#CyberFLASH: Quebec town makes it illegal to insult cops online

gavel-stock-image-2MONTREAL – A Quebec town has made it illegal to insult a police officer or any of its municipal employees on the Internet.

Under a local bylaw, anyone who insults municipal employees in Granby could be fined between $100 and $1,000 for a first offence.

It ranges from $200 to $2,000 for a second offence.

“For at least 20 years, we’ve had an article in a municipal regulation that forbids anyone from provoking, insulting, blaspheming or molesting a peace officer or a municipal officer in the exercise of their functions,” deputy mayor Robert Riel said in an interview Tuesday.

On Monday, town council unanimously approved an addition to the bylaw to include insults that show up on the Internet or social media.

Riel said Granby, which is about 80 kilometres east of Montreal, is the first Quebec town to have a bylaw that extends to the Internet.

Riel said the tougher regulation stems from a French Facebook account that was set up more than two years ago that referred to the “zealous police of Granby.” The site disappeared a few weeks ago after an article appeared in a local newspaper.

Insulting people online is no different than insulting someone who is standing right in front of you, he argued.

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