http://www.northpeel.com/br/gi/news/story/3545255p-4096096c.html (page does not exist)
Accused bolts from Human Rights hearing
Local man accused of posting hate messages on Internet leaves Human
TORSTAR NEWS SERVICE, Special to the IFP
A Canadian Human Rights Tribunal hearing in Toronto was adjourned
unexpectedly Monday after the accused Georgetown man stormed out of the
room, yelling and accusing a witness of slander.
Craig Harrison, 40, has been accused of posting hate propaganda on a
Toronto website calling for the murder of the family of former prime
minister Pierre Trudeau, blacks, non-whites, francophones and
Ottawa lawyer Richard Warman, who filed the initial complaint,
testified that he found 71 messages on the website
http://www.freedomsite.org (page does not exist) and he believes Harrison posted them because
one of the messages referred to a crime of which Harrison had already
That website posting read: “I’m the guy who got 2 for thumpin that
nigger on main street.”
Harrison spent two years in jail when he was convicted in 1996 of
assault causing bodily harm after attacking a black man, a Georgetown
shopkeeper, while shouting racial slurs.
During Warman’s testimony, Harrison became upset and began yelling
before leaving the courtroom.
“It wasn’t racist, watch your language, boy,” Harrison said. “That’s
slander, there’s nothing racist about it.”
The hearing was adjourned and Harrison did not return.
Michel Doucet, who is chairman of the hearing, said a letter would be
issued to Harrison informing him the hearing would continue whether
Harrison appeared yesterday (Tuesday) morning or not
Harrison did not return yesterday.
Warman said Tuesday afternoon that when Harrison was served with the
letter from the tribunal he indicated he would no longer be
participating in the hearing.
He said a representative from Bell Sympatico appeared at the hearing
Tuesday and stated Bell corporate security records show that six or
seven different posting times he (Warman) attributed to Harrison on the
Freedomsite matched times that Harrison and his wife Susan Holmes’s
computer was logged onto the Internet.
If found responsible for the postings, Harrison may have to pay a
penalty of up to $10,000 and face a permanent court order preventing
him from posting hate propaganda on the Internet.
Elizabeth Carmichael, chair of the North Halton Cultural Awareness
Council, said police face many challenges when investigating hate
propaganda on the Internet.
“It’s so difficult to charge a person,” said Carmichael. “It goes
across countries. Many times the person can be living here in Canada
and the message can be originating in the United States.”
“The danger of the Internet is the facelessness of it,” said
Hate propaganda on the Internet was also a topic of discussion at the
Canadian Telecom Conference in Mississauga, where Bernie Farber, CEO of
the Canadian Jewish Congress, spoke of the challenge balancing the
right of freedom of speech with the right of individuals not to be the
object of hate speech.
“Since the mid-’90s, they’ve moved from street corners to the Internet
caf=E9s,” said Farber.
Abbe Corb, with the Hate Crime Extremism Investigative Team, of which
Halton Police and several other police services are members, said the
Internet “has made hate more accessible.”
“Like-minded people can reach others with the click of a mouse,” said
Law enforcement officers face several challenges, including dealing
with outdated laws, given the speed at which Internet access has
developed in recent years.
“It can be derogatory and illegal for a long time before anything is
done to declare it illegal,” said Sgt. Don McKinnon, detective with the
youth and hate crime branch in London, Ont.
Corb said identifying the individual posting propaganda on the Internet
is also a challenge for police.