Friday, November 04, 2011

Canadian Patriot Terry Tremaine Found In Contempt Of Court By Federal Court of Appeal Over "Hate Material" Posted On The Web

By a 2-1 vote, the Canadian Federal Court of Appeal has found Canadian White patriot Terry Tremaine guilty of contempt of court for ignoring an order by a Human Rights Tribunal to remove so-called "hate propaganda" that he posted on the Internet.

The Federal Court of Appeal overturned a lower federal court ruling which found Tremaine not guilty of contempt because he was not appropriately informed of the Human Rights Tribunal's order. The appeal court concluded that the trial judge was wrong to find that a deliberate violation of a tribunal ruling is not enough to prompt a contempt conviction, and has sent the case back to the original federal court judge for sentencing.

Even though CTV News just posted this story on November 4th, it appears the decision was rendered on October 26th, according to the case record posted on the appeal court website. J.A. Pelletier was the dissenting judge; he noted that the difference between his position and that of the other two judges is that before a person can be found to be in contempt of court as a result of disobeying a tribunal order, that person must have notice that the tribunal order was filed in the Federal Court so that they aware that they are disobeying what is now a court order. Another difference noted by Pelletier revolves around the nature of the order being enforced. In Pelletier's view, upon filing with the Federal Court, a tribunal order becomes a court order for the purposes of enforcement. But the other judges believe that a tribunal order remains a tribunal order, and only a tribunal order, even after it has been filed in the Federal Court.

Pelletier also does not believe that non-compliance with a tribunal order should be punishable by criminal contempt proceedings. He also does not believe the original order contains a clear and unambiguous requirement that Tremaine remove from the Internet the material which the Tribunal found to be in violation of Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act (CHRA).

Wikipedia provides a historical snapshot of this case. The entire sequence began on April 8th, 2005 when serial complainant Richard Warman filed a complaint to the Canadian Human Rights Commission regarding Tremaine, alleging he engaged in a discriminatory practice on the ground of religion, national or ethnic origin, race and colour, in a matter related to the usage of a telecommunication undertaking in violation of the Canadian Human Rights Act. In August 2006, Tremaine appeared before the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal in Ottawa, represented by Paul Fromm. On February 2nd, 2007, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruled that Warman's complaint had been substantiated ,and ordered him to pay a fine of $4000.00 and to "cease the discriminatory practice of communicating telephonically or causing to be communicated telephonically... material... that are likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt by reason of the fact that that person or persons are identifiable on the basis of a prohibited ground of discrimination, contrary to section 13(1) of the Canadian Human Rights Act."

However, Richard Warman continued his persecution of Tremaine, subsequently filing an affidavit claiming that Tremaine had continued to post material disparaging to immigrants and Jews. In March 2009, Tremaine was charged with contempt of court for violating the 2007 court order. Nevertheless, Justice Harrington concluded that Tremaine was not in contempt of the federal court. Even though Tremaine appeared to have flaunted an order of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, the Commission had failed to provide adequate notice that its decision had been registered with the Federal Court. Since the Tribunal has no procedure for contempt, one can only be held in contempt if their decision was registered with the Federal Court.

And on October 26th, 2011, the Federal Court of Appeal overruled Justice Harrington.

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