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Criminal Code (R.S.C., 1985, c. C-46)

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Act current to 2022-09-22 and last amended on 2022-06-23. 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:Wilful promotion of antisemitism

    (2.1) Everyone who, by communicating statements, other than in private conversation, wilfully promotes antisemitism by condoning, denying or downplaying the Holocaust

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

    • (b) is guilty of 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:Defences — subsection (2.1)

    (3.1) No person shall be convicted of an offence under subsection (2.1)

    • (a) if they establish that the statements communicated were true;

    • (b) if, in good faith, they 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 they believed them to be true; or

    • (d) if, in good faith, they intended to point out, for the purpose of removal, matters producing or tending to produce feelings of antisemitism toward Jews.

  • Marginal note:Forfeiture

    (4) If a person is convicted of an offence under subsection (1), (2) or (2.1) or section 318, 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 any modifications that the circumstances require, to subsection (1), (2) or (2.1) or section 318.

  • Marginal note:Consent

    (6) No proceeding for an offence under subsection (2) or (2.1) shall be instituted without the consent of the Attorney General.

  • Marginal note:Definitions

    (7) In this section,

    communicating

    communicating includes communicating by telephone, broadcasting or other audible or visible means; (communiquer)

    Holocaust

    Holocaust means the planned and deliberate state-sponsored persecution and annihilation of European Jewry by the Nazis and their collaborators from 1933 to 1945; (Holocauste)

    identifiable group

    identifiable group has the same meaning as in section 318; (groupe identifiable)

    public place

    public place includes any place to which the public have access as of right or by invitation, express or implied; (endroit public)

    statements

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

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 319
  • R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 203
  • 2004, c. 14, s. 2
  • 2022, c. 10, s. 332
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