June 11, 2019 3:24 pm

Terrebonne man found guilty of inciting hatred to spend 30 days in prison

Pierre Dion's YouTube channel has caused quite a bit of controversy.

Billy Shields/Global News

Pierre Dion, a 49-year-old Terrebonne man found guilty of inciting hatred last May, will have to spend 30 days behind bars.

Judge Gilles Garneau said he chose incarceration in order to send a strong message to the population.

READ MORE: Quebec Superior Court judge finds Terrebonne YouTuber guilty of inciting hatred

Crown prosecutors had called for Dion to do community service, while the defense argued for a one-and-a-half year probation period, restrictions on internet use and a donation of $1,500 to a Muslim association.

WATCH BELOW: Pierre Dion found guilty of inciting hate online

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The sentence will be carried out on an intermittent basis, so Dion can serve his sentence one day a week starting June 21.

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

On Jan. 28 and 29, Dion published two videos of himself, two years to the day after the attack that killed six men and wounded dozens others at a mosque in Quebec City.

In the videos, he praised the mosque killer and urged Canadians to “get Muslims out of the country.”

He was apprehended two days later.

WATCH BELOW: Hate speech versus free speech

The judge said he did not believe the defendant’s apology, describing his crime and remarks as “heinous.” He reminded Dion that he was wrong to believe “his freedom of expression was limitless.”

READ MORE: Kirkland resident accused of inciting hate speech online granted bail

Dion’s lawyer Ilana Suissa said she was disappointed with the sanction, but acknowledged that it was within the limits of the law.

“Of course the judge also took into account the fact that Mr. Dion has a child. It’s a day in jail that starts on Friday and ends on Saturday. It’s more than the Crown has asked, but that’s part of the guideline. It respects the law,” she said.

READ MORE: Hate crimes spike in Montreal after Quebec City mosque shooting

In rendering his guilty verdict on May 22, Garneau stated there was no doubt the accused’s remarks were directed at an identifiable group, in this case Muslims.

Dion, who has been in trouble with the law before for similar acts, insulted journalists present at the hearing.

WATCH BELOW: Mélanie Joly calls on ‘web giants’ to counter hate speech online

© 2019 The Canadian Press

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