Front Burner

The joke that made it to the Supreme Court of Canada

More than a decade ago, Canadian comedian Mike Ward told a joke about a disabled young singer named Jérémy Gabriel. Today on Front Burner, Marie-Danielle Smith from Maclean's magazine on the questions it raises about freedom of speech versus discrimination.
Mike Ward appealed a decision by Quebec's Human Rights Tribunal ordering him to pay damages to Jérémy Gabriel. The case is now before Canada's top court. (Gilbert Fortier)

More than a decade ago, comedian Mike Ward told a joke about a disabled young singer named Jérémy Gabriel. 

The repercussions of this joke turned into a lengthy legal battle between the two, and led to a hearing at the Supreme Court of Canada this week.  

Today on Front Burner, Marie-Danielle Smith from Maclean's magazine, walks us through how this case ended up at Canada's top court and how it has sparked a debate over freedom of speech and marginalized people in this country. 

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