TESSA VIKANDER StarMetro Vancouver
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Sunday, July 1, 2018
War on Christianity in Canada About to Get a Whole Lot Uglier
Anti-gay activist wanted for promotion of hatred
surrendered to police in CalgaryBy MICHAEL MUI StarMetro Vancouver
TESSA VIKANDER StarMetro Vancouver
William Whatcott, a well-known anti-LGBTQ activist wanted on a Canada-wide warrant for wilful promotion of hatred, turned himself in last week, according to his lawyer.
Whatcott, who once lived in New Westminster, is accused of distributing 3,000 pamphlets to attendees at Pride Toronto’s 2016 parade. They contained what Toronto police call “hateful” content. A warrant was issued in spring 2018.
The pamphlets, which reportedly included negative remarks against the Liberal Party and left-wing politicians, also said that supporting homosexual acts without repentance could lead to "eternal peril," and repentance to "the free gift of eternal life."
However, reports say that the pamphlets neither encouraged hate against homosexuals, nor advocated violence.
William Whatcott, seen in a Facebook photo, is the subject of a Canada-wide warrant issued by Toronto police
alleging wilful promotion of hatred in relation to an incident at Pride Toronto in 2016. (FACEBOOK)
Whatcott’s lawyer, Charles Lugosi, said his client turned himself in to police in Calgary on Friday, June 22nd.
Whatcott, who has been fired from his job, said he wasn't given food for 24 hours while in jail, according to The Daily Wire.
"It might have been on purpose, because it didn't happen, like — some inmates did go half a day without food — but they actually made me go a full 24 hours," he was quoted as saying.
He said he was also denied medical attention for a leg injury. "I had a leg infection, and it was bad enough that I was brought to the hospital, but they simply refused to fill the prescriptions. So for four days I had no medications. The infection was actually going up my leg. I was a little concerned it was gonna go systemic."
The allegations contained in the warrant have not been proven in court.
In July 2016, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, a Roman Catholic, became the world's first national leader to march in a gay pride parade when he took part in Toronto's event.
Trudeau has also supported Canada's embrace of same-sex marriage, which stands against the Catholic Church's definition of marriage between one man and one woman.
Months later that year, a poll showed that the majority of Canadians supported the expansion of the country's non-discrimination laws to include gender identity. The Angus Reid Institute survey was conducted four months after Trudeau's Liberal Party introduced a bill that would punish transgender discrimination with up to two years in prison for violators.
Earlier this year, Ontario Province started allowing individuals born there to remove "male" or "female" on their birth certificates or opt for a "nonbinary" designation.
The pace at which Canada is moving to the extreme left is nothing short of astonishing. Trudeau is not a Roman Catholic, he is an anti-Catholic and an anti-Christian. He easily prefers Islam to Christianity as is obvious by the respect he pays Islam and the complete disrespect he pays Christianity. He will not allow anyone in his cabinet who is not pro-abortion. He will not allow the Canadian government to sponsor church youth employment programs unless they commit to supporting abortion. He has declared war on Christianity in Canada and it will get worse before it gets better.
In a post on Freenorthamerica.ca — a website associated with what appears to be Whatcott’s Twitter account — a user called “Bill Whatcott” described the pamphlets distributed on July 3, 2016, when he and several others dressed in skin-tight full-length green bodysuits to hand out anti-LGBTQ materials. A copy of the material posted on the website contains Whatcott’s name and warns parade goers of “homosexual inspired oppression.”
Toronto police spokesperson Const. Caroline de Kloet said part of the reason the warrant was issued two years after the incidents is because police had to to “liaise” with the prosecution to approve the charge.
And, apparently, in Toronto, that takes two years!!!???
In an interview, Whatcott — who described himself in previous court proceedings as a “Christian activist” who formerly “engaged in same-sex sexual activity” — said he does not believe he did anything criminal. He said his distribution of pamphlets should be considered fair criticism of a public event.
“I have little enough confidence in the justice system. The judge might look at it, know it’s wrong and convict me anyways. I think that can happen in our courts,” Whatcott said.
