The Ongoing Legal torment of Bill Whatcott: Legal Aid for Illegals but Not Christian Preacher Bill Whatcott?
I was in Toronto this morning to attend the continuing saga of the “hate crime” trial of Bill Whatcott.
Bill Whatcott was accused of a “hate crime” and arrested last year under an extraordinary Canada-wide warrant. His “crime” was handing out Christian literature that starkly warned of the physical and spiritual dangers of homosexuality. He had done this peaceably at the 2016 “Gay Pride” parade in Toronto.
For Bill, the process truly is the punishment. Bill has been in the Ontario court system for just over one year now, having made dozens of appearances. Despite this, his case is still at a “pre-trial” stage, with the actual trial date set for January 6th, 2020. Because of all the costs and time involved in travelling to and from court appearances, Bill has had to relocate from his home in Alberta to Ontario, where he is struggling to make ends meet.
To-day’s hearing was called to determine whether or not Bill can receive financial assistance for his legal costs – which are becoming astronomical. Without legal aid, Bill will be forced to represent himself. Considering this is such a pivotal, precedent-setting case for religious freedom in Canada, self-representation is not a very good idea!
The Christian lawyer who has been helping Bill thus far has connected him with one of Ontario’s top criminal lawyers, John Rosen. Mr. Rosen, who is not a Christian, and who has represented some of the most heinous criminals in Canadian history, is willing to take over Bill’s case if legal aid is provided.
I had the opportunity to spend about an hour chatting with Bill and Mr. Rosen this morning, and it is clear that Mr. Rosen is an incredibly intelligent, experienced, and savvy lawyer. He knows Bill’s case, Bill’s history, and has also been tracking other cases involving Christians losing their free speech rights in Canada, like Father Tony Van Hee in Ottawa. He said he found Bill’s case “interesting”.
To-day’s hearing resulted in no actual decision on legal aid for Bill, but another date was set to come back to court and discuss the matter on September 5th. (As I said, the process is the punishment!)
After the hearing, Bill and I spent some time one-on-one talking about his case and the strain it is placing on his finances and family. The prospect of eighteen months in jail is a frightening thought for him, but he is willing to face it for the sake of the Gospel, if it is God’s will. He also told me he feels the Church in Canada is burying its head in the sand when it comes to the increasing threats to her freedom – and to her very existence.
We also discussed the subject of Jonathan “Jessica” Yaniv, a male transsexual who is bullying a number of female aestheticians in BC, using human rights courts to demand that they be forced to provide a Brazilian wax job on “her” male genitals. Mr. Yaniv has also filed a human rights complaint against Bill, seeking $35,000 in damages because Bill called him a man and criticized his bullying of those aestheticians. The BC Human Rights Tribunal has actually decided to take up Mr. Yaniv’s case and pursue his complaint against Bill. As Bill put it so aptly, “He’s the posterchild of all that’s wrong with gender ideology.”
Finally, Bill and I also spent some time in prayer – which was probably the most productive part of Bill’s day! We prayed for God’s help in this country – not only to vindicate Bill, but to wake up the Church! We need to call our nation to repent and turn back to Christ.
You can sign and share our petition in support of Bill here: https://www.citizengo.