Criminal Code (R.S.C., 1985, c. C-46)

Act current to 2014-08-05 and last amended on 2014-07-11. Previous Versions

Marginal note:Public incitement of hatred
  •  (1) Every one who, by communicating statements in any public place, incites hatred against any identifiable group where such incitement is likely to lead to a breach of the peace is guilty of

    • (a) an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years; or

    • (b) an offence punishable on summary conviction.

  • Marginal note:Wilful promotion of hatred

    (2) Every one who, by communicating statements, other than in private conversation, wilfully promotes hatred against any identifiable group is guilty of

    • (a) an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years; or

    • (b) an offence punishable on summary conviction.

  • Marginal note:Defences

    (3) No person shall be convicted of an offence under subsection (2)

    • (a) if he establishes that the statements communicated were true;

    • (b) if, in good faith, the person expressed or attempted to establish by an argument an opinion on a religious subject or an opinion based on a belief in a religious text;

    • (c) if the statements were relevant to any subject of public interest, the discussion of which was for the public benefit, and if on reasonable grounds he believed them to be true; or

    • (d) if, in good faith, he intended to point out, for the purpose of removal, matters producing or tending to produce feelings of hatred toward an identifiable group in Canada.

  • Marginal note:Forfeiture

    (4) Where a person is convicted of an offence under section 318 or subsection (1) or (2) of this section, anything by means of or in relation to which the offence was committed, on such conviction, may, in addition to any other punishment imposed, be ordered by the presiding provincial court judge or judge to be forfeited to Her Majesty in right of the province in which that person is convicted, for disposal as the Attorney General may direct.

  • Marginal note:Exemption from seizure of communication facilities

    (5) Subsections 199(6) and (7) apply with such modifications as the circumstances require to section 318 or subsection (1) or (2) of this section.

  • Marginal note:Consent

    (6) No proceeding for an offence under subsection (2) shall be instituted without the consent of the Attorney General.

  • Marginal note:Definitions

    (7) In this section,

    “communicating”

    « communiquer »

    “communicating” includes communicating by telephone, broadcasting or other audible or visible means;

    “identifiable group”

    « groupe identifiable »

    “identifiable group” has the same meaning as in section 318;

    “public place”

    « endroit public »

    “public place” includes any place to which the public have access as of right or by invitation, express or implied;

    “statements”

    « déclarations »

    “statements” includes words spoken or written or recorded electronically or electro-magnetically or otherwise, and gestures, signs or other visible representations.

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 319;
  • R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 203;
  • 2004, c. 14, s. 2.