View Full Version : Peel police charge Mississauga man with hate crime

07-25-2017, 08:52 AM
Peel police charge Mississauga man with hate crime

The charge comes after a lengthy investigation into numerous incidents regarding Johnston’s activity on social media


A Mississauga man who has been charged with willful promotion of hatred says he’s “not going anywhere,” and that he intends to run for mayor of the city.

The charges come after “a lengthy investigation into numerous incidents reported to police, involving Kevin Johnston and concerns information published on various social media sites,” Peel police said in a news release Monday.

Johnston, 45, was released on bail after a brief appearance in court Monday. The conditions of his release included an order to have no contact with three people, whose names are under a publication ban. He was also ordered to stay 100 metres away from any mosque or Muslim community centre in Ontario, except for when travelling on the road.

Johnston, wearing a blue polo shirt and jeans, sat calmly in court as the details of the case were read in court.

Outside the courtroom, he was defiant.

“I’m going to run for mayor against Bonnie Crombie next election,” Johnston said. “She can’t stop me through the courts.”

Johnston does not have legal counsel yet. He will appear next Sept. 8.

Johnston has previously ran for mayor, and lost to Mississauga Mayor Crombie in 2014. He is best known for his strong views about the Muslim community, having opposed the construction of a mosque in Meadowvale, offered prize money for videos of students praying on Fridays, and protested against the federal anti-Islamophobia motion, M-103.

Last year, a story published on the Mississauga Gazette site resulted in Crombie filing a hate-crime complaint with Peel police. It was not immediately clear if that complaint prompted Monday’s charges.

For police to lay a hate-related criminal charge, a criminal offence must have occurred – such as an assault, damage to property — and hate or bias toward a victim must have motivated the criminal offence.

At Queen’s Park, Attorney General Yasir Naqvi said the government “takes allegations of hate crime very seriously. Ontario prosecutes these cases vigorously, where there is a reasonable prospect of conviction.

“In a multicultural and inclusive province like Ontario, the promotion of hatred stands in direct opposition to our fundamental values of equality and diversity. Hate divides people and communities,” Naqvi said Monday.

The consent of the attorney general is required to lay hate-crime charges.

Naqvi’s office confirmed he received a formal request from Peel police to lay the charge of willful promotion of hatred.

“Hate crimes are, by their very nature, serious offences because their impacts can be devastating, spreading from the individual, through the social fabric of our communities and society as a whole,” he said.

07-25-2017, 08:53 AM
I fully expect to see more attacks on free speech

07-25-2017, 08:59 AM
I hate this government over reach and reach around.

07-25-2017, 09:57 AM
Where's the evidence of a crime?

Nothing but tap dancing so far

07-25-2017, 10:18 AM
He'll go through punishment by process. Maybe someone will start a crowd-funding effort for his defence that will be so successful that it will discourage prosecutors from trying again.

07-25-2017, 10:26 AM
What if he's actually a lunatic? Sept 8 will be discovery day I guess

07-25-2017, 10:32 AM
What if he's actually a lunatic? Sept 8 will be discovery day I guess
I would rather vote for a confirmed lunatic who voices his truths over any lying, deceitful liberal any day.

07-25-2017, 10:35 AM
I'm going to bet on it being a graffiti related 'hate' crime.

07-25-2017, 10:39 AM
Mississauga, Ontario

Police aren't saying if the charge is related to the Freedom Report.

A Toronto-area man has been charged with a hate crime after police allege he made a number of statements against the Muslim community online.

Police would not say what the alleged comments were, only that they were made through social media over five months.

Kevin Johnston, 45, of Mississauga, Ont., is charged with wilful promotion of hatred. He is scheduled to appear in court Monday.

Johnston runs the website Freedom Report, but police would not say whether the charges are linked to that publication.

Ontario's attorney general, who gave consent for the charge to be laid, would not comment on the case.

But he says the government takes hate crimes seriously.

"In a multicultural and inclusive province like Ontario, the promotion of hatred stands in direct opposition to our fundamental values of equality and diversity. Hate divides people and communities," Yasir Naqvi said in a statement.

"Hate crimes are, by their very nature, serious offences because their impacts can be devastating, spreading from the individual, through the social fabric of our communities and society as a whole."


07-25-2017, 10:39 AM
Jul 24, 2017
Mississauga, Ontario

Kevin J. Johnston released on bail, set to appear in court again in September

Peel Regional Police have charged a Mississauga, Ont., man, who earlier this year posted a YouTube video offering a $1,000 reward for recordings of Muslim students during prayer, with a hate crime in connection with "numerous incidents reported to police."

Kevin J. Johnston, 45, was arrested Monday and charged with one count of wilful promotion of hatred against an identifiable group under the Criminal Code Section 319 (2). The charge follows "concerns over information published on various social media sites," police said.

