Alan Borovoy

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Alan Borovoy earned a bachelor’s degree and an LLB by 1956. When the Toronto-based Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) recruited him in 1968 as its general counsel, he had already distinguished himself with the Jewish Labour Committee. In 1962, he had organized activists in Halifax and attracted a great deal of attention by taking up the cause of the residents of Africville, which led to the formation of the Halifax Advisory Committee on Human Rights. A year later, he was at the centre of a successful campaign to introduce legislation to ban racial discrimination in Ontario. When Aboriginal peoples from Kenora approached Borovoy about discrimination and poor government services in the 1960s, he organized a large protest march to city hall with hundreds of Aboriginals from neighbouring reserves to demand everything from telephones to an alcohol treatment centre (which were eventually provided).

A life-long resident of Toronto, Borovoy went on to lead the CCLA for the next four decades and became one of the most recognizable civil libertarians in Canada.


Further Reading

Borovoy, Alan. At the Barricades: A Memoir. Toronto: Irwin Law, 2013.

Borovoy, Alan. The New Anti-Liberals. Toronto: Canadian Scholars’ Press, 1999.

Borovoy, Alan. Uncivil Obedience: The Tactics and Tales of a Democratic Agitator. Toronto: Lester, 1991.

Borovoy, Alan. When Freedoms Collide: The Case for Our Civil Liberties. Toronto: Lester and Orpen Dennys, 1988.


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