Discrimination hearing proceeds, Collins Doug

Western Jewish Bulletin, August 23, 1996, p.15

Discrimination hearing proceeds
Roberta Staley, Staff Reporter

A human rights hearing into whether _North Shore News_
columnist Doug Collins over-stepped the line in an opinion
piece could set the stage for future hearings.

“This case will have significant precident value in B.C.,”
according to Canadian Jewish Congress, Pacific region,
honorary legal counsel Herb Silber.

Congree was informed in mid-August that after a two-year
probe, the B.C. Human Rights Council has appointed a member to
hear Congress’ complain that Mr. Collins’ March 9, 1994
column, titled “Hollywood Propaganda,” defamed the Jewish
community. The complaint was based upon the Human Rights Act
of B.C. which prohibits exposing persons or groups to hatred
based on race, religion and ancestry. No one has been charged
under this section of the act before.

A date for the public hearing will be set within six months.
The council will weigh provincial human rights legislation
against the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms’ guarantee
of free speech.

_North Shore News_ publisher Peter Speck called the hearing a
dangerous move toward government-imposed censorship. “It’s
very frightening for the news media. It sets up a government
tribunal to judge what’s right to print or not right to