Spread hatred. Face courts. Repeat. Why Canada’s ‘weak’ laws are failing to address the rise of hate

2022-01-29 5:05:00 PM

As Canada’s hate problem reaches new heights, its justice system has failed to dissuade hate spreaders who repeatedly target vulnerable groups.

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Canada’s hate problem is reaching new heights, but its justice system has failed to dissuade prolific purveyors of hate and discrimination who repeatedly target vulnerable groups, an Investigative Journalism Bureau/Toronto Star investigation has found.

As Canada’s hate problem reaches new heights, its justice system has failed to dissuade hate spreaders who repeatedly target vulnerable groups.

wilful promotion of hatredCanada’s highest courtCanada’s“These repeat offenders don’t take hate seriously because they don’t think the judicial system takes it seriously,” says Ena Chadha, a leading human rights lawyer and former chief commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission.

in the city, where the most targeted victim group was the Jewish community.defamed a Muslim restaurateur“They’re not going to back down, typically, regardless of the sentence imposed,” says Barbara Perry, director of the Centre on Hate, Bias and Extremism at Ontario Tech University.

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“prolific purveyors of hate and discrimination who repeatedly target vulnerable groups,“ Now that right there describes JustinTrudeau almost to a tee. Whenever one has ‘leaders’ who promote hate and divide; one can expect the people to follow. cdnpoli TrudeauRegime Liberal The puke leader is spreading hate, and fear.Yet you the falling star protect him

It's time we started deporting hate-mongers. They don't belong in Canadian society You mean people like PMJT? Hate/discrimination is riddled w\\i Canada, from gov policy to the people. It’s so entrenched w/I the culture, it’ll take more than the courts to see change A CDN said to me ‘your husband is from a 3rd world country, there’s a reason he’s not allowed in’ They weren’t the first…

Slippery slope, we already have a prime minister that ridicules and berates people that dont agree with his point of view and maligns our ancestors EVERY single hate crime video I have seen online in the last two years involved black people assaulting asian people. The will NEVER report that because it goes against their narrative. And that is why no one trusts the media anymore.

Did you investigate yourself or other Liberals who are openly hateful towards 3,500,000 unvaccinated Canadians and to thouse who do not support COVID19 restrictions VaccinePassports or MaskMandates? LiberalHypocrisy For all the anti-truckers. I wonder if they can read? The Toronto Star causing more division. Your reporters are the racists. They can't seem to cover a story without making it about race, even with it's completely irrelevant. Your hand is showing.

IslamoPhobiaIsReal

Latvia asks Western allies, including Canada, to help bolster its defences in face of Russian threatLatvia is already Canada’s biggest military deployment, with about 540 soldiers. It has led a NATO battle group in the country since 2017

Doesn't help when your own PM calls unvaccinated people racist and misogynistic and says we shouldn't tolerate them. Lead by example.

U.S. appeals court upholds California net neutrality lawA 3-0 ruling rejected a challenge from telecom and broad industry groups to block California’s net neutrality law

Latvia asks Western allies, including Canada, to help bolster its defences in face of Russian threatLatvia is already Canada’s biggest military deployment, with about 540 soldiers. It has led a NATO battle group in the country since 2017

Funeral held in Vietnam for influential monk Thich Nhat HanhMonk was internationally recognized for helping spread mindfulness in the West

Organizer of GoFundMe campaign for trucker convoy withdraws $1M, company confirms | Globalnews.caThe convoy movement, known as the “Save Canada” movement or the “freedom convoy,” started last Sunday in British Columbia and is making its way across Canada. Good. Let's keep at people, and stand with our fellow Canadians against this corrupt government extorting us our of our rights, because we won't be their test subjects on their substance that is ok clinical trials untill 2023 and each jab at risk of heart inflammation. You forgot to put racist, extremist in you title. You guys are slacking. Come on Global these people might be able to get their freedoms back, we wouldn’t want that.

Opinion: Where's the hike? Why didn't the Bank of Canada act?Interest rate medicine can be hard to swallow, but it doesn’t go down any easier if you put off taking it

WARNING: This article contains disturbing subject matter, including quotations of alleged hate speech.Create Free Account Latvian political leaders are pitching a plan to boost defence spending to better deter Russian expansionism, and are asking Canada and Western allies for military assistance to bolster the NATO alliance’s eastern flank.Create Free Account A U.Create Free Account Latvian political leaders are pitching a plan to boost defence spending to better deter Russian expansionism, and are asking Canada and Western allies for military assistance to bolster the NATO alliance’s eastern flank.

