stats
globeinteractive.com: Making the Business of Life Easier

   Finance globeinvestor   Careers globecareers.workopolis Subscribe to The Globe
The Globe and Mail /globeandmail.com
Home | Business | National | Int'l | Sports | Columnists | The Arts | Tech | Travel | TV | Wheels
space


Search

space
  This site         Tips

  
space
  The Web Google
space
   space



space

  Where to Find It


Breaking News
  Home Page

  Report on Business

  Sports

  Technology

space
Subscribe to The Globe

Shop at our Globe Store


Print Edition
  Front Page

  Report on Business

  National

  International

  Sports

  Arts & Entertainment

  Editorials

  Columnists

   Headline Index

 Other Sections
  Appointments

  Births & Deaths

  Books

  Classifieds

  Comment

  Education

  Environment

  Facts & Arguments

  Focus

  Health

  Obituaries

  Real Estate

  Review

  Science

  Style

  Technology

  Travel

  Wheels

 Leisure
  Cartoon

  Crosswords

  Food & Dining

  Golf

  Horoscopes

  Movies

  Online Personals

  TV Listings/News

 Specials & Series
  All Reports...

space

Services
   Where to Find It
 A quick guide to what's available on the site

 Newspaper
  Advertise

  Corrections

  Customer Service

  Help & Contact Us

  Reprints

  Subscriptions

 Web Site
  Advertise

  E-Mail Newsletters

  Free Headlines

  Globe Store New

  Help & Contact Us

  Make Us Home

  Mobile New

  Press Room

  Privacy Policy

  Terms & Conditions


GiveLife.ca

    

PRINT EDITION
Civil liberties group files lawsuit over Toronto Quayside project
space
space
By MICHELLE MCQUIGGE
THE CANADIAN PRESS
  
  

Email this article Print this article
Wednesday, April 17, 2019 – Page B2

TORONTO -- 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-tobe-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.

The association called for a complete "reset" of the partnership with Sidewalk Labs.

"Before developing or implementing the Quayside project, the respondent governments have the duty to develop a digital data governance policy to address the capture, collection, control, management, ownership, risks, exploitation and residency of the data collected," the notice of application reads. "Instead, the respondent governments have abdicated their duty ... have violated or will violate Canadians' personal and collective privacy rights."

The provincial and federal governments named in the suit did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the legal action, which also names private citizen Lester Brown as a complainant alongside the association.

A spokesman for Toronto Mayor John Tory said Sidewalk's final proposal for Quayside will go through "full public scrutiny" for a variety of issues, including those raised in the lawsuit.

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.

Word of the suit comes weeks after the association sent letters to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Ontario Premier Doug Ford and the Toronto mayor warning it was considering legal action over the Sidewalk collaboration.

The Quayside project, which still needs further approvals from all three levels of government, involves bringing affordable housing, heated sidewalks, so-called raincoats for buildings and autonomous vehicle infrastructure to the city's waterfront.

It has been mired in controversies over data and privacy concerns due to the vast amounts of information it could collect through phones, sensors and other devices embedded in the neighbourhood's infrastructure.

The suit seeks to nullify Sidewalk Labs' partnership agreement with Waterfront Toronto, alleging the local development organization does not have the authority to create a digital governance policy for the Quayside project.

The suit also makes numerous arguments centred on the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, alleging that the collection of personal data infringes on a host of civil liberties.

"The data capture will be or will likely be carried out without the meaningful informed consent of its target individuals and for inappropriate purposes," the notice reads.

It also claims that the "non-consensual surrender by the state to Sidewalk Labs and/or others of private data" will discourage, limit or even make it impossible for individuals to assemble and associate freely and anonymously to pursue legitimate social goals, personal and public activities and civic engagements.

"This curtails or negates critical freedoms in a democracy where collective behaviour plays an important political and social role," it reads.

Although Sidewalk Labs was not named in the suit, its chief executive officer said the association was being too hasty with its legal action since the project remains in the proposal stage.

"I think what surprised me a little bit was that nobody was sort of prepared to give us the benefit of the doubt," Dan Doctoroff said in a speech Tuesday at the Canadian Club in Toronto.

Mr. Doctoroff said Sidewalk has promised not to use any data for commercial or advertising purposes, adding that an unspecified independent regime will be responsible for managing the data. He said that while he doesn't know the details of the lawsuit, Sidewalk takes issues around privacy and surveillance seriously.

The CCLA is not the first to raise issues with the project.

In late February, about 30 concerned citizens, including long-time Quayside critics Bianca Wylie and Saadia Muzaffar, formed an organization called Block Sidewalk, calling for the end of the project.

After it was revealed in February that Sidewalk was hoping to collect a cut of the city's property taxes and development fees in exchange for funding a light rail transit line, some city councillors also expressed reservations about the project.

Associated Graphic

Although Sidewalk Labs was not named in the CCLA lawsuit, CEO Daniel Doctoroff says the group is being too quick to litigate since the project is still in the proposal stage.

FRED LUM/THE GLOBE AND MAIL


Huh? How did I get here?
Return to Main Heather_Mallick Page
Subscribe to
The Globe and Mail
 

Email this article Print this article

space  Advertisement
space

Need CPR for your RSP? Check your portfolio’s pulse and lower yours by improving the overall health of your investments. Click here.

Advertisement

7-Day Site Search
    

Breaking News



Today's Weather


Inside

Rick Salutin
Merrily marching
off to war
Roy MacGregor
Duct tape might hold
when panic strikes


Editorial
Where Manley is going with his first budget




space

Columnists



For a columnist's most recent stories, click on their name below.

 National


Roy MacGregor arrow
This Country
space
Jeffrey Simpson arrow
The Nation
space
Margaret Wente arrow
Counterpoint
space
Hugh Winsor  arrow
The Power Game
space
 Business


Rob Carrick arrow
Personal Finance
space
Drew Fagan arrow
The Big Picture
space
Mathew Ingram arrow
space
Brent Jang arrow
Business West
space
Brian Milner arrow
Taking Stock
space
Eric Reguly arrow
To The Point
space
Andrew Willis arrow
Streetwise
space
 Sports


Stephen Brunt arrow
The Game
space
Eric Duhatschek arrow
space
Allan Maki arrow
space
William Houston arrow
Truth & Rumours
space
Lorne Rubenstein arrow
Golf
space
 The Arts


John Doyle arrow
Television
space
John MacLachlan Gray arrow
Gray's Anatomy
space
David Macfarlane arrow
Cheap Seats
space
Johanna Schneller arrow
Moviegoer
space
 Comment


Murray Campbell arrow
Ontario Politics
space
Lysiane Gagnon arrow
Inside Quebec
space
Marcus Gee arrow
The World
space
William Johnson arrow
Pit Bill
space
Paul Knox arrow
Worldbeat
space
Heather Mallick arrow
As If
space
Leah McLaren arrow
Generation Why
space
Rex Murphy arrow
Japes of Wrath
space
Rick Salutin arrow
On The Other Hand
space
Paul Sullivan arrow
The West
space
William Thorsell arrow
space





Home | Business | National | Int'l | Sports | Columnists | The Arts | Tech | Travel | TV | Wheels
space

© 2003 Bell Globemedia Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Help & Contact Us | Back to the top of this page