Quebec’s Court of Appeal Rules on Gabriel v. Ward

In Quebec, the Court of Appeal has ruled on a dispute that pits a comedian’s freedom of expression against a singer’s freedom from discrimination.

On November 28, 2019, the court upheld a verdict that requires Mike Ward, a stand-up comedian, to pay singer Jérémy Gabriel $35,000. In his act, Mr. Ward had repeatedly made Mr. Gabriel, who has Treacher Collins syndrome, the target of jokes.

However, the court struck down an order that required Mr. Ward to pay $7,000 to Mr. Gabriel’s mother.

Mr. Ward plans to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.

 

REPORTAGE

Morgan Lowrie of the Canadian Press reports:

https://nationalpost.com/pmn/news-pmn/canada-news-pmn/comedian-mike-ward-loses-appeal-over-penalty-for-joke-about-disabled-boy

 

Matthew Lapierre of CTV News reports:

https://montreal.ctvnews.ca/comedian-mike-ward-must-pay-jeremy-gabriel-for-discriminatory-joke-appeals-court-rules-1.4707175?cache=yes%3FautoPlay%3Dtrue%3FclipId%3D89531

 

In the Montreal Gazette, Jesse Feith reports:

https://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/no-joke-appeals-court-rules-comedian-mike-ward-must-pay-jeremy-gabriel

 

In the Montreal Gazette, René Bruemmer reports:

https://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/supreme-court-battle-bring-it-on-singer-tells-comedian-mike-ward

 

COMMENTARY

On Twitter, Mike Ward comments:

https://twitter.com/MikeWardca/status/1200193974641872897/photo/1

 

In 2016, Mr. Ward explains his joke and the ruling of Quebec’s human rights tribunal to an audience in Montreal:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oUTV2Us-ZFs