By Emily Chan, Canadian Civil Liberties Assoc.
April 14, 2022
In 1995, British Columbia became the first province in Canada to introduce a law creating “safe access zones” – commonly called “bubble zones” – around facilities related to providing abortion services.
Nearly three decades later, provinces are drawing from the same toolbox to create bubble zones around other healthcare facilities, following widespread protests against COVID-19 safety measures.
In light of these developments, here is a look at what bubble zones are, how they originated, and why there’s renewed interest in them today.
By Steve McKinley, Halifax Bureau
Thu., Sept. 2, 2021
When the Liberal Party of Canada released its platform on Wednesday, one paragraph might have seemed particularly pointed to New Brunswickers.
“A re-elected Liberal government will: Establish
regulations under the Canada Health Act governing accessibility for sexual and
reproductive health services so there is no question, that no matter where
someone lives, that they have access to publicly available sexual and
reproductive health services,” reads the Liberal platform.
Abortion is one of the key political issues where the Liberals want to distinguish themselves from the Conservatives
Sep 01, 2021
The Liberals are pledging to update the Canada Health Act to regulate access to abortion services across the country and to use federal health transfers as leverage to ensure provinces abide by the new rules.
The new regulations would mean “there is no question, that no matter where someone lives, that they have access to publicly available sexual and reproductive health services,” states the party’s election platform, released Wednesday.
By Silas Brown, Global News
July 28, 2021
New Brunswick’s English language health authority says its current level of abortion service is adequate.
A letter sent by Horizon CEO Karen McGrath to the province’s deputy health minister says that demand for surgical abortions at their Moncton clinic are falling and that they aren’t receiving requests for abortion services elsewhere, other than in the Fredericton area.
By Nathalie Sturgeon Global News
Posted July 23, 2021
Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland visited Clinic 554 in Fredericton as part of a two-stop tour of the province with MP Jenica Atwin.
Freeland met with clinic staff and discussed the services they provide. They also talked about the struggles the clinic has faced with some of its critical services.
Ottawa first threatened to punish the province in 2019 for its refusal to fund abortions done at Clinic 554
Jacques Poitras · CBC News
Posted: Jul 23, 2021
Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said Friday that the federal government will announce "in the coming days" how it plans to ensure public funding for abortions at Fredericton's Clinic 554.
Freeland said Ottawa remains committed to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's promise two years ago that he would "ensure" the province funded the procedure at the clinic.
Justice Tracey DeWare says province was 'unreasonable' in blocking public-interest standing application
Hadeel Ibrahim · CBC News
Posted: Jun 01, 2021
The Canadian Civil Liberties Association has been given the go-ahead to sue New Brunswick over abortion access.
Chief Justice Tracey DeWare of the Court of Queen's Bench decided Tuesday that the association has public-interest standing and is qualified to sue the province.
She also admonished the province for opposing the association's application to have standing.
Civil liberties group wants to sue province on behalf of all New Brunswick residents
Hadeel Ibrahim · CBC News
Posted: May 17, 2021
The Canadian Civil Liberties Association says it has the right to sue the New Brunswick government for lack of abortion access, partly because the premier made it a legal issue in his public comments.
On Monday, lawyers for the association and the province appeared before Chief Justice Tracey DeWare of the Court of Queen's Bench to argue whether the association has "public interest standing" to sue the province for what it sees as unconstitutional abortion laws.
by Martha Paynter
Jan 18, 2021
On January 7, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association filed a lawsuit against the Higgs government in New Brunswick, challenging the constitutionality of the province’s restrictions to publicly-insured abortion services. Section 2.a.1 of Regulation 84-20 of the N.B. Medical Services Payment Act, enacted in 1984, states that abortion is “deemed not to be entitled services” for provincial payment unless it is provided in an approved hospital facility. Other services similarly banned from public payment include cosmetic surgery and breast augmentation. The regulation effectively excludes abortion care provided by Clinic 554, the former Morgentaler Clinic in Fredericton, from public coverage. The federal government has reprimanded New Brunswick for being the only province in the country that refuses to fund clinic-based abortion, a move that violates the Canada Health Act.
As a registered nurse working in abortion care and research, I recognize there are many potential advantages to going to a clinic for abortion care, such as a welcoming environment; more specialized staff; and reduced travel time, since many clinics also provide related services like ultrasounds and bloodwork collection. But in New Brunswick there are two additional, critical benefits.
Lawsuit argues that New Brunswick’s refusal violates both the law and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms
Brooklyn Connolly in Truro, The Guardian (UK)
Fri 8 Jan 2021
Human rights activists in Canada have filed a lawsuit against the province of New Brunswick for its refusal to fund abortion services in private clinics – as they are in the rest of the country.
The lawsuit suit filed by the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) argues that the refusal violates both the law and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms – Canada’s constitution.