Human rights complaint against P.E.I. press gallery lands in court

Ryan Ross
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Supreme Court of Prince Edward Island

A man who claims members of the P.E.I. legislative assembly's press gallery discriminated against him is trying to stop a judicial review of a decision on a human rights complaint he filed.

Stephen Pate appeared before Justice Ben Taylor in P.E.I. Supreme Court Thursday where he argued against allowing a judicial review of P.E.I. Human Rights Commission chair Anne Nicholson's decision to send his complaint to a panel hearing.

Pate filed the complaint with the human rights commission in 2010 alleging members of the press gallery discriminated against him because of his disability.

Guardian reporters Wayne Thibodeau and Teresa Wright were also named in the complaint, along with CBC producer Donna Allen, who were all members of the press gallery.

They denied the allegations of discrimination.

Former human rights commission executive director Greg Howard dismissed the complaint, but Nicholson overturned his decision.

The defendants are asking a supreme court judge to overturn her decision and revert back to Howard's conclusion that the complaint should be dismissed.

During Thursday's proceedings, Pate argued the complaint should be going before a human rights panel and it would be premature to allow a judicial review because all of the options available through the commission haven't been exhausted yet.

Pate asked to have the application for a judicial review dismissed but he ran out of time before finishing his arguments and the case was adjourned until Aug. 11 when the defendants' lawyer makes his submissions.

None of the allegations have been proven in court or before a human rights panel.

Organizations: P.E.I. press, P.E.I. Human Rights Commission, CBC

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Recent comments

  • billy P
    May 30, 2014 - 19:53

    Mr Pate is the furthest thing from anything but trouble, he and a couple others on this island tie our courts up way tooooo much and there should be laws against them!

  • Blogger vs Journalist
    May 30, 2014 - 18:34

    While journalist posting online may be considered blogger, being blogger does not make one journalist. Stephen Pate is as much journalist as don, frequent commentator here.

    • SlyFox
      May 30, 2014 - 20:25

      Well if say so then it must be true.LOL A true blogger is a journal of oneself and their daily life. A journalist collects, writes, and distributes news and other information. So this being said it would depend on what media one would put on their said site to determine what category they would be labels as.

  • Observer from the East
    May 30, 2014 - 11:10

    Mr Pate is good at complaining, and often uses the discrimination card. Was there discrimination against him? From what I've heard and read, I have my doubts. It seems as though he's a blogger trying to pass off as a journalist. I'd cut my losses if I was him.

    • SlyFox
      May 30, 2014 - 14:51

      I guess this is why it is before the courts now to find out if there is merit to his complaint.It is a good thing we have the court system instead of convicting someone on hearsay or rumor. Also if the printed editions of newspapers are to be eliminated ,would that not make all bloggers a form of journalist to certain degree.