Peterborough police charge man who allegedly distributed antisemitic flyers with willful promotion of hatred

For the first time in its 154-year history, Peterborough Police Service (PPS) has laid a charge of willful promotion of hatred.

This rare charge was laid against a 31-year-old man who had previously been arrested for allegedly distributing antisemitic flyers throughout Peterborough last summer.

On Sept. 15, 2023, the unnamed accused was arrested and charged with mischief and obstructing a peace officer.

Following the man’s arrest, PPS applied to the Ministry of the Attorney General to have the incidents deemed willful promotion of hatred, as is outlined in the Criminal Code of Canada, and to authorize the service to lay that additional charge.

In December, the Ministry gave PPS the OK.

The accused was formally charged earlier this month and had a first court appearance on Jan. 23.

“As a service tasked with ensuring public safety, and on behalf of our community, we are thankful the Ministry of the Attorney General agreed with our assessment that the charge of willful promotion of hatred was warranted,” Peterborough Police Chief Stuart Betts said in a news release.

“We take these types of incidents very seriously and believe that there is no room for hate in our community.” reached out to the ministry as well as PPS for further details, but did not hear a response in time for publication.