Category Archives: Legislation

International Day for Universal Access to Information / Right To Know Week 2022

What is the Right To Know?

The right to know is a fundamental principle in Canada. It is enshrined in the Access to Information Act and it ensures that Canadian citizens have access to information about their government and its activities. It also allows Canadians to hold their government accountable and participate fully in our democracy.

What is the International Day for Universal Access to Information/Right To Know Week?

The United Nations’ (UN) International Day for Universal Access to Information and Right To Know Week are observed around September 28 every year. These two closely related events promote the right of citizens to access information held by public bodies. They also raise awareness about issues such as freedom of information, open government, and access to public services and encourage people to use their right to access information.

What is the role of UVic Libraries in exercising the Right to Know and Universal Access to Information?

Libraries of all types play a vital role in ensuring that everyone has access to information. They provide a safe and inclusive space for people to learn, explore, and discover. Libraries also offer a range of services that can help people exercise their right to access information.

UVic Libraries provides its stakeholders on- and off-campus (students, faculty, and the wider community) with essential information around the right to know. Not only does UVic Libraries provide free and comprehensive access to its holdings and services beyond the campus community to all members of the public. It also makes an important contribution as a regional memory institution by preserving and providing access to relevant materials on local and regional history in its collections. This involves preserving and indexing traditional library holdings and archival materials but also systematically archiving websites that have local community relevance.

Resources provided by UVic Libraries to help exercise one’s right to know

Subject-based LibGuides – detailed resources developed and maintained by UVic librarians – were created specifically to educate the campus community as well as the wider public about pathways to information around their civil rights, government activities, the history of democracy, Indigenous governance, and other related topics.

Please visit our LibGuides on British Columbian and Canadian Government Information, including knowledge around open government and access to information and freedom of information requests (Contact: David Boudinot).

Additional LibGuides with a focus on the right to know developed by librarians at the UVic Law Library provide information on A Legal History of the Right to Vote, Constitutional Law in Canada, Legal Information Services in Victoria, Indigenous Law / Indigenous Legal Traditions, including by the Coast Salish peoples, and Municipal Law, with a focus on British Columbian municipalities (Contact: Emily Nickerson and Jessie Lampreau).

These library-curated resources contribute to exercising the right to know and universal access to information and are a good example of how core values and ideas of open scholarship – transparency, accessibility, openness – can have an impact beyond the scholarly community.

Uvic Libraries’ contribution to providing universal access to information and supporting the right to know is guided by its Strategic Directions 2018-2023, which emphasize its role in:

  • providing differentiated approaches to […] digital citizenship, and the critical and creative inquiry skills needed to navigate complex, information-rich environments in order to nurture adaptable, resilient, life-long learners
  • providing experiential learning opportunities for students and the broader community
  • investing in preservation expertise, infrastructure, and partnerships in order to provide sustainable access to knowledge

Universal Access to Information in the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

Both the University of Victoria and UVic Libraries support the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its goals. Ensuring public access to information is one of the targets of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). SDG 16, Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions declares to “Ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms, in accordance with national legislation and international agreements” as its target 16.10.

By providing the above-mentioned services and resources around universal access to information, UVic Libraries contributes to the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Featured Dissertation – Dechen ts’edilhtan: implementing Tsilhqot’in law for watershed governance

By Alan Hanna

Alan Hanna is also an assistant professor in the UVic Faculty of Law, JD/JID program.


The people of the Tsilhqot’in Nation have, and continue to, govern their lands according to dechen ts’edilhtan, the laws of their ancestors. Through their history, their control over their lands and waters have faced opposition from outside forces which include neighbouring nations and settler governments into the colonial present. Over time, their laws have remained strong and deeply internalized, and yet have been exercised to maintain their contested control up to the present. One profound moment when Tsilhqot’in laws became apparent to outsiders was when laws relating to access to the nen (Tsilhqot’in land) effectively proved the Tsilhqot’in Nation’s claim of Aboriginal title over a portion of their territory at Canadian law in 2014. This dissertation provides a deep analysis of dechen ts’edilhtan as it applies specifically to use of and access to surface water in the Tsilhqot’in nen. The purpose is two-fold. First, to continue the ongoing work of understanding and articulating Tsilhqot’in law. Second, to facilitate the identification of possible methods through which ancestral laws may engage Canadian legal and political systems for the benefit of Tsilhqot’in people, and indeed, all Canadians.

