British Columbia

Regina neo-Nazi averts contempt ruling

The Federal Court of Canada has reluctantly ruled that a white supremacist who posted hate propaganda on the internet is not in contempt of the court.

The Federal Court of Canada has reluctantly ruled that a white supremacist who posted hate propaganda on the Internet is not in contempt of the court, but only on a technicality.

The court's written ruling, issued in Vancouver this week, notes that Terry Tremaine, a former University of Saskatchewan math lecturer, has a particular hatred for blacks, First Nations people and Jews.

"Mr. Tremaine thinks (or perhaps just wishes) he is better than others because of the colour of his skin," Federal Court Judge Sean Harrington wrote in the judgment posted on the court's website. "He is a white supremacist."

"He is also a neo-Nazi. He is virulently anti-Jewish."

The Canadian Human Rights Commission proved that Tremaine deliberately flouted a February 2007 order of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal to stop communicating his racist views on the internet. The tribunal originally fined Tremaine $4,000 for his violations of the Canadian Human Rights Act.

Harrington, who dismissed a contempt charge launched by the commission in March 2009, said Tremaine knows he violated the tribunal's order.

"Indeed, he brags about it and admitted it before me," Harrington wrote of the recent hearing on the matter in Victoria.

He also said he wasn't ordered to delete existing messages from his own website or another white supremacist site based in the U.S.

Harrington agreed that Tremaine was not properly informed about the registration with the court.

And he said he accepted Tremaine's defence that the order did not make it sufficiently clear that he had to remove, or at least do his best to remove, material from the Internet that the tribunal found hateful.

Stacey-Ann Morris, a spokeswoman for the human rights commission, said Tuesday that the commission is carefully reviewing the court's decision before determining its next steps.

At the hearing, Tremaine argued that he was being persecuted by Ottawa lawyer Richard Warman, who filed the complaint against him with the federal human rights commission.

Tremaine claims to be the leader of an unregistered political party called the National Socialist Party of Canada, for which he has set up a website to promote his beliefs.