Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Bias based on race

R. v. Gray, 2013 ABCA 237 holds:


[17]     However deplorable bias, prejudice or hate based on race, national or ethnic origin may be, it is not a crime for an individual to entertain such perverse views. Acting upon them in breach of the Criminal Code is quite another matter. Section 718.2(a)(i) of the Criminal Code reflects our community's distain for crime "motivated" by such factors. Mr. Many Shots and Mr. Panther Bone were attacked by the Appellant for no reason other than their Aboriginal heritage. It follows that the relevant inquiry is not whether the Appellant harboured a racial animus towards Aboriginals, but rather whether the victims of his assaults were targeted because of their racial backgrounds. The evidence is clear and unequivocal.


[18]     The courts must be vigilant to preserve and sustain the freedoms enshrined in the Charter which reflect the moral compass of our Nation. Bias, prejudice or hate based on race, national or ethic origin is anathema to the values that we cherish, cannot be tolerated and must be condemned. That is particularly so when the actions of an individual reflect a level of intolerance and bring about consequences such as those in the case at bar.

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