Reg Robson

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A sociology professor at the University of British Columbia, Reg Robson was an important figure in the early history of the BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA). His major publications focused on the effectiveness of alcohol treatment centres and the sociological factors affecting professional recruitment for academics and nurses. A co-founder of the BCCLA, Robson sat on its board of directors well into the 1980s and served in various executive positions including executive secretary (1969-72, 1978), president (1972-75, 1980-82), and treasurer (1975, 1979). No member was more dedicated than Robson, who undertook these responsibilities when no one else was available and helped to ensure the viability and institutional memory of the BCCLA. He clashed with the Canadian Civil Liberties Association over their differing visions of a national rights association and pushed for the creation of the Canadian Federation of Civil Liberties and Human Rights Associations, serving on its first executive board. During the October Crisis, he took the lead in handling media interviews on behalf of the BCCLA; he also oversaw the creation of new rights associations across British Columbia and was a key player in the BCCLA’s most active campaigns, including its reaction to the Gastown Riot and challenging the Heroin Treatment Act. Thanks to his dedication and perseverance, the BCCLA became an effective rights advocate, both provincially and nationally.


Further Reading

In Memoriam, Reg Robson (1921-1996) by John Russell. www.bccla.org