The investigation took place over a five-month period, said Sgt. Josh Colley, and wasn't tied to one specific incident but rather "multiple incidents that the investigators were looking at."

"It's not a private message that he was conveying, it was a public message ... Anyone could hear, understand the messaging, so that's where the communicating hateful messages comes into play," Colley told CBC Toronto.

"The group that was targeted was the Muslim community," he said, adding the incident "affects us all."

Earlier this year, Johnston, who runs an online publication called Freedom Report, posted a YouTube video offering a $1,000 reward for recordings of Muslim students at Peel Region schools "spewing hate speech during Friday prayers."

The video sparked concern among Muslim families and led the Peel District School Board, which serves Mississauga, and the Peel Region communities of Brampton and Caledon, to issue a memo to its administrators, cautioning them to be "extra vigilant" and reminding them that personal recording devices can only be used in schools for educational purposes, as directed by staff.

paying people to take videos of kids in school, with intent to malign them. There's a line crossed, even for the purpose described in the bolded part of the next article.

University of Toronto Mississauga student Nour Alideeb says Johnston's video left her horrified.

"I was scared, not for myself in particular, but for my brothers and sisters who are visibly Muslim who are going to these spaces to pray... This is really something that is our right and we shouldn't be afraid."

The question Alideeb has now is why charges weren't laid sooner.

"We claim that we are multicultural and we claim that we protect everybody and we thrive off our diversity, but the actions don't follow up with the words that folks are saying," she said. "Why does it take so long for us to take action on things that we know are wrong?"

Mississauga, Ont., Imam Ibrahim Hindy was one of those who helped to develop the current policy around Friday prayers in Peel schools. He said he hopes the charge against Johnston will deter others from acting in a hateful manner.

"It just takes one person to hear these types of hate-filled rhetoric and turn it into action and end lives," he told CBC News on Monday.

Hindy said recent anti-Muslim incidents in the area have spurred such a sense of anxiety and fear among students and parents in the community that some have considered leaving the school system altogether.

"For sure there are people who have told me they're going to take their kids out of school, they prefer to home school them or put them in a private school, because they felt like this is one step away from violence," he said.

For his part, Johnston denies any criminal wrongdoing.

"There was no real crime committed," he said in an email to CBC Toronto Monday, adding that he will continue to fight against M-103, the non-binding motion condemning Islamophobia and religious discrimination, which passed in the House of Commons in March.

Johnston appeared in court earlier in the day and has since been released on bail. His next court date is set for September.

Just days before being charged, Johnston posted a video saying his Twitter and YouTube accounts had been suspended and that he is now operating under different accounts.

"Yes, you heard correctly. My YouTube channel was taken down," Johnston said in a video posted on the YouTube channel "Freedom Report" on July 18th.

The self-professed free speech advocate goes on to say he has no choice but to block those on Twitter who criticize him so that his new account is not flagged.

"I hate the idea in any way that I have to censor my opponents and my enemies," Johnston said.

"If they can't see what's on my Twitter account, they can't register complaints," he said. "That's the only reason … I'm sorry I have to do it."

In order for a hate crime charge to be laid, the province's attorney general must provide consent.

Last year, 19 of 59 reported hate/bias incidents in Peel Region resulted in charges. In 2015, the number of incidents ending in charges was 15 of 63.

In a statement to CBC News, the office of Attorney General Yasir Naqvi said it would be inappropriate to comment on the case against Johnston specifically, but said the government takes allegations of hate crimes very seriously.

"In a multicultural and inclusive province like Ontario, the promotion of hatred stands in direct opposition to our fundamental values of equality and diversity," Naqvi said in a statement.

"Hate crimes are, by their very nature, serious offences, because their impacts can be devastating, spreading from the individual, through the social fabric of our communities and society as a whole," the statement said. "Ontario prosecutes these cases vigorously, where there is reasonable prospect of conviction."

Hindy agrees on the risks to society.

"Hatred does exist, it's alive and well in Canada and we have to be vigilant in terms of stopping it, because it can get out of hand."


07-25-2017, 10:39 AM
Jul 24, 2017
Mississauga, Ontario

Kevin J. Johnston, a 45-year-old resident of Mississauga, Ont., faces charges related to his controversial, anti-Muslim postings on his own website as well as social media

Kevin J. Johnston does an interview with Rebel Media at a rally against religious accommodation in schools in front to the Peel District School Board in Mississauga, Ontario, April 25, 2017. He has been charged with a hate crime for his anti-Muslim rants

A self-described “journalist & social commentator” known for posting angry video rants attacking Muslims and a range of other targets has been charged with committing a hate crime.