“I gave out medical information. I made theological arguments that I don’t think homosexuality is a good idea ... I don’t believe I committed a criminal offence.”
His current lawyer, Lugosi, said his client intends to co-operate with police but will challenge the allegation. Lugosi said Monday he has yet to read the warrant.
Canada-wide warrants normally for murderers
“Usually, a Canada-wide warrant is issued with somebody alleged to have committed a very serious crime, like murder,” Lugosi said. “Normally, with something like this, it’s never done. It’s abnormal.”
Pride Toronto executive director Olivia Nuamah said it’s a “positive” step that an arrest has been made.
“LGBTQ hate crime has gone up significantly this year,” Nuamah said. “Just in general, the arrest and prosecution rates are incredibly low ... It’s important that the rates of both arrest and prosecutions go up significantly.”
After the 2016 Toronto Pride Parade, Whatcott was the subject of a $103-million class-action lawsuit alleging hate speech directed at the LGBTQ community. In a March 2017 ruling from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, the judge said the class-action suit would not stand but that the people who filed the suit could pursue individual civil lawsuits against Whatcott.
Jeremy Dias, executive director of the Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity, said police need to do more to discourage anti-LGBTQ activists from disrupting Pride festivities. Dias, who attended the 2016 parade, said the pamphlets were “reprehensible.”
“We really need police services to take these actions more seriously,” Dias said. “If you’re breaking the law and conducting hate speech, then that’s a problem ... It should be prosecuted, period. No questions asked.”
“It appears I am facing an indictable charge for ‘Public Incitement of Hatred,’” a post on Freenorthamerica.ca reads. “The ‘crime?’ My ministry bringing the Gospel and the truth about homosexuality to Toronto’s ... pride parade in 2016.”
Police looked for Whatcott in multiple provinces. A department update provided by New Westminster Police in B.C. said they received a call for assistance from Toronto police in April. Whatcott was then believed to be living in New Westminster, in the eastern part of Metro Vancouver.
At the time, police confirmed Whatcott’s residence in New Westminster and were working on “co-ordinating an arrest” with Toronto police. However, it is unclear whether Whatcott was actually in New Westminster at that point. Reached by phone, Whatcott’s wife Jadranka Whatcott said the pair used to live in New Westminster but moved to Alberta earlier this year.
In a separate matter, Whatcott is also the subject of an ongoing human-rights discrimination complaint filed by a transgender woman in B.C.
It was filed by transgender-rights advocate Morgane Oger. According to human-rights tribunal documents, Whatcott allegedly distributed flyers disparaging Oger during the spring 2017 B.C. election, when Oger was running as the NDP candidate for Vancouver-False Creek. The B.C. Human Rights Tribunal said Whatcott argued in his response that his “conduct was protected by the guarantees of freedom of religion and speech” granted by the Charter.
Whatcott allegedly wrote that because Oger is a transgender woman, she is unfit to work as a politician, expressing concerns about the “growth of homosexuality and transvestitism.”
Within days of the flyers being distributed, Oger’s campaign team contacted the Vancouver Police Department. Oger said an officer came to her house and took a statement but that Vancouver police did not charge Whatcott.
“(They) would not actually even engage … until it was discovered that I was a political candidate for a party,” she said. “I would assume that I can count on the police in B.C. here, but experience tells me maybe we have a ways to go,” Oger said.
Asked about Oger’s case, Vancouver police said they cannot provide information on specific cases unless charges have been approved by the Crown.
Since the flyers about Oger were first published, a Facebook account with the name of “Bill Whatcott” posted further material attacking Oger’s transgender identity. One example occurred on Feb. 17, 2018, when the user posted a photo of Oger with the caption “you are still a guy,” referring to her by the first name she used before transitioning.
Oger said she’s looking forward to the conclusion of this case.
“As someone who faces constant harassment ... I welcome some precedent being set, explaining clearly where the law draws the line between acceptable behaviour and unacceptable behaviour,” she said.