Canadian comedian Mike Ward was fined a whopping $42,000 by Quebec’s Human Rights Tribunal for jokes he made about a disabled boy.
The child, Jérémy Gabriel, who suffers from Treacher Collins Syndrome, is a bit of a national celebrity in Canada after he sung for the pope in 2006 essentially because everyone thought he did not have long to live. Ward’s joke was a rant about how the child was supposed to die, that he “stole a wish” and is unkillable. Sure, not in great taste, but certainly not in violation of the kid’s “human rights.”
His joke was never televised, but after he talked about the bit in an interview, Gabriel’s parents found out and dragged the comedian to the human rights tribunal last month. He fought the fine, but lost in court.
Ward told Spiked that he plans to appeal the decision, and if that fails, will try to bring the case to the Supreme Court. “If I lose that I’ll just move to Syria or Saudi Arabia, or some other country that respects free speech as much as Canada does,” he said.