Loading articles...

Man who discriminated against Vancouver trans activist has no plans to stop

Last Updated Mar 28, 2019 at 9:45 pm PDT

FILE: Morgane Oger applauds during an announcement at the Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C. Friday, Nov. 16, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS /Jonathan Hayward
Summary

A man ordered to pay $55,000 after violating the human rights code for hate speech says he won't pay the fine

Bill Whatcott was found to have discriminated against Morgane Oger because of her gender

Whatcott distributed flyers attacking Oger for being transgender when she ran for the NDP in the provincial election

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Trans advocate Morgane Oger‘s fight in court against a self-proclaimed Christian rights activist may not be over. Bill Whatcott admits he will continue to promote hate speech and not pay his court ordered fee.

On Wednesday, the BC Human Rights Tribunal found Whatcott discriminated against Oger when he made and published pamphlets, calling her an “impossibility” and linked transgender identity to diseases and domestic violence.

The tribunal ordered Whatcott to pay Oger $35,000 in compensation for injury to her dignity, feelings and self-respect. He was also ordered to pay her $20,000 for improper conduct.

RELATED: Vancouver activist wins in landmark transgender rights decision

Apart from the fines, Whatcott has been ordered to “refrain from committing the same or similar” acts.

Whatcott admits he has no intention to pay Oger, saying he can’t afford it. He says he’s unhappy with how the case was resolved.

“It wouldn’t even make sense to want to pay it. And I think that’s a horrible decision,” he told NEWS 1130.

Oger says she has known all along that Whatcott may not pay his fine and trusts the courts and police will find a fit consequence for him if he violates his court order.

“If Mr. Whatcott decides to die on that hill and go to jail over his convictions, I can’t help him. That’s his decision,” Oger said.

“If he chooses to ignore a ruling, and continue with our legal process, unfortunately we’ll have to continue.”

If Whatcott violates his court orders, human rights lawyer Richard B. Johnson says the two may see each other in court again.

“If one of the parties goes out and … breaches the agreement, that can be something that the court can take action on, if called upon by the party that feels it’s been it’s been injured by that,” Johnson said.

“Aside from the court stepping in to say, ‘We’re going to enforce the settlement agreement, we’re going to we’re going to uphold the settlement agreement,’ the court can also find and award additional damages, such as bad faith for bad faith conduct.

RELATED: Vancouver police investigate potential hate crime, fliers attack school board candidate

Whatcott said he will be in Kamloops this week and will continue to put out flyers.

“I’m a pretty tough guy and if they take something from me or throw me in jail, I’ll live through it,” Whatcott said.

While Oger says going to court and facing him would be “awful,” she hopes he will be faced with “real material consequences for his actions as a deterrent for others.”

“Either paying his fine, having to scramble to pay it or being in debt for the rest of his life, or going to prison for a while to consider his action — whatever the courts decide to do — is the appropriate thing for him to face.”

Oger filled the complaints against Whatcott in 2017 after he distributed anti-trans flyers about her.

The papers Whatcott handed out was a letter informing the public of the “promotion and growth of homosexulaty and transvestitsm” in B.C.. The flyer stated Oger “embraced a transvestite lifestyle” and is promoting a “false narrative” being a transgender women.

Oger says she’s found it disappointing that authorities have “failed” to deal with Whatcott’s actions.

“It shouldn’t have taken me two years to get where we got,” she said.

B.C. Human Rights Tribunal ruling in Oger v. Whatcott
58_Oger_v_Whatcott_No_7_2019_BCHRT_58