Mississauga website operator charged with hate crimes
By Stewart Bell
Global News | July 24, 2017
A former Mississauga mayoral candidate whose online posts targeting Muslims have prompted complaints was arrested Monday for “hate-motivated crime,” Peel Regional Police said.
Kevin J. Johnston, 45, was charged with a single count of wilful promotion of hatred following what a statement called “a lengthy investigation into numerous incidents reported to police.”
The Freedom Report website where Johnston posts his radio-host style videos, many of them aimed at the Islamic faith and individual Muslims, remained online following the arrest.
Johnston was charged under a section that outlaws promoting “hatred against any identifiable group,” other than in private conversation. He faces up to two years imprisonment if convicted.
The charge was approved by the Ontario Attorney General’s office, which has the final say on hate crimes prosecutions. He was scheduled to appear in Brampton court on Monday.
“This charge is long overdue,” said Ihsaan Gardee, executive director of the National Council of Canadian Muslims. “We welcome this development as an important step towards safeguarding our communities from unchecked hatred that both harms social cohesion and threatens the safety of community members.”