Inside a downtown Toronto courthouse this past October, Bill Whatcott chatted politely with supporters, his white hair buzzed short, a fanny pack hanging from his hip. Stepping into the courtroom, the 54-year-old held the door for others before taking his seat to face a charge of wilful promotion of hatred , the latest in a string of hate speech allegations stretching back nearly two decades. Latvia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Artis Pabriks and Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins are pitching the country’s parliament on raising military spending to 2. The self-identified evangelical Christian activist estimates he has distributed at least half a million flyers, the majority targeting abortion and homosexuality. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, in a 3-0 ruling, rejected a challenge from telecom and broad industry groups to block California’s net neutrality law, which aims to protect the open internet. A 2013 Supreme Court decision described language used in some of his flyers as “hate-inspiring.3-per-cent target.” Two provincial tribunals and Canada’s highest court have found he violated hate-related human rights legislation. Latvia, with a population of 1.

But despite numerous hearings and, by his estimate, more than 30 stays in custody for his speech, Whatcott has remained undeterred.9 million, is spending about $1-billon on defence in 2022. California’s 2018 law barred internet service providers from blocking or throttling traffic, or offering paid fast lanes, but it only took effect last year. “I’m not gonna apologize for any of my flyers … I’d rather sit in jail,” he told Toronto police in a 2018 video interview played for his trial last fall. Canada’s hate problem is reaching new heights , but its justice system has failed to dissuade prolific purveyors of hate and discrimination who repeatedly target vulnerable groups, an Investigative Journalism Bureau/Toronto Star investigation has found. Pabriks said Latvia can’t properly equip itself alone so he’s been calling U. The three men featured in this story have faced up to four separate hearings — whether criminal, civil, or under human rights legislation — for alleged acts of hatred or discrimination. They said in a joint statement Friday they were “disappointed and will review our options. Each has been found by a court or tribunal to have engaged in hateful or discriminatory behaviour, received penalties or orders to stop, and then proceeded to carry out similar acts in open defiance. politicians. politicians.

“These repeat offenders don’t take hate seriously because they don’t think the judicial system takes it seriously,” says Ena Chadha, a leading human rights lawyer and former chief commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission. To Chadha, our laws are “too obsolete and weak” to address hate. Canadian-led battlegroup in Latvia at ‘high readiness’ amid NATO-Russia tensions Appeals for military aid came as Canada announced it’s extending a training mission in Ukraine and sending non-lethal defence gear, but opted against sending any offensive weapons as Kyiv had asked.” The FCC under former President Barack Obama, a Democrat, had adopted net neutrality rules in 2015. “If the judicial system appears powerless to curtail this, as we see in times of crisis like the pandemic where racist attacks have flourished, it feels like we’re enabling them and emboldening them.” Across Canada in 2020, law enforcement reported 2,669 crimes believed to be motivated by bias, prejudice or hate, including public incitement of hatred, uttering threats and assault. Since 2017, Canada has led a NATO battle group in the country in an effort to counter Russian aggression after Moscow’s 2014 illegal annexation of Crimea and its continuing destabilization of Eastern Ukraine. The annual total was the highest since comparable data became available in 2009 and up 37 per cent over 2019, including increases of 92 per cent in anti-Black, 152 per cent in anti-Indigenous and 301 per cent in anti-East/Southeast-Asian hate crime reports nationally. Supporters of net neutrality rules argue that the protections ensure a free and open internet. “We are very grateful to Canadians for their presence here.

