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City of Toronto Seeks Reversal of Verdict on Nazi Hate Propaganda

Toronto’s Board of Control today authorized the city Legal Department to appeal a decision by Magistrate Charles Opper that Toronto’s bylaw against inciting racial hatred in public parks is invalid. The magistrate on December 7 acquitted William John Beattie, self-styled Canadian Nazi Party leader, on a charge of using language likely to stir up hatred against Jews and Negroes.

Beattie was charged under Section 13 of the parks bylaw after making a public address last June in Allan Gardens. The magistrate ruled that the bylaw dealt with freedom of speech and this was a subject outside the legislative competence of the city. The court declared that freedom of speech was a subject that belonged only to the federal Parliament.