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Civil liberties group announces 1999 brickbats and bouquets

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Our second annual reporting of the best and worst defenders of civil liberties in British Columbia.

BRICKBATS:

  • BC Human Rights Commission & Tribunal
    the former for ordering a hearing into a sexual harassment complaint that had previously been rejected by UBC’s Equity Office, the latter for losing control of the process, then issuing a decision vastly expanding the scope of sexual harassment.
  • International Forest Products Limited
    for applying for an injunction barring the public and the press from a large area around a disputed logging operation.
  • New Westminster City Council
    for enacting a bylaw banning the sale of drug paraphernalia despite police advice that no problem exists, and for supporting illegal police behaviour in cracking down on the street drug trade.
  • Slocan Forest Products Limited
    for launching a civil suit against an environmental group to punish and intimidate the group for protesting Slocan Forest Products’ practices.
  • The University of British Columbia for requiring a pro-life group to pay for extra security for its provocative display, and for supporting a “women only” ad.
  • Vancouver Police Department
    for acting beyond its legal powers to ward off feared public mayhem, and the Vancouver Police Board for its support of such police tactics.

BOUQUETS:

  • All the lawyers in BC who donate their time and talents for pro bono work
    Need we add why?
  • Association of Canadian Chiefs of Police
    for recommending the decriminilization of the possession of marijuana and other controlled substances.
  • David Flaherty
    for his years of service as BC’s Information and Privacy Commissioner, especially his outspoken criticism of privacy invasions.
  • The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC)
    for quickly reversing its policy on criminal record checks of employees in non-sensitive positions.
  • Kim Bolan
    the Vancouver Sun reporter, for continuing to report on Sikh extremists despite death threats.
  • Vancouver Police Department/Police Board
    for devoting considerable resources to solving the murders of Downtown eastside women.
  • Vancouver/Richmond Health Board
    for its creative projects for harm reduction projects in the Downtown eastside.
  • Victoria Public Library
    for continuing its “content neutral” meetings rooms policy in the face of strong criticism.