Quebec's Human Rights Commission to Drop "Discriminatory Speech" Cases
News Reports and Commentary Selected by Franklin Carter of the Book and Periodical Council’s Freedom of Expression Committee.
In Quebec, the provincial human rights commission is investigating approximately 100 cases that allege the use of “discriminatory speech” this year.
Most of these investigations will be dropped, said Philippe-André Tessier, the president of the commission, because of the Supreme Court of Canada’s ruling on Ward v. Quebec.
The case pitted comedian Mike Ward’s right to free expression over singer Jérémy Gabriel’s right to dignity as defined by Quebec’s Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms.
In a landmark 5–4 decision, Canada’s highest court ruled that Ward did not violate Gabriel’s rights when he repeatedly joked about Gabriel’s physical appearance during a comedy tour between 2010 and 2013.
The Supreme Court of Canada decided the case on October 29, 2021.
The commission makes an announcement:
Supreme Court decision in Ward v. Quebec (CDPDJ) - CDPDJ clarifies its new jurisdiction to investigate complaints related to alleged discriminatory remarks (newswire.ca)
Jacob Serebrin of the Canadian Press reports:
Quebec rights commission drops discrimination cases after Supreme Court’s Mike Ward ruling - Montreal | Globalnews.ca
In The Suburban, Beryl Wajsman comments:
The “right” not to be offended is over | Editorials | thesuburban.com
At the Centre for Free Expression, Dax D’Orazio comments:
Free Expression Walks into a Bar: The Case of Mike Ward and the Future of Canadian Comedy: Part 1 | Centre for Free Expression (ryerson.ca)
At the Centre for Free Expression, Jamie Cameron comments:
Freedom of Expression and the Charter: 1982-2022: Section 2(b) solitudes | Centre for Free Expression (ryerson.ca)
The Book and Periodical Council was formed in 1975 as the Book and Periodical Development Council to provide a venue for members to discuss industry issues, address mutual concerns and undertake projects for the benefit of Canadian writing and publishing.