TORONTO: Today the Canadian Constitution Foundation (CCF) is intervening in the Supreme Court appeal of a case dealing with comedy and freedom of expression, Ward v Quebec Human Rights Tribunal.
The case involves a Quebec comedian, Mike Ward, who was fined by the Quebec Human Rights Commission. The Commission concluded that jokes made by Mike Ward about Jeremy Gabriel, a boy who lives with a disability, were discriminatory and violated the dignity of Mr. Gabriel. Mike Ward was ordered to pay $42,000 to Mr Gabriel and his mother.
“We are intervening in this case to assist the Supreme Court in taking a full view of the right to freedom of expression,” said CCF Litigation Director, Christine Van Geyn. “It is not the role of the government to censor comedy through punitive fines, or to decide what jokes comedians are allowed to tell. This case isn’t about whether the jokes Mr. Ward told are funny or if they were in bad taste. It is about the notion that it is not for the government to decide.”
The case can be live streamed on the Supreme Court website, here. The CCF is represented by Annamaria Enenajor and Stephanie DiGiuseppe.