He had passed out pamphlets at a gay pride parade criticizing gay sex. Because of this the authorities decided to punish him.
Seems like the US army needs to liberate our neighbors to the north. I mean if they are locking up people for handing out pamphlets they are as bad as any government in the Middle East we criticize and overthrow.
The pamphlets may offend some but do offence and hurt feelings warrant jail?
As I write on the day Canada officially became a country 151 years ago, it should trouble us this country has a habit of passing out lenient sentences for violent crimes and a man who hands out pieces of paper that cause offence faces two years in jail.
This is true of all modern states. Everything is against the law. This let’s them get anyone they want. But they aren’t worried about enforcing the real crimes like murder, rape, or robbery. They will hammer anyone they can who disagrees with the dogma of the state.
Operation Canadian Freedom
The US is extremely hypocritical. I don’t agree with US foreign policy.
This sounds like an application of Canadian bill C-16 (2016). If it is then it sounds fairly spot on with Jordan Peterson’s evaluation of the bill and the potential consequences.
Absolutely agree. He couldn’t have spelled it out much more plainly.
Public actions have consequences.
Did you bother to look at these pamphlets?
They were not some sweet “God loves you, come to a local meeting of Courage” pamphlets. These would make Westboro Baptist Church proud.
To be clear this public action here is speech. The speech was not a threat to harm anyone. The speech may have offended some people. You are saying non threatening public speech has consequences. In this case the consequences are imprisonment. If that is where we are at culturally then we have abandon our principles.
More importantly if we are going to jail people for blasphemy, and that is what this is, at least the blasphemy should be against God and His Church and not the pro homosexual movement.
If this is were we are at why should I respect anyone else’s right to ‘free speech’? If some people can violently stop my speech (and jailing people for speech is violently stopping it) why shouldn’t I violently stop theirs? If we are embracing might makes right then why show up late to the party?
I looked. And I now feel physically sick. I’d hate to hang my free speech hat on this case. It’s not the hill on which I’d choose to die given the content of those pamphlets… Truly horrifying.
This is precisely why I like to hear the other side of the story before accepting as gospel something lifted from an agenda-driven news site. They almost always leave out pertinent information that can lead to forming a balanced judgement, and almost always seek to incite controversy instead.
Rather than the poor struggling bus driver that The Federalist makes him out to be, he seems to be enough of a professional rabble-rouser to merit his own Wikipedia entry:
And it’s not just gays, but also muslims, and abortion (before anyone says anything, I am pro-life; it apparently is the graphic methods he uses and his unwillingness to obey laws on protesting that got him into trouble; that’s another debate for another thread).
Moreover, his antics have also gotten him arrested in the good ol’ USA according to the article, so please spare us the “free Canada” rants…
His methods do appear unorthodox:
In August 2014, Whatcott infiltrated the Vancouver Pride parade. He marched with the false alias of Matthew Davidson with the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. He and his group handed out fake condoms which were actually leaflets with messages against homosexuality.
Honestly, this guy is nothing other than a professional bigot.
Doesn’t matter. Vile people should still have the freedom to be vile, as long as their actions don’t directly threaten others or directly incite others to violence.
We take a more nuanced view of free speech in Canada. One of his cases went all the way to the Supreme Court which ruled:
In February 2013, the Court released its reasons in Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission v Whatcott. The Court held that, although Bible passages, biblical beliefs and the principles derived from those beliefs can be legally and reasonably advanced in public discourse, speech which can be described as “detestation” and “vilification” cannot be.
So while in Canada we do have the right to defend our views on religious grounds, we don’t have the right to use vile speech to do so.
And this was a response. Andrew Coyne is a level-headed right-leaning centrist commentator, a regular on The National on the CBC (as opposed to the raving loony Ezra Levant).
I don’t like Whatcott’s tone, tactics and etc. but jail is ridiculous in light of the fact we have dangerous violent criminals getting weak sentences or even less than what Whatcott is facing. After all, we’re constantly told cops should focus on ‘real crimes’ when resources are tight. In addition to the fact we have a judicial system that’s overburdened to the point where murderers are literally being let free without trial due to the Supreme Court’s ruling on a case not too long ago.
He has never done jail time for his anti-gay activism. In an earlier ruling the Supreme Court upheld an appeals court ruling:
On appeal, a Saskatchewan appeals court overturned the ruling by the trial judge, and on May 29, 2008, the Supreme Court of Canada upheld the appeals court view that Whatcott’s activities off duty was protected by the right of free speech and could not be used to suspend his nursing licence.
He did serve 6 months in jail for not respecting the protest-free zone around abortion clinics.
It’s not the fact he has or has not gone to jail so far over his actions but that he’s facing the possibility of jail over it. The pamphlet is graphic and I wish I could unsee it. Having skimmed it, I find it hard to accept that the text would be jail worthy.
This makes me more sad than anything else. Clearly this was not a rational act. Poor baby, poor mother - the world is so broken.
True, it was not rational, but even irrational acts of homicide(such as voluntary manslaughter) call for jail time in the U.S. I hope she was at least ordered to obtain inpatient psychiatic care.