend civil liberties and human rights in British Columbia and across Canada." On November 25, 1997, approximately 1,500 protesters came to the University of British Columbia campus to voice their opposition to the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) summit. Protesters were concerned that APEC discussions aimed at liberalizing trade between the participating countries would not reference human rights and social and environmental issues. In particular, the protesters demonstrated against President Jiang Zemin of China and President Suharto of Indonesia. Several anti-APEC organizers, including Jaggi Singh, were detained or arrested in the days leading up to the protest. Following a series of peaceful demonstrations on the morning of November 25, protesters clashed with police in the afternoon. At the Rose Garden plaza, protesters broke through a police barricade and were pepper-sprayed by the police. The protesters then spread out in hopes of being seen by APEC delegates. At one of the roadblocks on N.W. Marine Drive, Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Staff Sergeant Hugh Stewart warned protesters that officers would use whatever force necessary if they did not clear the area. Shortly after that, officers moved in to the crowd with pepper spray. Differing versions of events, both before, during, and after the protest, led to the initiation of various legal actions. Serious charges were levelled at the RCMP for their handling of the event and their alleged role in suppressing free speech and other civil liberties.
Allegations of political interference by the Prime Ministers Office (PMO) into the actions of the RCMP were also made. The APEC Inquiry was launched by the RCMP's Public Complaints Commission (PCC) on February 20, 1998, and formal hearings commenced on October 5, 1998. Following additional allegations of renewed political interference, the hearings ended abruptly with the resignation of the Inquiry's Chief Commissioner, Gerald Morin, on December 4, 1998. The second round of hearings under the direction of Ted Hughes began on march 23, 1999, and concluded on June 30, 2000. The PCCs interim report was released on July 31, 2001, and its final report appeared on March 25, 2002. The B.C. Civil Liberties Association, through its president, Kay Stockholder, filed a complaint with the RCMP PCC. Although the BCCLA took no position on the merits of the various protestors views, the Association was the first to call for public hearings into the events at the APEC summit, and, as President of the BCCLA, Stockholder was the complainant before the PCC until replaced in 1998 by incoming president Andrew D. Irvine.
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The fonds consists of exhibits and submissions from assorted counsel, as well as notes relating to the BCCLA and their role in the APEC Inquiry.
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Online Finding Aid
Please see the finding aid for an inventory of files.