Toronto police say there was in the city, where the most targeted victim group was the Jewish community. We hope this presence will be extended as long as it’s needed for us,” Mr. Reports of public incitement of hatred more than doubled between 2014 and 2020, to 111 from 40. John David Popescu, a repeat Sudbury political candidate, was twice found guilty of wilful promotion of hatred, most recently in 2020, after targeting Ontario’s first openly gay premier, Kathleen Wynne, stating that “God’s wrath is on all who show compassion to her kind and commands good government to put her to death. “If the Canadian government, if Canadian society, would consider that they could grant us any kind of financial assistance, we would be very happy about that because we really need money for our security.” Tom Johnson, who served as general counsel of the FCC during the Trump administration, said the decision “creates confusion on whether states can adopt policies that undermine the FCC’s decision to repeal net neutrality rules.” Kevin J. Johnston, a podcast host and former mayoral candidate in Mississauga and Calgary, was found in 2019 to have defamed a Muslim restaurateur after calling him an “economic terrorist. Pabriks argued it’s in Canada’s national interest to deter Russian aggression in Eastern Europe, saying that one day Moscow may try to press its advantage in the Arctic. Pabriks argued it’s in Canada’s national interest to deter Russian aggression in Eastern Europe, saying that one day Moscow may try to press its advantage in the Arctic.

” Last July, he was found in contempt of court for continued attacks in violation of a judge’s order. Democrats have been unable to launch proceedings to reinstate net neutrality. Within weeks of the contempt ruling, he remained defiant. The Latvian government will have a chance to raise the matter of increased military support directly with Canada’s Defence Minister, Anita Anand, next week when she is expected to visit the Canadian military deployment. “The courts are being used as a weapon against we the people for no reason other than they want us to shut up,” Johnston said in an online video posted in August and quoted by the court at sentencing. “Which, in good conscience, I simply cannot do. The Latvian politician said Baltic states deserve to live with the same sense of security that Western European countries far from the Russian border enjoy.” Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines.” Johnston became a fugitive from justice earlier this month after failing to appear in Calgary and Toronto to serve back-to-back sentences for separate convictions. He said allies must recognize the perils and costs that come with neighbouring Russia.

He was arrested Jan. “It’s time for Baltic countries and Poland to receive larger military assistance because we need to equip our troops and we need to provide our citizens the same [security] guarantees as the citizens of Spain, France, Italy or Germany,” he said. 4 by U.S. Pabriks. officials while attempting to cross the Saskatchewan-Montana border on foot, according to Calgary Police. “They’re not going to back down, typically, regardless of the sentence imposed,” says Barbara Perry, director of the Centre on Hate, Bias and Extremism at Ontario Tech University. The BBC on Wednesday reported an estimated 30,000 Russian troops are in Belarus for what both Minsk and Moscow say are military exercises. The BBC on Wednesday reported an estimated 30,000 Russian troops are in Belarus for what both Minsk and Moscow say are military exercises.

“It’s not just intransigence … I think they look at it as a badge of honour.” Perry says that the search for policy solutions is a continuing challenge. Pabriks said Belarus, which is increasingly considered to be under Russia’s control, offers Moscow a rapid staging ground from which to move on the Baltics or establish a land corridor to connect Belarus with the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad on the Baltic Sea. “Many of us have thrown up our hands.” ‘Full of hate’ handing out flyers claiming that Morgane Oger, a transgender candidate in the province’s 2017 election, was lying about her gender identity. “Which means a surprise attack to the borders of all Baltic countries and Poland can happen much faster now because Belarus is now controlled by Russian troops. Whatcott’s flyers, the published decision describes, ended with a call to action: “do not vote for Ms.” He said Latvia feels safe as long as Ukraine remains independent and resists the kind of subordinate relationship that Belarus has with Moscow.

Oger or the NDP. Russia has asked for guarantees that NATO will not expand membership to include Ukraine and other former Soviet states – a request that has been refused.” She lost by 415 votes. Before a ruling was reached on whether he violated Oger’s human rights, Whatcott was already flouting the tribunal’s authority. Germany, for instance, under new Chancellor Olaf Scholz, has declined to take the harder line on Russia that major allies such as Britain or United States have. On hearing days, he stood outside handing out flyers repeating claims central to the complaint and declaring that he “fully expects to be fined tens of thousands of dollars in this process and eventually jailed, as he will never comply.” Oger says she hasn’t received a penny of the $55,000 the tribunal ordered Whatcott to pay her — a claim he doesn’t dispute. The larger target is beyond Ukraine, the unity of NATO,” Mr. The larger target is beyond Ukraine, the unity of NATO,” Mr.

