Shown below are a series of e-mails I exchanged today with the BC Human Rights Tribunal. I'll let them speak for themselves, but do keep these things in mind:
- The woman writing back to me has her salary paid by the hard working folks of British Columbia.
- Mark Steyn has to use his own money to defend himself in front of this tribunal.
- I'm not clear that this woman's e-mails pass the Turing Test!
Here's what transpired:
When will you be holding the hearing against Mark Steyn?
Are members of the public welcome to attend?
Dear Robert Werner,
Rule 6 of the Tribunal's Rules of Practice and Procedure sets out the information that is made public in regard to complaints:
Rule 6 – Public Proceedings
(1) For the purpose of this rule, “complaint file” means the record of communications maintained by the tribunal regarding a complaint, including all communications filed with the tribunal or delivered by the tribunal to the participants, except:
(a) notes made by a member; and
(b) information received by the tribunal in the course of attempting to settle a complaint.
(2) The tribunal’s proceedings are public and the information in a complaint file, including personal information, may be disclosed to members of the public in the following circumstances:
(a) if the tribunal publishes a preliminary decision; BC Human Rights Tribunal Rules of Practice and Procedure, January 1, 2008 5
(b) at a hearing;
(c) in a final decision of the tribunal;
(d) in a judicial review concerning a complaint;
(e) if a person makes a successful application under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act; and
(f) under rule 6(3).
(3) If a complaint has not settled three months before the dates scheduled for hearing, the following parts of the complaint file, except participants’ addresses, phone numbers and fax numbers, will be available to the public:
(a) the Complaint Form (Form 1) and the Representative Complaint Form (Form 2);
(b) the Response to Complaint Form (Form 3);
(c) the Time Limit Response Form (Form 4) and Time Limit Reply Form (Form 5);
(d) tribunal notices regarding the hearing of the complaint; and
(e) any preliminary decision regarding the complaint.
(4) Preliminary and final decisions of the tribunal may be published on the tribunal’s website and in legal journals or on law-related websites.
(5) A participant who wants the tribunal to make an order limiting public disclosure of personal information must apply to the tribunal under rule 24 setting out the reasons why that participant’s privacy interests outweigh the public interest in access to the tribunal’s proceedings.
(6) If the participants are actively involved in settlement discussions, they may make a written request to the registrar to defer the application of rule 6(3).
The Tribunal does not confirm or deny that a particular complaint has been made unless one of the situations of subsections 2 or 3 have occurred.
All preliminary and final decisions are published on the Tribunal's website and the hearing schedule is updated weekly. Hearings are open to the public.
Thank you for answering one of my two questions, but what about the other one: When will the hearing against Mark Steyn be held?
Please note: I am neither a lawyer nor a robot so a simple answer in the form that two human beings would normally engage in would be much preferred than the format you chose to initially answer my simple inquiry.
Dear Robert Werner:
Further to our previous email response, at this time, we cannot confirm or deny that there is currently a complaint against Mark Steyn at the Tribunal.
Wishing you a wonderful year!