Saskatchewan Human Rights Code Hate Provision Upheld

Saskatchewan (Human Rights Comm.) v. Whatcott  (2013), CHRR Doc. 13-3015, 2013 SCC 11

COMMUNICATIONS — HATE PROPAGANDA — INTERPRETATION OF STATUTES — CANADIAN CHARTER OF RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS — CONSTITUTIONAL LAW — FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION — SEXUAL ORIENTATION — RELIGION AND CREED — APPEALS AND JUDICIAL REVIEW / Appeal of (2010), 69 C.H.R.R. D/341, 2010 SKCA 26, which overturned (2007), 61 C.H.R.R. D/401, 2007 SKQB 450, which upheld (2005), 52 C.H.R.R. D/264 (S.H.R.T.), which found that four flyers written and circulated by William Whatcott contravened s. 14 of The Saskatchewan Human Rights Code. Section 14 prohibits publication or distribution of material that is likely to expose groups to hatred or contempt because of their race, sex, sexual orientation, or other protected grounds. The SCC struck down the provisions prohibiting "speech that ridicules, belittles or otherwise affronts the dignity of any person or persons". However, the provision which bans speech that "exposes, or tends to expose, persons or groups to hatred" is upheld because, under s. 1 of the Charter, this provision is a reasonable limit to the right to freedom of expression and religion. The Tribunal's finding and compensation award was upheld for two of the flyers. Allowed in part: Feb. 27, 2013.

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