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

Ryan Ross
Published on May 30, 2014

Supreme Court of Prince Edward Island

©Guardian photo

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.