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The 17-year old faces charges for allegedly spreading hate and propaganda about ethnic groups on the social networking site Facebook.

A Quebec teen has been charged for allegedly inciting racial hatred through the social networking site Facebook.

The 17-year-old from Sept-Îles was arrested for using his Facebook page to disseminate hate and propaganda against different ethnic groups, police said Tuesday.

"It was phrases that he wrote on his Facebook profile," said provincial police Sgt. Patrick Lowe.

He faces two charges: uttering threats and inciting hatred on the internet.

The boy is a minor, so his identity cannot be revealed.

Lowe said police began investigating in February after receiving a complaint from a citizen.

Police said they aren't sure yet whether other charges will be laid.

"The investigation is still open," Lowe said.

According to Statistics Canada figures from 2006, Sept-Îles is about 94 per cent French-speaking.

Less than one per cent of the population of just over 25,000 people reported speaking a language other than French or English.

Less than two per cent classified themselves as immigrants.

Adult sentences on the two charges carry prison terms of two and five years, respectively, but police say the juvenile sentences are shorter.

The arrest comes as Statistics Canada reported this week that hate crimes jumped by about 35 per cent across the country in 2008 compared to the previous year.

The agency did mention that the spike could simply be the result of better reporting by police across the country.