To read more, visit UVicSpace

*UVic’s open access repository, UVicspace, makes worldwide knowledge mobilization possible. Through this platform, researchers at any institution have access to dissertations (and theses and graduate projects) published by our graduate students. This also makes works available to the interested layperson, who may be engaged in learning more about the research being done at UVic, with no paywall. UVic’s graduate students are doing valuable research every day – but sometimes it goes unsung. Our goal with this series is to shine a light on our students by featuring excellence, one achievement at a time.

The UVic LIbraries ePublishing Services Team

D. Galloway et al – Immigration and Refugee Law, 2e

Each year, UVic faculty, staff, students, alumni and retirees produce an incredible amount of intellectual content reflecting their breadth and diversity of research, teaching, personal and professional interests. A list of these works is available here.

UVic is pleased to feature a recent publication edited by UVic faculty member, Donald Galloway.  His book, Immigration and Refugee Law: Cases, Materials, and Commentary, 2nd edition is a comprehensive look at immigration issues in Canadian law.

About the Book

The structure of Canadian migration law has been transformed significantly, on both federal and provincial levels, with respect to temporary and permanent migration, Immigration and Refugeenational security, Canada’s deportation regime, inland refugee determination, family class, and economic immigration. In response to these changes, the second edition of this foundational casebook has been completely rewritten and restructured to achieve a streamlined and coherent survey of Canada’s current immigration law and policy.

In the second edition of Immigration and Refugee Law: Cases, Materials, and Commentary, new articles and essays have been added to illuminate central themes in the contemporary study of the Canadian immigration system, including security, criminalization, and sovereignty. Overviews at the beginning of each chapter illustrate overarching conceptual relationships between topics and facilitate efficient referencing.

This ambitious text explores the current state of Canada’s evolving immigration system, surveyed in historic, social, and comparative contexts. Insightful commentary on racial, gender, and class dimensions contributes to a thorough and multi-faceted analysis.

galloway-profileAbout Donald Galloway

Donald Galloway (LLB, University of Edinburgh; LLM, Harvard) is a Professor of Law at the University of Victoria. He specializes in immigration law, citizenship law, and refugee law. He has authored and co-authored three general texts on Canadian immigration law. He has served as a member of the Immigration and Refugee Board, was the founding President of the Canadian Association for Refugee and Forced Migration Studies, and has been an executive member of the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers, serving as the co-chair of its Legal Research Committee.

About the Other Editors

Sharry Aiken (BA, MA, LLB, LLM) is an associate professor in the Faculty of Law at Queen’s University, where she teaches immigration law, international refugee law, international human rights, and administrative law. A past president of the Canadian Council for Refugees and former editor-in-chief of Refuge (2001-2011), Sharry continues to be actively engaged in advocacy and pro bono litigation.

Catherine Dauvergne (BA, MA, LLB, PhD) is a Professor of Law at the University of British Columbia and a Fellow of the Trudeau Foundation. She teaches, researches, and writes in the area of migration law and is involved in pro bono litigation. Dauvergne has recently completed a study of the failure of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms to protect the rights of non-citizens.

Colin Grey (LLB, LLM, JSD) is Professeur régulier en droit des migrations at the University of Québec à Montréal (UQAM). He is the author of Justice and Authority in Immigration Law, a work of legal and political theory. He is also a former legal advisor for the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada.

Audrey Macklin (BSc, LLB) is Professor of Law at the University of Toronto and Chair in human rights law. She teaches, researches, and writes in the areas of migration and citizenship law, gender and culture, and business and human rights. From 1994-96, Macklin was a member of Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board. She has represented human rights organizations as an intervener in several migration and human rights cases before the Federal Court and the Supreme Court of Canada.

Crown Copyright – Canada

“Great news! Crown Copyright and Licensing (CCL) is pleased to announce that permission to reproduce Government of Canada works is no longer required, in part or in whole, and by any means, for personal or public non-commercial purposes, or for cost-recovery purposes, unless otherwise specified in the material you wish to reproduce.”

For more information see:

Copyright Update – Bill C-32

The federal government’s proposed copyright legislation, Bill C-32 went through second reading in the House of Commons on November 2nd and 5th. The Bill has been referred to a special legislative committee, members of which are:

Chair: Gordon Brown (C)
Charlie Angus (NDP)
Kelly Block (C)
Sylvie Boucher (C)
Peter Braid (C)
Serge Cardin (BQ)
Dean Del Mastro (C)
Marc Garneau (L)
Mike Lake (C)
Carole Lavallée (BQ)
Dan McTeague (L)
Pablo Rodriguez (L)

Michael Geist’s Opening Statement to the committee