“In my mind, that flyer was election literature,” says Whatcott, who says he has taken steps to appeal the tribunal’s decision. “I’d do that one all over again exactly the way I did it. “Because if we fail in correctly answering to Putin in Ukraine, then that will definitely be interpreted in the Kremlin as weakness, as appeasement and will only encourage further aggression.” It wasn’t his first such case. In 2005, a Saskatchewan tribunal found that by distributing flyers including some reading “homosexuality is an abomination,” Whatcott violated the province’s Human Rights Code. “If Ukraine falls to Russia … then we are next in line, that is very clear. He successfully appealed the decision in 2010, but three years later, the Supreme Court of Canada reaffirmed findings of hate for two of the three flyer designs.” In an interview this week, Russia’s ambassador to Canada, Oleg Stepanov, played down the suggestion his country might pose a threat to Latvia or other Baltic states.

“By its very nature, [hate legislation is] subjective,” Whatcott says. He suggested Canadian troops are only in Latvia “because at some point you [Canada] and Western allies decided that you needed to look tough. “It’s really hard to know what speech violates and what doesn’t until you get slapped.” On trial in Ontario this past fall, Whatcott sat quietly as lawyers argued about flyers distributed at the 2016 Toronto Pride Parade that sparked five years of civil and criminal proceedings. Stepanov said Russia understands that the Baltic states “have historic fears and … grievances against the former Soviet Union – but Russia is not the Soviet Union. According to an agreed statement of facts in the criminal case, Whatcott and five others attended the parade dressed head-to-toe in green bodysuits and masks. Dubbing themselves “Gay Zombies,” the group distributed “safe sex packets” that appeared to hold condoms but instead contained graphic flyers disparaging homosexuality. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Latvia’s Mr. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Latvia’s Mr.

After the parade, former deputy premier George Smitherman and activist Christopher Hudspeth filed a $103-million class action claim against Whatcott. The suit alleged civil conspiracy to injure, defamation and intentional infliction of mental distress on behalf of marchers, recipients of the flyers and Liberal Party figures, some of whom are mentioned in the materials. The Prime Minister’s Office said the two leaders “shared their concerns about Russia’s aggressive and destabilizing actions in and around Ukraine, and underlined the need for Russia to engage constructively in diplomacy. Toronto lawyer R. Douglas Elliott attended the parade and later represented the plaintiffs.. A practicing Christian, he rejects any connection between Whatcott’s words and the religion’s message.

“(Whatcott) perverts my faith,” he said. “‘Love thy neighbour as thyself’ is one of the fundamental principles of Christianity, and there’s nothing loving about Bill Whatcott’s behaviour. It’s full of hate.” In 2017, a judge struck out the plaintiffs’ statement of claim with leave to refile not as a class action, a step they decided against after a criminal investigation based on similar allegations showed progress. The civil allegations were never proven in court.

Whatcott surrendered to police in 2018 to face a criminal charge of wilful promotion of hatred in relation to the 2016 flyers, to which he pleaded not guilty. In his police interview and later with this investigation, Whatcott spoke about his “street kid” youth, his religious awakening at 18 and his work as a nurse in the 1990s, at one point claiming to have provided care to hundreds of terminally ill HIV/AIDS patients, some in the same Toronto neighbourhood where, decades later, he would hand out the allegedly homophobic flyers. When asked by police for his response to those who feel they were harmed by the flyers, Whatcott replied: “Grow up.” The people who haven’t yet grown up are a key reason Hudspeth made formal complaints: Youth struggling with their sexuality who face harmful messages. “I was forced through conversion therapy … I heard these kinds of hateful messages on a regular basis,” he recalls.

“I don’t want anyone to have to listen to that … I don’t want another kid to take their life over it.” Steep penalties are the only solution, Elliott said. “You cut off the money. You cut off their access to the internet. You cut off their right to publish … you deprive them of the tools to cause the harm,” he says, adding that while imprisonment could make them martyrs, there is no other choice.

“I say, bring on the lions.” The grey zone In a December online hearing, Whatcott sat swaying in his chair as he listened to the verdict. Justice Robert F. Goldstein said in his reasons for decision that there was evidence that Whatcott’s intention may have been to create an “uproar,” featuring content the judge described as “obviously offensive to many people.” But it was not proven beyond a reasonable doubt that he wilfully promoted hate, Goldstein ruled.

