Unbelievable: Ontario Attorney General files appeal of Bill Whatcott’s acquittal on “hate speech” charges!

Judge issued “not guilty” verdict for Bill Whatcott over pro-family flyer passed out at Gay Pride parade.

Extremely unusual legal action: Shows the vehemence of the government against criticism of LGBT behavior, Christian morality, and free speech.

Such double jeopardy is unconstitutional in the U.S., but legal in Canada.

Case will likely end up in Canada’s Supreme Court.

February 5, 2022
ALT TEXT Bill Whatcott thought he was a free man after the judge declared him to be "not guilty" of this absurd offense.

On December 10, 2021, after a grueling eight-day trial in Toronto, Judge Robert Goldstein ruled pro-family activist Bill Whatcott was not guilty of “willful promotion of hatred.” That absurd charge centered around a flyer that Bill and others passed out five years earlier at the 2016 Toronto Gay Pride Parade. It contained religious messages and warnings about the health dangers of homosexual sex. But the state insisted that it was “hateful.”

ALT TEXT Bill and his fellow "Gay Zombies" marching in the Toronto Gay Pride Parade passing out flyers. Note the contingent of naked men right behind them - which didn't trouble the Ontario government at all.

The fact that the government even pursued this trial during the COVID crisis was disturbing. Overwhelming numbers of actual crimes were simply being dismissed, including approximately 80% of the drug offenses in Ontario and 43% of the DWI offenses.

By some estimates, the Crown (prosecution) spent over $1 million in their effort to convict Bill. But he had an extraordinary lawyer, John Rosen, who presented a rock-solid defense. Even with Canada’s ridiculous “hate speech” laws (and no First Amendment), the Crown could not make a convincing argument.

The Crown appeals the acquittal!

Two weeks after the judge’s ruling, Mr. Rosen received notice that Ottawa’s Attorney General had filed for an appeal of the acquittal, and was served with the official Notice of Appeal.

Most Americans are unfamiliar with that concept. The US Constitution’s Fifth Amendment prohibits a person being “put in jeopardy” twice for the same crime. In the U.S., a person can appeal his conviction, but the state cannot appeal a “not guilty” verdict.

Canada allows the prosecution to appeal aquittals, but it only happens rarely – in less than one percent of cases. The Crown must show there was a significant error of law in the trial. For example, the Crown can claim that important evidence was wrongly excluded at the trial.

But the fact that the government would continue to pursue a case where no actual “crime” took place, and where there were overwhelming facts for acquittal, is outrageous.

As Bill said, “This flyer should never have been tying up court time. The Crown’s medical expert witness reluctantly established that it was substantially true. And the religious expert witness agreed with my use of Christian doctrine.”

The Crown’s arguments for appeal

In its appeal, the Crown is claiming that three significant “errors of law” took place:

  1. Excluding flyers that Bill had passed out years earlier. The Crown claims that the judge erred in not admitting as evidence flyers that Bill passed out in Saskatchewan in 2000 and 2001 – fifteen years earlier. The flyers would allegedly point to Bill's “motive” of animus.

    In the judge’s ruling excluding those flyers as evidence, he said their “prejudicial effect” was not substantial. One could also suggest that the 2016 flyer needed to be judged on its own wording, not on “feelings” extrapolated from flyers produced years earlier.
  2. Excluding an LGBT “gender” professor as an expert witness. The Crown attempted to have Professor Nick Mulé of York University as an expert witness on various types of “anti-gay discrimination.” Besides being a long-time LGBT activist, Mulé teaches at the university’s School of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies where he is coordinator of the sexual studies program. The Crown insists that his views are important “evidence” that was excluded.

    In his lengthy ruling excluding Mulé, the judge recognized that Mulé’s blatantly biased approach would lead to a number of problems as an “expert witness.” There is also a question of whether his “expertise” is relevant to this situation. From his university profile page:
  3. Dr. Nick Mulé’s research interests are in the areas of advocacy, social inclusion/exclusion of gender and sexually diverse populations (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, transgender, two-spirit, genderqueer, intersex, queer, questioning – LGBTQ) in social policy and service provision and the degree of recognition of these populations as distinct communities in cultural, systemic and structural contexts. He also engages in critical analysis of the LGBTQ movement and the development of queer liberation theory.

  4. The judge misinterpreted the “hate speech” law. The Crown claims that the judge erred in law in concluding that the statements in Bill’s flyer did not comprise hatred within the meaning of the “willful promotion of hate speech” text in the Criminal Code.

    In his Reasons for Judgment, the judge describes at length how the law pertains to this situation. It would seem difficult for the Crown to prove that the judge took the wrong path.

These bases are so flimsy that it would appear to be an abuse of process by the Crown.

The Crown’s first two arguments involve evidence that was allegedly wrongly excluded. That’s confusing because this was not a jury trial. It was decided by the judge - who saw and studied all the evidence before deciding to exclude any. Were items 1 and 2 not formally excluded (as they rightly were), the judge could have just disregarded them.

The Crown’s third charge alleges that the judge misdirected himself on the interpretation of the law. Asserting "misdirection" might hold water if the judge were accused of improperly instructing a jury.

A flaming reaction in the media

Not surprisingly, the left-wing Toronto mainstream media flipped out. The Toronto Star newspaper (some call it the “Red Star”) published an article titled, “Spread hatred. Face courts. Repeat. Why Canada’s ‘weak’ laws are failing to address the rise of hate.”

Underneath the headline, it warns its gentle readers that the article contains “disturbing subject matter, including quotations of alleged hate speech” (such as Bill’s words “homosexuality is an abomination” from a 2005 flyer).

ALT TEXT This is the kind of horrible journalism that the average person in Canada (and the U.S.) ends up reading.

The article is such biased, hysterical, unprofessional journalism that it would take a separate post just to list its outrageous content. It applauds Canada’s wave of anti-free speech laws and calls for even harsher ones. It attempts to link Christian flyers handed out by Bill and others to the possibility of an imminent flood of “hate” crimes across Canada. It cites a lawyer who represented LGBT groups against Bill who challenges Bill's understanding of Christianity. The reporter should have cited the actual Christian expert witness in the trial, Professor Douglas Farrow – who supported Bill’s message.

What will happen next

The appeal will go before a three-judge panel and will most likely be heard this fall. But Attorney Rosen is certain that whatever happens there, it will eventually go to the Supreme Court of Canada. That is how insanely obsessed the government is to aggressively stamp out any public dissent on the LGBT issue.

Until now, Attorney Rosen’s fees to represent Bill were paid through government grants that are available to indigent “criminal” defendants. However, appeals are different. Bill must raise $50,000 to pay for the upcoming legal fees. You can donate to Bill’s legal defense here.  We can say this much with certainty: John Rosen is a brilliant defense attorney and worth whatever fee he charges.

Final thoughts

We all need to pay attention to this battle. That’s why MassResistance has been reporting on this issue.  It’s happening in Canada now, but could soon be happening in the US, Britain, and beyond. The Left will do anything to enforce its thought and speech control. As Americans know, key parts of the US Constitution have been ignored and even contradicted by politicians for decades. Is free speech next? Are prison terms for handing out pamphlets coming here?

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