For the five majority judges, Mike Ward did not choose to mock Jeremy Gabrielle based on his disability, but because he is a public figure. The judges therefore ruled that the comedian’s jokes could not be considered discriminatory under the Quebec Rights and Liberation Charter.
Mr. The Supreme Court held that the Human Rights Tribunal lacked the skills necessary to adjudicate on Gabriel’s complaint, as it was a question of defamation.
The resort to discrimination must be limited to advertising, the effects of which are with real discrimination, Justices Richard Wagner and Suzanne Cote, wrote in the judgment given Friday morning, and Justices Michael Moldavar, Russell Brown and Malcolm Row also agree.
Controversial comments, right or wrong, use inconvenience for entertainment, but they do little more than that.
Rosalie Abella, four dissenting magistrates, is now retired and her colleagues Nicolas Cassirer, Sheila Martin and Androma Karakatsanis. To them, the majority argues
Ignored a basic fact: Mr. Ward targets aspects of Jeremy Gabriel’s public personality that are inextricably linked to his disability.
The case against Mike Ward of the Commission des Droitz de la Person at et des Droitz de la Junesi, which succeeded in obtaining from the Quebec Court of Appeal. $ 35,000 in damages for Mr. Gabriel. So the comedian does not have to pay for this loss.
Take the law forward
This judicial saga has been followed with great interest in Quebec, and has been around the country ever since Opposed the right to dignity to freedom of expression.
In their decision, they argued that Mr. Ward’s remarks could not lead to a reasonable person, to inform the context of the comedian’s remarks, to despise or hate Jeremy Gabriel’s humanity and to lead them to act with discrimination.
Mr. The court noted that artists could not receive special protection in the case if they felt that Ward’s right to freedom of expression did not infringe on Jeremy Gabriel’s dignity and equality.
In a brief speech, Jeremy Gabriel and his family’s lawyer, Stephen Harvey, said Friday that he did not regret initiating the lengthy legal process, but considered developing the law.
Even if it is not in the sense we like.
Mike Ward just posted a short message. In English on his Twitter account:
We normalized, we wonHe wrote in response to an old post by actor and comedian Norm MacDonald who died last September.
A story that spans over ten years
The Supreme Court concludes with this decision 10 years legal history Jeremy Gabriel competing against comedian Mike Ward.
From 2010 to 2013, Mr. Ward came on stage on several occasions to perform. Mike Ward Expos In it he mocked many celebrities, including Jeremy Gabriel, nicknamed at the time
In a specific issue, by name Untouchable, The comedian mocked the children’s singing talent, as well as his physical appearance, who is known to have performed a piece for Pope Benedict XVI at the age of 9.
Jeremy Gabriel suffers from Trecher-Collins Syndrome, which is a congenital disease, in him, head deformities and severe deafness.
Sylvie Gabrielle, his mother, decided to file a complaint against the comedian in the Commission des Droits de la Person, which sued the boy for $ 80,000, then the teenager.
Human Rights Tribunal verdict dropped in 2016: Mike Ward’s jokes were discriminatory. He was therefore ordered to pay a total of $ 35,000 in damages to Jeremy Gabriel and $ 7,000 to his mother, Sylvie Gabriel.
The comedian immediately appealed the verdict. In November 2019, a decision was also split, with the Court of Appeals upholding the first judgment, but removing the amount given to Jeremy’s mother. It was during this time that Mike Ward challenged the country’s highest court.
They have been waiting for the Supreme Court verdict since last February.