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Calgary man charged with public incitement of hatred

Calgary police have charged a former candidate for mayor with public incitement of hatred and say charges are pending against a second man.

72-year-old Milan Papez, who ran for mayor in last October’s civic election, is accused of publicly inciting hatred downtown.

The charges come after the CPS hate crimes coordinator received more than a dozen complaints about two men carrying signs targeting the Chinese community, two organizations and two specific people.

“Under our Charter of Rights here in Canada we have freedom of expression guaranteed,” says Hate Crime Coordinator Eric Levesque. “But that freedom of expression is not absolute; there have been limits placed on our expression.”

Papez is well-known at the Calgary Courts Centre, where he has picketed against a prominent Calgary lawyer.

Police say his actions warranted criminal charges.

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“When these laws were created, the intent was not to censor speech, or to censor people’s opinions or chill debate about important societal issues, but to curtail racism [which is likely] to lead to discrimination and ill treatment,” says Cst. Levesque.

Papez has been charged with four counts of public incitement of hatred and one count of defamatory libel.

Papez is a businessman and publisher of the pamphlet of the “Silver Bullet”. In 2002, he was fined $2,500 by the Albertan Human Rights Commission after it ruled one edition of the pamphlet was anti-Asian and anti-Semetic.