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.



Morgan Lowrie of the Canadian Press reports:


Matthew Lapierre of CTV News reports:


In the Montreal Gazette, Jesse Feith reports:


In the Montreal Gazette, René Bruemmer reports:



On Twitter, Mike Ward comments:


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