Teen arrested for inciting hatred on Facebook

SEPT-ILES, Que. — A Quebec teen is in trouble for allegedly inciting hatred through the social networking site Facebook.

Police say the teen was arrested today and is charged with using his profile page to spread hatred against different minority ethnic groups.

The 17-year-old faces two charges: one of uttering threats and one of inciting hatred on the Internet.

The boy is being tried as a minor, so his identity cannot be revealed.

Provincial police Sgt. Patrick Lowe says police began investigating in February after receiving a complaint from a citizen.

The arrest comes as Statistics Canada reported this week that hate crimes jumped by about 35 per cent across the country in 2008 compared to the previous year.

The agency did mention that the spike could simply be the result of better reporting by police across the country.


Sept-Iles has a large population of aboriginals, so my guess is that is against that segment he posted inflammatory messages. I wonder what he said for him to get arrested, because this is the first time I have seen someone get arrested for this in Quebec.

I can’t wait to see what will come out of this. News just broke so we don’t have too many details, but we soon will. I will keep looking at French and English news to get more info on this.

Certainly the first I have heard of it, though Quebec has an inauspicious history when I comes to racial tolerance. Still the government has been making a push at beating back the oft-times painfully overt rascism displayed in some parts. (e.g. A friend of mine with an Algerian last name almost despaired of finding a place to rent in Quebec City).

Sadly, the answer to racism is not the thought police.

Wow, you guys still have natives as an ethnic group worth being racist against? That sounds pretty nice…

Inciting violence is a different thing than simply making an ass of yourself online (the latter being something I seem to do on a daily basis). I don’t know what Canadian or Quebecois law has to say about that sort of thing, however. The article was pretty short on specifics.

Yeah, when it comes to racism it is really all or nothing here. Most people aren’t racist, but those who are are REALLY racist. Especially against immigrants. My mother immigrated here from South Africa and it took her 5 years to find a job. And people complain that they take their jerbs.

Yeah, here in Quebec we were nice and didn’t hunt them down. Now they live in reservations in very poor conditions. Like everywhere in North America, there is horrible issues with drug and alcohol abuse, which causes conflict in the city. But again, we don’t even know if they are the targeted group, but I say it is highly likely.

As I said, if he was arrested, it must have been more than just racism.

This is the law in question :

Section 319(1): Public Incitement of Hatred

The crime of “publicly inciting hatred” has four main elements. To contravene the Code, a person must:

-communicate statements,
-in a public place,
-incite hatred against an identifiable group,
-in such a way that there will likely be a breach of the peace.

And possible defenses :

Section 319(3) identifies acceptable defences. Indicates that no person shall be convicted of an offence if the statements in question:

-are established to be true

-were relevant to any subject of public interest, the discussion of which was for the public benefit, and if on reasonable grounds it was believed to be true

-were expressed in good faith, it was attempted to establish by argument and opinion on a religious subject

-were expressed in good faith, it was intended to point out, for the purpose of removal, matters tending to produce feelings of hatred toward an identifiable group in Canada

Can we pass laws about inciting hatred on Youtube? Punishable by castration? Please?

It’s also the speech police, not the thought police. And it’s not intended to answer racism itself so much as the conditions that lead to an overtly racist environment, which might seem a bit fine, but I think it’s an important distinction.

While I don’t agree with the notion of having hate speech legislation, at least they are using the Criminal Code in this case and not that mockery of “justice” they call Section 13.1 of the Human Rights Act. I’d agree with SpoofyChop that we shouldn’t be using laws like this to act as a kind of thought police and while you do point out the fine line that exists with the Criminal Code extarbags, why can’t we just use existing legislation that would allow police to charge this individual without having to drudge up the sticky issues of Charter Rights such as our Section 2 right to free expression?

You have a Section 2 right to free expression. The Crown is empowered by Section 1 to violate that right, and all of the others, so long as that violation is in service of “an objective related to concerns which are pressing and substantial in a free and democratic society”.

My bad on stating the wrong Charter Section. While I understand the Section 2 limitations clause I don’t agree with it being used outside of the strictest measured limitations relating to things such as violent incitement and find attempts to differentiate between regular incitement and racial incitement to be objectionable at best.

Wish we had more information on this case though.

He probably was racist in English without including a French translation. Gotta watch out for the Language Police.

I love how this has nothing to do with the issue and you just wanted to troll something you know nothing about. But thanks for trying!

A) I lived in Montreal for 5 years, so I do, in fact, know a bit about what goes on in Quebec.

B) You really thought I was being serious? It was a joke. Lighten up.

English speaking people who live 5 years in Montreal should get a medal of valor, for braving such a hostile environment. So should any English speaking person living in a region where English isn’t the official language.

You’re putting words in my mouth now. Come on man, you said yourself that there’s some other factor we don’t know about at work here, so I made a joke about the language laws in Quebec. Which are, indeed, pretty funny.

Sorry Kurdel, any opportunity to make fun of the language police, however tangential it may be, is worth it.

I’ll have nothing to record then.

And also, language laws have proven to help normalize French throughout the province and help assure the future of the language in the province. I hardly see what is funny with a nation trying to preserve their heritage. You should read on the history of Quebec, it’s really pathetic before the 60’s. But we have come a very long way thank to such measures. It’s not perfect, but it has proved to work.

But I don’t want this to derail and turn into a thread about Quebec language laws. It is never a good idea to have such topics on an English forum, where Anti-Quebec sentiments are rampant.

Yes, we’re all out to get the poor Quebecois.

There’s no possible way that we think language laws are hilarious and fun to mock. At least jaywalking laws are there to keep dumbasses from getting splattered, not make protect butthurt provincial pride.