Kevin J. Johnston, a 45-year-old resident of Mississauga, Ont., posts videos on his website freedomreport.ca and to various social media platforms, and at one point had his accounts suspended by YouTube and Twitter.

Though he carried on fights with various public figures (and even ran for mayor of Mississauga in 2014) he focused much of his attention on schools, which he accused of “indoctrinating” students with Islamic ideology. In one video, he offered a bounty — first $1,000, later increased to $2,500 — to anyone who filmed a Muslim student in a Mississauga school “spewing hate speech during Friday prayers.”

In another, he said Liberal MP Iqra Khalid could get shot for introducing a motion condemning Islamophobia in the House of Commons, and said he’d be there to witness it with a “with a big, fat smile.”

On Monday, Peel Regional Police announced Johnston had been charged with one count of wilful promotion of hatred, a Criminal Code offence with a maximum penalty of two years in jail. The announcement said the charge “stems from a lengthy investigation into numerous incidents reported to police … and concerns information published on various social media sites.”

Peel Region Sgt. Josh Colley said police compiled a document of Johnston’s activities and sent it to the Ontario attorney general’s office, which has to sign off on any hate crimes charge.

Colley declined to say what specifically led to the charge, but said in general it was “using social media sites to convey a hate message.”

In addition to Freedom Report, Johnston helps run a website called the Mississauga Gazette, which describes itself as an independent community newspaper but is occasionally used for his inflammatory rants. One of them viciously attacked Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie, saying she was turning the city “into a dangerous Islamic war zone” so Muslims could “kill her son just for being gay.”

Crombie later said she filed a hate-crimes complaint to Peel police over the post, which was later taken down.

In one video, Johnston is shown trying to enter a Peel District School Board meeting, but is prevented by police who tell him the school has a legal order not allowing him on the property.

Johnston’s attacks on Khalid’s anti-Islamophobia motion weren’t his only foray into federal politics. He interviewed several candidates during the Conservative leadership race, including a one-hour phone interview with Maxime Bernier. Bernier’s spokesperson later told The Canadian Press they’d been unaware of Johnston’s views, thinking Bernier was just talking to a local Mississauga journalist.

Johnston also came to Ottawa for a so-called “Million Canadian March” in support of U.S. President Donald Trump, and got into several tussles with protesters — at one point even reporting to Ottawa police that he had been assaulted, though his public accounts of the assault changed multiple times afterward. (Police said the actual number of marchers at the event was less than 400.)

Johnston’s videos frequently included calls for donations from his followers, and his websites featured advertising on them.

In a short statement posted to his website Monday evening, Johnston said he was arrested at his home but was treated “perfectly” by police and released after a court appearance in the afternoon. “I can talk about almost none of the case, so above will have to do until I can sit in with my lawyer,” he said.

The statement claimed the arrest was “under M-103,” the anti-Islamophobia motion introduced by Khalid and passed in the House of Commons earlier this year. However, as a motion, M-103 had no effect on any laws. The hate-speech law under which Johnston was charged was upheld as constitutional by the Supreme Court of Canada in 1990.

The Post was unable to reach him for comment. His phone number redirected calls to a recorded message, where he discusses his suspended social media accounts and tells people not to leave him voicemail because he’s busy “backing up files.”


07-25-2017, 10:43 AM
So asking people to be on the lookout for evidence of hate crimes by Muslims during their prayer sessions is a hate crime against Muslims?

07-25-2017, 10:48 AM
Kevin J. Johnston is an author, editor and in charge of local business, marketing and advertising for the Mississauga Gazette.
-- http://freedomreport.ca/author/kevinj/

After youtube cancelled him, he went to BitChute.com

07-25-2017, 10:51 AM
So, to promote hatred and violence during these prayers is not a crime (a laudable community service in support of the Lieberast Party, one would guess?),
but ASKING for collecting of the evidence of such an activity - is?

07-25-2017, 10:55 AM
I agree on nothing with this guy, but being a vocal a-hole shouldn't be a crime. And putting him behind bars for it, will only embolden his supporters.

07-25-2017, 10:57 AM
Oct. 10, 2016
Mississauga, Ontario

As withdrawn column resurfaces, Ohio man says photo of him has become photo of writer — a use he calls ‘fraudulent.’

An article claiming that “Muslims are molesting teenage girls” in Mississauga schools — which a local web publication took down over the weekend — has quickly reappeared on another website.

The article, first appearing online in the Mississauga Gazette on Friday, made incendiary claims about Mayor Bonnie Crombie, specifically that she “is converting Mississauga into a dangerous Islamic war zone” so that “they can kill her son just for being gay.”

The Gazette later yanked the article, saying in a statement on Oct. 9 that staff of the online publication received death threats over the phone and that “freedom of speech is dead.”

