May 22, 2019 7:28 pm

Quebec Superior Court judge finds Terrebonne YouTuber guilty of inciting hatred

WATCH: A Laval judge has handed down a verdict in a situation he called "unacceptable" in court. Billy Shields reports.

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Quebec Superior Court Judge Gilles Garneau found YouTuber Pierre Dion guilty of a single count of inciting hatred.

“This is unacceptable,” Garneau said in court.

Police arrested Dion on Jan. 31, two days after he posted a video on YouTube in which he defended Alexandre Bissonnette, the Quebec City mosque shooter.

READ MORE: Quebec City mosque shooter Alexandre Bissonnette sentenced to life in prison, no parole for 40 years

Bissonnette is currently serving life in prison for killing six people at the Centre Culturel Islamique de Québec.

Dion vigorously defended himself before the judge, telling him directly he felt it was unfair that he was “being treated like a terrorist” and that his YouTube video is an example of “free expression.”

He also added that he is a welcoming person, a statement the judge disputed.

A recent Ipsos poll commissioned by Global News shows Islamophobia is on the rise, something that worried advocates.

READ MORE: Quebec man arrested on hate charge after Facebook video praises mosque shooter

“When you see a rise in Islamophobia and anti-Semitism and anti-immigration, you know we live in dangerous times,” said Fo Niemi, the executive director of the Centre for Research Action on Race Relations.

After both the Crown and the defence suggested probationary penalties, Garneau set a sentencing date for June 11.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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