Canada: 'Pride' vs. Freedom
In times like these -- especially during “Pride Month” -- it’s uplifting to encounter someone like Bill Whatcott, who has won against a tyrannical government pushing LGBT madness.
Canada has been even more militant than the U.S. against citizens who push back against that ruthless agenda. Canada has no First Amendment. And its “Charter Rights” that should guarantee free speech are easily ignored.
On July 3, 2016 the annual Toronto Gay Pride Parade took place. It was one of the foulest imaginable. It included blasphemous anti-Christian imagery, groups of completely naked men marching in front of young children, and much more. Prominent parade marchers included Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the Premier of Ottawa, and the Attorney General of Canada.
Bill Whatcott and several friends registered to march in the parade under the name “Gay Zombies Cannabis Consumers Association.” They dressed in head-to-toe green bodysuits. As they marched, they handed out 3,000 “safe sex packets” to onlookers.
Inside each packet was a folded two-sided flyer that included medical-related information, graphic images of the medical consequences of homosexual behavior, and positive religious messages. It also denounced the prominent political figures for their public pro-homosexual activism.
If Bill and his friends had done this in any U.S. “gay pride” parade, they would just be banned from future parades and the officials would complain to the media. But this was Canada.
A month after the parade, some prominent homosexual activists held a press conference announcing the lawsuit in the press gallery of the national Canadian Parliament in Ottawa. They announced they had filed a $104 million civil lawsuit charging Whatcott and his supporters with “defamation, conspiracy, and intentional infliction of mental suffering.”
The purpose of the $104 million claim, they said, was to “smoke out” and extract monetary damages from the wealthy financial backers of Bill and his group. They assumed that Bill was being bankrolled by a cabal of big right-wing donors -- because that’s how the Left does things. But in fact, the “Gay Zombies” accomplished their mission on a shoestring budget, funded by the participants themselves. (Bill freely admitted his role, but refused to name the others -- who are unknown to this day).
As the lawsuit dragged on, it become clear that there were no “wealthy right-wing donors” to go after. In 2019, after three years of effort, the gay activists dropped the lawsuit.
But as that lawsuit was dying, the Ontario government decided to jump into the fight. In June 2018 (two years after the parade incident!), the Ottawa attorney general formally charged Bill with the crime of “inciting hatred” under Canada’s criminal code.
The AG then issued a nationwide arrest warrant for Bill, who was living in Alberta. In Canada, that kind of warrant is reserved for very serious crimes like murder. They could have just called him or contacted his lawyer. So Bill travelled to Calgary to turn himself in at the local police station -- while supporters (including well-known Pastor Art Pawlowski) protested outside.
Bill was held in custody for four days while being transported to Toronto. Calgary police denied him food and his blood pressure medicine for 24 hours. He was also denied sleep for 24 hours.
At the bail hearing the prosecution insisted on a gag order to protect gays “from psychological harm.” Bill refused those terms, and the judge finally ruled in Bill’s favor.
Bill was then fired from his truck-driving job (the company refused to give a reason) and was “banned for life” from using GoFundMe to raise money.
Bill fought back. John Rosen, the most prominent criminal defense attorney in Canada, agreed to represent him -- if Rosen could get a government subsidy (since Bill had no money). Rosen is a true “liberal” -- he does not necessarily agree with Bill’s opinions, but he believes in free speech. Rosen was granted the subsidy, and he got to work.
Then came COVID. Criminal trials across Canada for drug offenses, property crimes, and even sexual assaults were simply cancelled. But not Bill’s trial. The government was determined to convict him.
On Oct. 4, 2021, Bill’s eight-day trial for “willful promotion of hatred” finally started. Because of the unfriendly Canadian jury laws, Rosen declined a jury trial.
The Ottawa AG office’s prosecution was very aggressive. But Rosen’s defense was brilliant.
The AG brought in an infectious disease doctor as an expert witness to testify that Bill’s medical claims were incorrect. But Rosen cross-examined her and forced her to admit that Bill’s information was actually reasonably accurate.
Rosen brought in a professor of theology and ethics at McGill University who testified that the religious elements in Bill’s flyer were not “hateful,” but consistent with Judeo-Christian tradition.
The AG attempted to bring in a leftist “gender professor” from York University as an expert witness on “anti-gay discrimination.” Rosen successfully argued that the professor was too biased to qualify as an expert witness.
In their closing arguments, the AG attempted to establish that Bill had spread “dehumanizing” propaganda that demonstrated his underlying “hatred.” Rosen’s rebuttal skillfully took those arguments apart.
All this judicial expense, effort, and drama was basically about a flyer handed out at a parade four years before.
But Bill’s ordeal wasn’t over. Two weeks later, on Dec. 24, 2021, the AG filed paperwork to appeal the “Not guilty” verdict!
The U.S. Constitution’s Fifth Amendment prohibits putting a person on trial twice for the same crime. In Canada, if a court acquits a defendant, the prosecution can appeal and try to convict him again.
On January 5, 2022, AG’s office filed its 45-page formal appeal. It appears to basically be a gay-activist approach to attempt to discredit the judge’s decisions during the trial and his ultimate ruling.
On May 16, 2022, Attorney Rosen filed a detailed 37-page response. It meticulously debunks all the AG’s reasons for appeal and demonstrates that the judged acted properly in every instance.
The appeals trial will take place this month -- on Wednesday, June 21, 2023.
Attorney Rosen and his staff have put months of work and expense into preparing for this trial, though Rosen’s government subsidy does not extend to the appeal. The money to pay for it will come from whatever Bill can raise. This work would normally cost at least $100,000. But they are willing to charge half their rate. The case could theoretically go all the way to the Canadian Supreme Court.
As we all know, the wealthy donors of the Left generously fund all their criminal legal cases -- from Antifa’s destruction, to illegal aliens’ crimes, and everything else in between. But there are no wealthy conservatives willing to fund our side -- as the J6 defendants have found out. It’s no different in Canada.
LifeSiteNews has set up a funding page for Bill. Over the last several months he has raised about $21,000 from individual supporters. Bill Whatcott -- and John Rosen -- are doing God’s work. Any donations to Bill would be greatly appreciated.
Brian Camenker is President of MassResistance, a national pro-family activist group.