lawyer targets Collins petition
By Kevin Gillies News
government is seeking to short-circuit an
appeal of a human rights tribunal decision
against former North Shore News columnist
Doug Collins before that appeal
gets to court.
Collins was set to appear in a Victoria
courtroom on Monday to petition for a
judicial review of a ruling made against
him last February by a quasi-judicial
human rights tribunal. The tribunal's
decision found Collins and the News guilty
of breaching B.C.'s Human Rights Code by
expressing opinion "likely" to expose a
Victoria man to hatred or contempt through
four columns published in the News back in
on Thursday, attorney general ministry
spokesman Kate Thompson said the
Crown was seeking to quash the petition
before it gets to the courts.
Collins was incensed.
"It's quite obvious to me that they
don't want this thing to come to court
because if it comes to court, they will
lose," he said Thursday.
"I have never written hate literature,"
Collins said. "My opinions may be fairly
strong and not politically correct. But
hate literature is a different thing."
Because B.C.'s human rights tribunals
offer no avenue to appeal, Collins is
turning to the courts.
On Thursday, Collins' lawyer Doug
Christie received a letter from fellow
Victoria lawyer Lisa Mrozinski, who
represents the attorney general's
The letter advised Christie of
Mrozinski's intention to strike down the
petition "on the grounds that it discloses
no cause of action, is otherwise
unnecessary, and may constitute an abuse
When asked to explain the grounds,
Mrozinski refused comment but referred
questions to Thompson, the ministry's
media relations manager.
"We don't talk about anything before
the courts," Thompson said. "The
government never does that."
Christie was confident the petition
would be heard.
"It's a stall tactic," said Christie,
who expects Monday's hearing to go ahead,
although with a different focus.
"They want to delay setting a date for
the (court) hearing until they have made
their motion to quash, which would be in
But Thompson refused to reply to the
"We're not going to discuss what's
going on before the courts in newspaper
headlines," she said. "If Mr. Christie
wants to make some comments, that's
entirely up to him."
Collins said B.C.'s human rights
legislation is seriously flawed.
"They know that the thing is absolutely
unacceptable to any ordinary or reasonable
person," he said. "The people who passed
the legislation themselves were
unscrupulous. They passed this legislation
in order to get me and they don't want it
to get to a real court of law."
Mrozinski's letter also states that the
attorney general's office has the support
of the human rights tribunal, B'Nai
Brith Canada and Harry Abrams,
who lodged the human rights complaint back
Abrams' human rights complaint was the
second filed over columns written by
Collins. In 1997, a different human rights
tribunal found that the Collins column at
issue did not constitute hatred under the
Human Rights Code. However, the tribunal
in the Abrams case found that, while the
four columns at issue individually did not
violate the code, collectively they