During his seven-year tenure at the helm of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, Josh Paterson could take pride in some major successes.
The organization won a landmark Supreme Court of Canada decision overturning the federal government's prohibition on medically assisted death.
That led to new legislation coming forward, which the BCCLA is also challenging. That's because Paterson and others believe it fell far short of the Supreme Court of Canada's parameters of what should be available to Canadians.
The BCCLA also won success with the John Howard Society in challenging the use of indefinite solitary confinement in federal prisons.
And it persuaded the provincial government to introduce legislation to curb so-called SLAPP—a.k.a. strategic litigation against public participation—lawsuits designed to stifle public discussion of controversial subjects.
Today, Paterson announced that he's leaving the BCCLA to accept a new position as executive director of the Law Foundation of British Columbia.
In a letter on the BCCLA website, Paterson stated that it's "a great time for the BCCLA to transition to new leadership", having completed its first strategic plan and being in a "healthy financial situation".
A year ago, the BCCLA and the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs filed a complaint with the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner over why a disproportionate number of Indigenous and black people are stopped in street check.
The BCCLA is also campaigning for independent oversight of the Canadian Border Services Agency.
Paterson succeeded David Eby as the BCCLA executive director when Eby decided to run as a New Democrat against then B.C. Liberal premier Christy Clark in Vancouver–Point Grey in the 2013 general election.
Prior to working for the BCCLA, Paterson was the Aboriginal and natural resources lawyer at West Coast Environmental Law.