March 8, 2023

Janelle O’Connor

Janelle O'Connor celebrates #IWD2023.

A Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) is a legal contract in which a person agrees to keep certain information confidential. NDAs were originally used to keep business information, such as intellectual property and trade secrets confidential; however, over time, they have also become commonplace in sexual assault settlements.

Last month, lawyers across Canada voted in favour of a resolution – by a 94 per cent margin – pushing for non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) to no longer be used as a tool to silence those who come forward after experiencing sexual assault. You can read the full resolution on the Canadian Bar Association website here: Resolutions/23-05-A.

Last year, I wrote a blog about NDAs in sexual assault cases and highlighted the new legislation in PEI. Since then, Manitoba has also introduced similar legislation to ban the use of NDAs to silence survivors of sexual assault. You can watch the Manitoba Committee meeting and hear from those who came forward to provide their emotional testimony to lawmakers on NDAs in sexual abuse cases here: Bill 225: The Non-Disclosure Agreements Act.

Is British Columbia next?

Today, on International Women’s Day, Caitlin Ohama-Darcus and I are attending Can’t Buy my Silence’s special screening of She Said followed by a panel discussion (you can watch the panel discussion here: We look forward to talking with our legal colleagues, politicians and professors about the direction of NDAs in this province.

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