RM Archive - onsite copies of linked stories

RM Issue #030810

Unrepentant letter writer handed record sentence for hatred

Jul 31, 2003
Jeff Mitchell, Staff Writer
An unrepentant Brad Love stood in the prisoners' box and railed against political correctness Monday, before receiving a precedent-setting 18-month sentence for promoting hatred against minorities.

"You can't say anything in this country," Mr. Love, handcuffed and dressed in blue overalls, told the court after pleading guilty to 20 counts of willfully promoting hatred.

"I have to question for myself the state of affairs in my own country," he said.

"Folks like me, sometimes we create our own vision."

That vision, according to the Crown attorney's office, was communicated in numerous hate-filled letters to politicians, the national director of a Holocaust studies group and even York Region's police chief.

The racist screeds often consisted of newspaper clippings to which Mr. Love added his own commentary, prosecutor Moiz Karimjee told Mr. Justice William Gorewich.

"The message being communicated is direct and clear: These groups must be despised," Mr. Karimjee said during the Ontario Court of Justice hearing in Newmarket.

Justice Gorewich agreed with a joint submission from the prosecution and defence, which called for a sentence of 11 months in jail in addition to the seven months Mr. Love served in pre-trial custody. He was also placed on probation for three years.

Mr. Love pleaded guilty to 20 counts of willfully promoting hatred; one count of criminal harassment, two counts of sending scurrilous material through the mail and one count of possession of a weapon dangerous to the public.

Mr. Karimjee hailed the sentence as the toughest ever handed down for promotion of hatred.

"A precedent has been set today," he said. "This is the highest sentence that has been handed down in Canada for hate mail."

Mr. Karimjee said the sentence was intended to send a message police and the courts will diligently pursue those engaged in the spread of hateful messages.

"Hate crime will be investigated thoroughly and prosecuted vigorously by the Crown's office," he said.

Sgt. Heidi Schellhorn, of the York Regional Police hate crimes unit, also applauded the sentence.

"I think it's going to send a strong message to the community," she said.

Jamie Klukach, the other half of the prosecution team, said the sentence exceeded those in other high-profile hate crimes, such as those involving Ernst Zundel and James Keegstra. Mr. Love's extensive criminal record, which includes convictions for assault with a weapon, intimidation and extortion, warranted the heavy sentence, she said.

In her submissions to the court, Ms Klukach also highlighted the "psychological terrorism" Mr. Love's propaganda campaign helped create.

"It has a menacing, quasi-violent dimension to it," she said.

Although Mr. Love framed his writings as legitimate criticism of Canada's immigration system, there was a more sinister undertone, Ms Klukach said.

"This is quite simply sheer hatred," she told the judge.

"Mr. Love is entitled to his views ... but his right to distribute them is not unlimited."

Court heard how over the course of months, Mr. Love has undertaken an ongoing campaign, targeting ethnic and religious groups including Muslims, Jews, Asians, Blacks, Roma, East Asians and other groups.

He sent letters to the offices of MPs such as Judy Sgro and former immigration minister Elinor Caplan, as well as politicians in his home municipality of Mississauga. Also targeted were the Simon Wiesenthal Centre for Holocaust Studies and York Regional Police Chief Armand La Barge, court heard.

Charges against Mr. Love were laid in York Region, Peel Region, Toronto and Ottawa. An agreement to hear all the charges in York Region resulted in the guilty plea being entered here. Mr. Love, 44, has been in custody since his arrest on charges in York Region in April.

Mr. Love appeared unfazed by the lengthy arraignment he stood through, or descriptions of his hate-filled messages, which included a expletive-ridden criticism of Chief La Barge's efforts to bolster race relations.

Prior to sentencing, Mr. Love stood in the prisoner's box and delivered a rambling dissertation in which he criticized "political correctness" and Canadians' fears of expressing views on immigration and race relations.

"I am of the belief people in this country are now afraid not just to do anything ... (but) to say anything about immigration," he told the judge. "It would be as if we were engaging in some kind of conspiracy just to discuss this sort of thing."

Often referring to himself in the third person, Mr. Love acknowledged he did "overstep the boundaries of good taste". But he insisted he was merely speaking his mind.

"Brad Love at least said it," Mr. Love said. "All he did was package up his thoughts and feelings in the mail and send them to the proper political authorities.

"Once the government comes for Brad Love, who will be next?"

Justice Gorewich accepted the joint submission on sentencing, noting he did not necessarily agree with it.

He said Mr. Love had engaged in a prolonged campaign that could enflame racial tensions.

"You used your intellect in a way that was as negative as possible and could well have a ripple effect that could be catastrophic in many communities," the judge said in passing sentence.



Man Charged With Hate Crime Offences
June 10, 2003
TORONTO, Members of the York Regional Police Service and the Ontario Provincial Police Investigation Unit, Security Section, have charged a Mississauga man with willfully promoting hatred in connection with offensive correspondence that was sent to elected officials and prominent Ontario government personnel.

The joint investigation began in March of this year and involved mail received between early March and early April of this year.

As a result, Brad Love, 44, of 1215 Larny Crt., Mississauga, Ontario has been charged with 10 counts of willfully promoting hatred (Section 319 of the Criminal Code of Canada). York Regional Police and the OPP each laid five charges.

The accused was charged earlier in the month with five counts of scurrilous mail, and also with six weapon-related charges stemming from a search warrant executed at his home in April.

The accused is currently in custody and will appear on these charges June 27, 2003 in Old City Hall court in Toronto.

For further information: D/Const. Kelly Mason, OPP Security Section, (905) 671-6945; D/Const. Peter Heard, York Regional Police, (905) 895-1221, ext. 724

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