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April 18, 2019

Canadian Civil Liberties Association files lawsuit over Quayside project

 

 

As reported on CTV News, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association launched a lawsuit Tuesday against all three levels of government involved in a bid to bring a high-tech neighbourhood to Toronto’s downtown core.

Federal, provincial and municipal governments are all named in the notice of application filed by the civil rights and freedoms group, which has been threatening since March to launch legal action over the yet-to-be-approved Quayside project.

The suit also names Waterfront Toronto, a local organization that’s partnered with Google sibling company Sidewalk Labs to develop five hectares of waterfront land into a “smart city” with high-tech sensors built into nearly every aspect of its infrastructure.

A notice of application announcing the suit alleged the project is replete with potential privacy breaches that violate Canadians’ constitutional rights.

At a news conference announcing the suit, association Executive Director Michael Bryant called for a complete “shutdown and reset” of the partnership with Sidewalk Labs, an independent company that shares the same parent company as Google.

“The laboratory of Sidewalk Labs, you see, is your community,” Bryant said at the news conference. “Scientists profit from your behavioural data. Canada, Toronto, you are the lab rats.”

Waterfront Toronto said in a statement that since it has not yet received Sidewalk Labs’ master plan for Quayside, it cannot assess the claims in the association’s suit.

A spokesperson for federal infrastructure minister Francois-Philippe Champagne also emphasized the lack of a concrete proposal, adding the government was committed to seeing the Quayside project unfold in “an ethical and accountable fashion.”

The Ontario government said it would be inappropriate to comment on the legal action, which also names private citizen Lester Brown as a complainant alongside the association.

Keep reading on CTV News

 


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