City of Toronto wins landmark human rights case on hate activity|
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The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal returned a 100-page decision today upholding
a complaint by the City that Ernst Zundel, a former Toronto resident, was
placing discriminatory messages on the Internet that could expose an
identifiable group to hatred and contempt.
On July 18, 1996, the Toronto Mayor's Committee on Community and Race Relations
for the former City of Toronto lodged the complaint that the messages on
Zundel's Web site were likely to expose Jews to hatred or contempt contrary to
section 13 (1) of the Canadian Human Rights Act.
"We are thrilled with the decision today from the Canadian Human Rights
Tribunal," said Toronto Councillor Pam McConnell, Chair of the City's Working
Group on Hate Activity. "We were looking for a strong message like this, that
hate activity is unacceptable no matter how or where it's being communicated."
The decision from the Tribunal is precedent setting noted Ward Earle the City's
Counsel as it has confirmed that section 13 (1) of the Canadian Human Rights
Act prohibits the use of the Internet for the communication of messages
exposing identifiable groups to hatred and contempt.
The City brought the issue forward after Toronto residents voiced complaints
about the materials on the Web site that they felt exposed them to hate
activity. Because of the significance of this complaint, the following groups
were granted status as Interested Parties: League for Human Rights of B'Nai
Brith Canada, Canadian Holocaust Remembrance Association, Simon Wiesenthal
Centre, Canadian Jewish Congress and Canadian Association for Free Expression,
The Tribunal has ordered Zundel and any other individuals who act in the name
of, or in concert with Zundel, to cease the practice of using the Internet as a
means of communicating hate materials.