[2006] 72 WCB (2d) 128 (ONCA)

In [2006] 72 WCB (2d) 128 (ONCA), the Court of Appeal restored the trial level acquittal of Mr. E who had been selling CD’s that promoted hatred against specific groups at a bar that was hosting an event for white supremacists. There was no evidence that he had actually sold a CD to anyone. The original charge of the willful promotion of hatred focused on the content of the lyrics on the CD’s and in the lyric sheets, which the defence conceded contained hateful speech. The Court held that there was no evidence that would prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. E transmitted the statements in the music and in the lyric sheets to another person. The Crown raised the argument that the content of the covers of the CDs also promoted hatred for the first time on appeal. The judge at the Superior Court of Justice had mistakenly thought that the defence had also conceded that the CD covers promoted hatred against the identifiable groups and set aside the acquittal and ordered a new trial. At the Court of Appeal, the court concluded that the trial judge could not have convicted the appellant because there was not sufficient evidence to support he had communicated the statements contained in the CD or the lyrics sheets to another person, which was the focus of the original conviction.

Also see: [2006] SCCA No 456 (Application for leave to appeal); [2006] 72 WCB (2d) 128 (ON-CA) (appeal); [2005] 66 WCB (2d) 9 (ONCJ) (appeal); [2004] OJ No 5889 (trial).


Criminal Offence(s): Hate Propaganda