The Democracy Fund defends a teenager accused of inciting hatred against the transgender community.
TORONTO: The Democracy Fund (TDF) is defending an 18-year-old man from Ontario criminally charged with public incitement of hatred. The allegations, which have not been proven in court, are that the young man hung posters at a public high school that contained a QR code linking to a video that, it is alleged, was hateful towards the transgender community.
The offence of public incitement of hatred is committed when a person communicates statements in a public place that incite hatred against an identifiable group that is likely to lead to a breach of the peace. The maximum punishment is two years imprisonment.
Alan Honner, TDF’s litigation director, explains that in the criminal context, the term “hatred” has been interpreted as an emotion of an “intense and extreme nature” that is clearly associated with the “vilification and detestation” of an identifiable group. As interpreted by the courts, expression is not criminal merely because it ridicules, belittles, or affronts the dignity of a person.
TDF decided to assist in the defence of the accused young man because of its mandate to preserve and promote civil liberties, including freedom of expression. As a majority of the Supreme Court of Canada recently affirmed in Ward v. Quebec, freedom of expression does not exist unless it gives rise to a duty to tolerate what other people say. A society which only protects conventional or harmless expression is not a free society.
To help in the fight against unconstitutional mandates, laws and government overreach, you can make a tax-deductible donation to support TDF.
About The Democracy Fund:
Founded in 2021, The Democracy Fund (TDF) is a Canadian charity dedicated to constitutional rights, advancing education and relieving poverty. TDF promotes constitutional rights through litigation and public education. TDF supports an access to justice initiative for Canadians whose civil liberties have been infringed by government lockdowns and other public policy responses to the pandemic.