Manitoba

Civil liberties group seeks intervener status in Aaron Driver hearing

The Manitoba Association of Rights and Liberties wants to intervene in an upcoming court hearing for Aaron Driver to ensure the rights of the Winnipeg-based ISIS supporter are protected.

Manitoba Association of Rights and Liberties seeks leave to intervene as 'friend of the court'

Winnipeg lawyer Corey Shefman, who speaks for the Manitoba Association of Rights and Liberties, filed a notice of motion on Friday requesting that the association intervene as a 'friend of the court' in next Tuesday's hearing for Aaron Driver. (CBC)

The Manitoba Association of Rights and Liberties wants to intervene in an upcoming court hearing for Aaron Driver to ensure the rights of the Winnipeg-based ISIS supporter are protected.

Driver, 23, who has publicly expressed support for the Islamic militant group, was arrested in early June on a peace bond application filed by the RCMP.

He was released on bail earlier this week, after agreeing to 19 conditions that include having to wear a GPS tracking device at all times and not possessing a smartphone or computer.

Driver's lawyer, Leonard Tailleur, will fight those conditions in a constitutional question hearing in Winnipeg on Tuesday, and the association wants to intervene in that case as a "friend of the court."

Driver, 23, is not facing any criminal charges this time, but the authorities want to limit his activities on the suspicion that he may help a terrorist group or activity. (Facebook)
Lawyer and MARL spokesperson Corey Shefman, who filed the notice of motion with the provincial court on Friday, said it's important to get a broad view of the rights in question and balance Driver's rights with the public's interest in security.

Shefman said Driver's case is a test case not just in Manitoba, but in Canada.

"The rights that are in question here — the rights to liberty, the right to due process — these are the fundamental rights that make us Canadian," he said Friday.

The notice of motion states that the case "inherently invokes the public interest and as with other such cases arising in other jurisdictions and other levels of court, will benefit from the inclusion of enhanced and varied legal perspectives and argument, brought in the public interest."

Driver not facing any charges

Driver is not facing any criminal charges, but the authorities want to limit his activities on the suspicion that he will become involved in terrorism.

In an interview with CBC News last month, Driver called the Oct. 22, 2014, attack on Parliament Hill — and the death of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo — "justified" and "retaliation" for Canada's role in bombing Muslims in Syria and Iraq.

He was put on a CSIS watch list because of his public support for ISIS. He regularly shared his views on social media and had at least 12 Twitter accounts shut down as a result.

Tailleur, Driver's lawyer, writes in a notice of application that "'reasonable suspicion' does not justify extensive intrusions on liberty amounting to conditions virtually identical to conditional sentences in length and breadth."

Michelle Falk, MARL's executive director, stated in a sworn affidavit that the association has an interest in Driver's case and "can contribute unique and valuable argument to the court because of MARL's role acting for the broader public interest, incorporating many diverse views and positions."

"I believe there are serious human rights and civil liberties issues to be addressed in this proceeding which are of local, regional and national concern," Falk's affidavit states in part.

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