The article was, however, then reposted on Gazette webmaster and co-owner Kevin J. Johnston’s own website that same day.

“I’m a fan of freedom,” said Johnston, when he confirmed the website muslimlandcomic.com was his. “Even though I’m just the guy who stuck the article up, I’m taking the flak for it.”

The article claims an unnamed father of a Grade 10 student at Rick Hansen Secondary School told the Gazette that she has been routinely assaulted by Muslim boys, an allegation a Peel District School Board told the Star that school leaders had “never heard of.”

The article’s listed author is Gazette editor Acton Michaels, who is described in his bio on the site as a “seasoned veteran of journalism,” who was a cameraman “for various news outlets in India, Saudi Arabia and Indo-China.”

Johnston, however, confirmed that the photo thumbnail on the website is “not really (Michaels). It’s an actor that was hired at some point in the past.”

Michaels' thumbnail image is also found on the website of the Cincinnati modelling agency New View Management Group, where it is identified as a model named “Emmett L.”

Emmett Leopardi, the man in the photo, called the Star on Monday night, said the use of his photo was “fraudulent” and no deal had been made to use his image. “This doesn’t represent who I am or what I think in any way,” said Leopardi, who is a 65-year-old former military man and Ohio resident. “I don’t like what it’s been associated with at all.”

Michaels could not be reached Monday to respond to Leopardi’s comments.

Johnston confirmed that he founded the online publication, formerly called the Mississauga Jackal, but that Michaels bought majority control and cut him “a good cheque.”

Johnston said the Gazette has not reported the death threats to police.

Mayor Crombie, however, filed a hate-crime complaint on Saturday, before the Gazette pulled the article down. She said Monday that she was not aware that it had reappeared on Johnston’s website, but her complaint had been assigned to an investigator.

Peel Regional Police Const. Paolo Carretta could not confirm the status of the mayor’s complaint, saying only that police would have to “go through everything line by line and look into the (Criminal) Code and see if it applies.”

Johnston didn’t seem worried on Monday. “Should this go down and the police see something (they can charge us with), let Bonnie know that our website traffic is going to skyrocket,” he told the Star. “The level of support that we’ve received is unbelievable.”



Mississauga publication criticized for Islamophobic, baseless claims

October 9, 2016
Mississauga, Ontario

Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie and community members are condemning an article posted online by a local publication that they say contains several Islamophobic and baseless claims.

Entitled Bonnie’s Muslims Are Molesting Teenage Girls in Mississauga Highschools(sic), the article was posted on the Mississauga Gazette’s website Friday by editor-in-chief Acton Michaels.

“(Crombie) won’t rest until all girls in Mississauga are victims of rich rapists,” he wrote, adding allegations that Muslim boys in high schools assaulting girls is a common occurrence.

Crombie addressed the controversial claims Sunday.

“They have no place in Mississauga, or in any civil society quite frankly,” she told Global News, adding she has filed a complaint with Peel Regional Police and is considering legal action.

The Peel District School Board issued a statement on the alleged assaults.

“The allegations about inappropriate incidents at Rick Hansen Secondary School are false, full stop,” the statement read.

“In the past two years, the alleged incidents have not been brought forward by any student.”

Meanwhile, the National Council of Canadian Muslims called the article “hateful towards the Muslim community.”

“That article was full of it, and that’s why I think it’s dangerous and problematic.”

Michaels has subsequently issued a statement saying he and his organization have been the subject of death threats.

“I have taken this article down for now as I don’t want violence brought upon my team. Journalists and columnists should be free to report on the news in Canada without fearing for their lives.”


07-25-2017, 11:16 AM
My interest having been piqued, checked out Freedom Report. It contains an interestingly titled video "Why You Aren't Special" which gave me some hope that Johnston was someone in the same mould as Jordan Peterson. Sure enough he does mention Peterson, but this video goes off the rails from the outset and is just plain irritating to watch, and that's speaking for myself as an individual whose core beliefs probably align with his to a significant degree. No wonder the witch hunt is on. Range Bob called it accurately when he noted that although M-103 isn't officially a law, it will embolden those with an agenda to keep the silent majority, silent.

Rory McCanuck
07-25-2017, 01:00 PM
Reading the headline, my first thought was 'Gee, I wonder which group will be the one that feels it is being hated upon?'


07-25-2017, 07:25 PM
So asking people to be on the lookout for evidence of hate crimes by Muslims during their prayer sessions is a hate crime against Muslims?

It is when Ontario's Attorney General is Yasir Naqvi...

07-26-2017, 02:27 PM
It is when Ontario's Attorney General is Yasir Naqvi...

Yeah, I think I see the real problem.

Weekend Gunslingers
07-26-2017, 02:58 PM
I am betting the charges are squarely about the article in Rangebob's post about the assault allegations.