“I have found him not guilty because the flyer is in the grey zone between legitimate expression and hate speech,” the reasons read. “Our values as a free society and our centuries-old legal tradition requires that our system not criminalize those who hold views that are merely obnoxious and unpopular.” After decades of legal complaints, jailings and human rights penalties for expressing his controversial beliefs, Whatcott remains innocent of all hate allegations before Canadian criminal courts. “(Goldstein) followed the law,” Whatcott said in an interview following the decision. “And for that, I’m grateful.

” Whatcott’s relief was short-lived. On Christmas Eve, he got word from his Toronto lawyer, John Rosen, that the Crown was appealing the decision. “If God wants this to go to the Supreme Court … I’ll just be as faithful as I can be and being mindful that I am a very flawed human being,” Whatcott said. “This is something that I think I was called to do so I’ll try to do it as faithfully as I can.” Rosen, who has represented organizations opposing hate speech, says attacking hate through criminal courts is challenging because of a lack of clarity on what constitutes a hateful act and the high bar required for a successful prosecution.

He has a proposed fix: Strengthen provincial human rights legislation to more vigorously penalize violators. Rather than fines that are often impossible to collect, legislative change should empower tribunals to order the behaviour to stop under threat of criminal contempt. “There are ways to do this with a scalpel rather than a large mallet.” In God’s name In 2009, Sudburian Popescu was convicted on charges of wilful promotion of hatred and, according to press reports from the time, given a suspended sentence and 18 months of probation. Then, in 2020, he was again convicted of wilful promotion of hatred after producing and distributing DVDs targeting Kathleen Wynne.

At trial, Popescu admitted his statements were hateful, but argued they contained “‘Godly’ or ‘Biblical’ hatred and therefore should not be criminalized.” The Criminal Code protects opinions that are based on a “belief in a religious text.” The court disagreed with Popescu. “Mr. Popescu has not quoted directly from the Bible,” the reasons for judgment read.

“Instead, Mr. Popescu has promoted his hateful world view in the guise of a religious decree.” He was sentenced to 30 days in jail and two years probation. But Popescu has made clear he is unwilling to change in the face of criminal judgment. The 2020 judgment reads that between then and his 2009 hate conviction, he was charged with “similar offences” in 2015 — charges that were later withdrawn for “no reasonable prospect of conviction.

” Regardless of the outcome of that 2015 case, Popescu made clear at his 2020 trial that he would continue to spread the same message against homosexuals, the judgment describes. And in an interview, Popescu remained unmoved. “Their decision is based on legal precedent, not particularly on what the Bible says,” he says. “In order to call this a criminal charge, they are really criminalizing the word of God.” It’s impossible to know the full scope of Canada’s hate problem.

Only a tiny fraction of incidents are ever recorded by police, and fewer still lead to a conviction. Statistics Canada estimates that in 2019, roughly 78 per cent of incidents in which a Canadian said they were victimized by hate crime were not reported to police. The agency has also reported that between 2013 and 2018, 82 per cent of police-reported hate crime incidents brought no criminal charge, and roughly eight per cent led to a conviction. Even when complaints are filed and charges are laid, human rights lawyer Chadha and others say the justice system is failing. “The Criminal Code is too narrowly focused, not aligned with human rights principles and there are inconsistent approaches across jurisdictions, leaving vulnerable communities — like racialized people, LGBTQ+, religious minorities and people with disabilities — exposed to real danger,” she says.

‘This guy holds himself above the rule of law’ Calgary podcaster Johnston’s materials don’t display the same religious fervour as Whatcott’s or Popescu’s. But the self-described conservative journalist appears equally dismissive of court orders and judgments. In 2017, Peel Regional Police charged Johnston with a hate crime in connection with “numerous incidents” and involving “information published on various social media sites.” That year, according to reports from the time by Mississauga News , Johnston posted videos online offering a $1,000 reward for recording Muslim students praying in Peel schools, and in 2016, Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie filed a criminal complaint after a website co-owned by Johnston allegedly published an article claiming she is trying to convert her city to Islam “so they can kill her son just for being gay.” Johnston pleaded guilty to a criminal hate charge late last year.

In an interview this week, he said he only pleaded guilty, in part, because he didn’t want to spend any more money on the Ontario justice system “which itself is not a justice system, it is merely a money-making interference in the lives of people like me. “When the courts are being used to deter people from exercising their Charter and constitutional rights, the courts are the ones who are breaking the law,” he said. RELATED STORIES .