Thursday, April 17, 1997

Keith Fraser
Staff Reporter

p. A19.

Reopen my human-rights case: Lawyer

A lawyer whose human-rights complaint was rejected by a man now charged with possession of child pornography is demanding her case be reopened.

But the Canadian human rights commission, which handled the case of Georgina Spilos, says further investigation is unwarranted.

Spilos, 44, said yesterday she wants Attorney-General Ujjal Dosanjh to investigate Paul Leroux, a former assistant director of the commission in the B.C. region who was arrested last week by Vancouver police.

As an investigator in January 1996, Leroux had looked into a complaint that Spilo was discriminated against on the basis of her disability when Revenue Canada failed to renew her contract as a tax lawyer.

She was suffering from a degenerative spinal condition and was on sick leave when she was told she wouldn't be rehired.

Spilos says the criminal allegation has an impact on her case because people with the problem of child pornography are thinking about it "100 per cent of the time" and are unable to focus on other things.

She said Leroux failed to interview key witnesses, and the finding that her complaint was unfounded was a "complete sham."

"I think human rights in Canada is a bit of game. The human rights commission does not appear to be there to help the people it's supposed to be helping."

Dosanjh's office said that until a complaint is sworn with the attorney-general there would be no comment.

Commission secretary-general John Hucker said commissioners who made the final ruling on the case found no evidence of discrimination.

"They didn't say that she hadn't been treated badly," said Hucker. "They simply said legally there was no evidence of discrimination. For her to now allege this is all attributable to the fact that the investigator has been charged with a criminal offence, outside the office, I find such a stretch that I find it hard to react."

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Created: April 19, 1997
Last modified: July 2, 1997

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