Despite an order by the federal government last year to Canada Post to stop delivering the controversial newsletter called Your Ward News, as well as charges laid against the paper’s publishers in June, copies of the hateful tabloid are still finding their way to suburban homes.
Debbie Speyer, a resident of Thornhill, a Toronto suburb with a large Jewish population, said she was “shocked” to find a copy of the Sumer 2017 issue of Your Ward News stuffed in her mailbox on her porch, calling it a “disgusting, racist tract.”
“I found it in my mailbox and immediately recognized the name of the paper,” Speyer said.
“Frankly, I turned the pages just enough to see some really disgusting language and couldn’t actually bear to read the thing.”
In 2016, following a formal complaint filed by lawyer Richard Warman with the Canadian Human Rights Commission, Judy Foote, the Minister of Public Services who is currently on a leave of absence, issued an interim prohibitory order for Canada Post to stop delivering the quarterly publication, which frequently contains racist, anti-Semitic, misogynistic, Holocaust denying, Nazi-glorifying content in its pages.
Your Ward News publishers appealed the order in April and a three-person Board of Review was convened to determine if the minister had reasonable grounds to believe the publishers were committing an offence. The review is still ongoing.
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In June, Warren and Lisa Kinsella, vocal opponents of the publication, pressed charges against James Sears, the paper’s editor-in-chief, and Leroy St. Germaine, its publisher, for uttering threats. In the Spring 2017 issue, Sears wrote that his supporters may “bludgeon the Kinsellas to death.”
David Kadosh, a Thornhill resident, said he had never heard of the paper until it was delivered to his home last week.
“I was shocked. I didn’t know this existed in Toronto, in Canada. I was disturbed by the headline and when I went through it, I saw a lot of anti-Jewish sentiment in there,” Kadosh said.
“My kids are young. Some of my kids are getting a little older and reading what we put on the table so I didn’t want them to see this, not at their age. The anti-Jewish remarks were very blatant.”
Although Canada Post and a spokesperson for Foote confirmed that the publication is still banned from being delivered by Canada Post, Sears wrote in the current issue that “305,000 copies of each edition of our paper continue to be delivered to houses in our regular distribution area… by private companies and our volunteer army.”
He urged people to “grab bundles from our office to slip under doors of your building. Half our papers will randomly hit towns outside Toronto, so if yours is infected with Marxist parasites and could benefit from some National Socialist truth, let us know.”
Within its pages, was a cartoon of a Jewish lawyer named Sidney Shyster, references to the “false Jewish Holocaust,” references to Nazis as “National Socialists that believe in strong family values” and a personal attack on CJN contributor Elisa Hategan, a former white supremacist whose testimony helped put the leader of the Heritage Front in jail in the early 1990s.
In reaction to news that the current issue, which includes a “hit piece” about Hategan, is being hand delivered to homes, Hategan said “it that has no less than six lies and…fabrications about me, but I don’t have the funds to pursue a libel case. And yet they have the funds to hire private couriers?
“It’s shocking and profoundly disappointing that even after Sears was charged, that he is still allowed to distribute this hate rag – with no bail conditions set to prevent it,” Hategan said.
Sara Lefton, Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs’ vice-president for the Greater Toronto Area said they’re investigating the matter.
“We have received reports that the latest edition of Your Ward News has been delivered to homes in Thornhill. This is a loathsome publication banned by Canada Post that in our view violates Canadian hate speech laws. The delivery of this paper to a community with a large Jewish population like Thornhill is a shameful provocation, and we are taking the matter very seriously,” Lefton said.
She added that CIJA’s legal task force representatives “have status at the [Board of Review] hearings, and we are taking the position that the order [to prohibit Canada Post from delivering the publication] to be permanent.”
Lefton urged members of the community to visit www.cija.ca/your-ward-news if they receive a copy of the paper to help them track distribution.n