Responses to Maia and Francesca

Maia Stevenson:

Maia, your work at the CCLA in the burgeoning area of cyber-crime and gender is fascinating.
I was reminded of an article I read in The New Yorker a couple years ago (https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/12/05/the-attorney-fighting-revenge-porn) about this new practice area. I would be interested to know about the positions that the CCLA is taking in the area of revenge porn since, as The New Yorker describes, the ACLU has actually opposed American laws meant to combat revenge porn on the basis of being “overbroad” and infringing the First Amendment. I am also curious about the international aspects of this area of law. For example, what remedies are available when the individual posting the revenge porn is not in Canada. Is there a cause of action against ISPs or the website that hosts the images?

Francesca Nardi:

I really enjoyed your post about the cultural differences between Canada and Argentina when it comes to the pace of life and valuing time spent on areas of life beyond work. Because you are also doing work on disability your post reminded me of “crip time”. Crip time is a concept from critical disability and queer studies. It refers to the way time and life cycles are different in the lives of people with disabilities because it is impossible or unhealthy to keep up with the pace of the able-bodied. This adjustment to crip time has been difficult for me since a car accident a couple years ago paralyzed me and required me to adjust to a slower lifestyle in which I am dependent on the schedules of others to get help with basic tasks or to get around the city.

Since you are working on public transportation and disability in Argentina I wonder if you have reflected on the inaccessibility of Montreal’s public transportation system. As a wheelchair user, I cannot use the Montreal metro since only a few stations have elevators and I cannot use buses reliably because even when a bus has a ramp it is rare that it works or the bus driver won’t put the ramp out in the snow because it is against STM policy to risk the ramp getting stuck. So people with disabilities are relegated to the Transport Adapté system, which requires bookings 24 hours in advance and often requires users to wait an hour or more for their ride.

When it comes to other aspects of the built environment, Montreal is the most inaccessible city in North America. Not only am I, as a wheelchair user, excluded from most restaurants and stores but I am excluded from places like the Mile End Mission/Legal Clinic (which finally got a temporary ramp this past month after I urged them to stop excluding wheelchair users).

As you might imagine I could go on and on about this issue. The final thought I will leave you with is the role of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). I have deep skepticism about its importance since the United States has not ratified the CRPD and yet it is the most physically accessible country and its federal legislation, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), is looked to as the gold standard. In fact, the ADA predates the CRPD by 16 years and in Canada the provinces have used it as a template for laws like the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.

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