& # 39; I find it disgusting & quot; Quebec comedian Mike Ward appeals $ 42K penalty for joke about disabled boy


Montreal – Quebec Comedians Are Afraid To Make Controversial Jokes If A 2016 Charge Against Mike Ward Through The Province's Human Tribunal Is Upheld, Julius Gray Attorney Wrote On Wednesday.

It is said that a rape accusing a "ugly" disabled boy may have been disastrous – but it must remain legal in a free and democratic society.

Ward, a popular Quebec comedian, is appealing to Quebec Human Rights Tribunal ruling that his performances include discriminatory comments about a young disabled singer, Jeremy Gabriel. The tribunal ordered Ward to pay $ 35,000 in moral and punitive damages to Gabriel and $ 7,000 to his mother.

"In this particular case, if the condemnation is maintained, no one will be able to dare to be a stand-up comic, because normally you make fun of things that are controversial – otherwise it's not funny," Gray told reporters at the Courthouse. . "If anything that is controversial can permit someone to say," I was hurt, I'm going to court, and we're finished. "

Gabriel was born prematurely in 1996 and has treaty collins syndrome, a congenital disorder characterized by skull and facial deformities. Known in Quebec as "Little Jeremy," he became a minor celebrity in the province after he sang with Celine Dion and the Pope.

In the jungle ward told in between 2010 and 2013, the comedian said he initially thought Gabriel's illness was a terminal. He said he liked people he loved, and he told him salt, because he would soon be dead. After realizing that the child was alive for a long time, as anticipated, he was found to be able to find Gabriel. He joked that he had even tried his thrower in a water park, but he didn't die.

Gabriel, 22, said children at school were happy to convince their jokes. He said the routine was asking him questions like a man and giving him ideas.

Jeremy Gabriel: "It's always with me."

Ryan Remyzor / CP

A Quebec central judge, on behalf of the right tribunal, spoke of ward's jealousy denying Gabriel's right to dignity, honor and reputation, and his right to equality and assurance of discrimination.

Gray argued Ward's joke was not discriminatory. "Discrimination would have been if he wasn't anywhere, or if he had been evaluated in a different way," Gray told the judge. "It's not enough to make fun of discrimination."

Stephanie Fournier, a lawyer's right-wing defense, had the lower central judge in his application of the law. She said the decision did not prevent comics from talking about Gabriel or other people from groups protected under the charter.

"The novelty is that you can't humiliate a person or touch their dignity … because they are disabled," she told the judge. "Gabriel was targeted because he had a disability."

It's not an issue of Freedom of Expression that is less important than other rights, Fournier added. "The nuance is that exercise of freedom of expression should not affect the fundamental rights of another person," she said.

If the judgment is maintained, no one will be able to dare to be a stand-up comic

Gabriel said after the hearing that he did not understand how his case could affect other comics in Quebec.

"I think that comedians are doing propaganda to make people afraid of losing their freedom of expression," he told reporters. He added that he was still living with the traitor's sword: "It's always with me. (The joke) stayed in social media and in the consciousness of people who saw the shows."

Ward was unapologetic as he briefly adjusted journalists. "It's a joke," he said. "I haven't done this joke for six years. I wrote it 10 years ago. To bring a comedy to the dark-humor court, for a Trishi joke, is like giving Diddel a speeding ticket for driving in & # 39; Fast and the Furious. I find it disgusting that I'm here. I'll keep fighting. "

The central said that it will be delivered at a later date.

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