Civil liberties are certain rights that we have that are protected from infringement by the government. In the United States, many of these rights can be found within the Bill of Rights, such as free speech, freedom of religion, freedom to assemble, and so on. Some people think that governments should have a great deal of leeway in infringing the civil liberties of some people at some times. For example, during wartime, the government often claims the right to restrict free speech as a matter of national security. The statement discussed in the question is essentially arguing the opposite of this. It is saying that governments should not restrict civil liberties in countries like the U.S. and Canada, which are democracies. It does not say why, but one reason people argue this is that democracies are intended to allow the freest possible exchange of ideas. If civil liberties are restricted, this is not taking place. Another reason we might oppose unreasonable limits on these rights would be that protecting civil liberties is crucial to protecting the rights of the minority, which is as essential to democracy as majority rule. Some civil liberties, like due process protections, are important limits on the power of the state relative to the individual. In short, it could be argued that civil liberties are the lifeblood of democracy, though many European democracies in particular allow for restrictions on many kinds of speech.