Whatcott published and distributed four anti-gay flyers in Saskatchewan that used words like "filth," "propaganda" and "sodomy" to describe gay relationships and discussions of equality.
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court held that the first two flyers, titled "Keep homosexuality out of Saskatoon's public schools" and "Sodomites in our public schools," did constitute hate speech and reinstated the Saskatchewan tribunal's finding, including $7,500 in fines against Whatcott.
The Court upheld an appeal court's decision on the second two flyers — photocopies of classified ads with Whatcott's handwritten comments on them stating the ads were for "men seeking boys" — ruling against the human rights commission.
It found that it was unreasonable to find the second two flyers "contain expression that a reasonable person … would find as exposing or likely to expose persons of same-sex orientation to detestation and vilification."
Whatcott’s is the latest in a string of court challenges that have helped shape Canada’s free speech and hate crime laws, as well as their interpretation by the courts.
Here are several other notable cases that have helped set precedent for how the legal system balances what is considered a hate crime and what constitutes freedom of speech.
When is it hate speech?: 7 significant Canadian cases - Canada - CBC News