Albertan who handed out anti-gay pamphlets at Toronto Pride charged with promoting hate

William Whatcott has been charged with wilful promotion of hatred by Toronto police.

William Whatcott turned himself in to Calgary police

William Whatcott has been charged with wilful promotion of hate by Toronto police. (CBC)

An Alberta man has been charged after allegedly handing out "anti-gay material" at Toronto's annual Pride Parade two years ago.

Toronto police say they received complaints about the alleged incident in 2016.

They say a man was arrested in Calgary on Friday — two days before this year's Pride parade in Toronto.

Calgary police said the man contacted the Calgary Police Service's hate crimes co-ordinator and asked if he could turn himself in.

Investigators say the man from Leduc, Alta., was brought to Toronto, where he was charged with wilful promotion of hatred against an identifiable group.

Toronto police said in a release that William Whatcott, 51, is accused of distributing "anti-gay material which promoted hatred towards the gay community."

Whatcott was the subject of a 2013 ruling from the Supreme Court of Canada that upheld Canada's provisions against hate speech.

He was scheduled to appear in court Monday.

With files from Lucie Edwardson, CBC Politics