The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/t/taylor.john.ross//supreme-court/synopsis-of-charge

The appellants distributed cards inviting calls to a Toronto
telephone number answered by recorded messages.  The messages,
while in part arguably innocuous, contained statements
denigrating the Jewish race and religion.  In 1979, complaints
about these messages were lodged with the Canadian Human Rights
Commission.  The Commission established a tribunal which concluded
that the messages constituted a discriminatory practice under s.
13(1) of the Canadian Human Rights Act and ordered the appellants
to cease the practice.  The section makes it a discriminatory
practice to communicate telephonically any matter likely to
expose a person or a group to hatred or contempt on the basis,
inter alia, of race or religion. Pursuant to the Act, the cease and
desist order was filed in the Federal Court. No proceedings were
taken by the appellants to have the order set aside.  In spite of
the order, the appellants continued their messages and were found
in contempt of the order.  The Party was sentenced to a $5,000
fine and T, the Party's leader, to one year of imprisonment. The
sentence was suspended upon the condition that the appellants
obey the Tribunal's cease and desist order.  They did not and the
suspension of sentence was vacated. The Party paid its fine and
T served his sentence. In 1983, the Human Rights Commission filed
a new application with the Federal Court, alleging that further
messages were being transmitted and that 

                                  - 3 -
these messages also breached the Tribunal's order.  The
Commission sought a new order of committal of T and a $5,000 fine
against the Party.  Relying on the Canadian Charter of Rights and
Freedoms, the appellants argued that s.13(1) of the Act violated
s.2(b) of the Charter, and that the order was of no effect.  The
Federal Court, Trial Division rejected the argument, confirmed the
contempt, imposed the fine and made the committal order sought by
the Commission. The appellants' appeal to the Federal Court of
Appeal was dismissed. This appeal is to determine (1) whether s.13(1)
of the Act and the Tribunal's cease and desist order violate s.2(b)
of the Charter; and (2) whether the Tribunal's order is invalid
because of bias. The allegation of bias, raised for the first time
before the Federal Court of Appeal, arises from the fact that the
Tribunal was appointed by the Commission, the latter being a body
intimately connected with investigating and substantiating the

Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.