WATCH: Is recent accused Nazi activity breaking the law? It's complicated: expert
Recent activity by accused Nazis in the city have many Montrealers outraged and calling for more to be done to stop such hateful acts.
Last week, during May Day protests a man was photographed waving a swastika flag on the roof of a condo building in Park Ex. Two days later a Montreal Gazette expose revealed one of the most influential neo-Nazis in North America was living and recruiting in Montreal.
On Saturday an anti-fascist group posted 11,000 messages from a private, encrypted chat room created by Zeiger, the prominent white supremacist said to be living in Montreal. The messages included numerous racial slurs and plans for meetings.
It's all left many Montrealers calling for more to be done to stop such hateful acts.
But what can be done?
Richard Moon, a law professor at the University of Windsor, said the internet continues to be a difficult area to police. Canada's Criminal Code prohibits hate speech against religions, races and other categories in public. It does not include any communication that occurs within a private conversation.
Moon said the laws were written before modern online communications were invented.
"The question is what counts as private conversation? We're not entirely sure what the line between private and public conversation is when we're talking about the Internet" he told CTV Montreal. "I think there's a pretty good argument to be made that if it's accessible to a number of individuals, especially individuals who don't have a prior relationship, it could well be viewed as sufficiently public it could fall within the scope of the hate speech ban."
The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that for speech to be considered as promoting hatred, it must be extreme and could be understood as vilifying a member of a group.
"The question again is, in the conversations that occurred, was that kind of extreme speech taking place?" Moon said. "Certainly, there are moments of very strong anti-Semitic and other forms of racist speech that could be considered extreme enough to count as hate speech."
As for the swastika flag, Moon said it could be possible for the flag-waver to face charges.
"Simply to possess a flag like that, however odious or disturbing it might be, is not itself unlawful," he said. "On the other hand, to stand on the top of a building in the sight of a lot of people and wave that flag, well that counts as communication in a public setting."
Mayor Valerie Plante has condemned the presence of fascist groups in the city.
Montreal police are investigating both the flag waving incident and Zeiger.