In memoriam: Joe Arvay, O.C, O.B.C, Q.C. (1949-2020)

Joe Arvay, OC, OBC, QC

Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada is saddened by the passing of Canadian lawyer Joe Arvay on 7 December 2020. Joe Arvay was a giant in Canada’s civil rights and human rights community and was recognized for his contributions by being invested as an Officer in the Order of Canada. Joe Arvay was counsel on many important constitutional and human rights cases decided by the Supreme Court of Canada, including cases involving freedom of expression.

LRWC’s newsletter (pdf) in October 2010 noted a case argued by Joe Arvey and LRWC Director Clive Ansley in the BC Court of Appeal, Vancouver v. Zhang et al. The case struck down the section of the City Bylaw regulating the use of streets on which the City had based its 2006 decision to force Falun Gong practitioners to remove the protest structure supporting their continuous 24-hour vigil in front of the Chinese Consulate-General.

With Joe Arvay’s passing, the burden now falls upon the rest of the civil rights and human rights legal community to take up worthwhile causes and advocate for the civil and human rights to which all of us are entitled.