Warren and Lisa Kinsella are initiating a private prosecution against the publisher and editor of Your Ward News for allegedly uttering a death threat that targets them.
The move came after the Kinsellas, who have long been opponents of the extremist publication, were turned down by police when they requested law enforcement officials lay the charge.
Instead, on June 21 a justice of the peace approved the prosecution, meaning James Sears, editor-in-chief of Your Ward News, and Leroy St. Germaine, its publisher, could face criminal prosecution.
The charges stem from an article written by Sears in the summer issue of Your Ward News. In the article, titled Children’s Aid: Righteous Crusade or Greedy Charade?, Sears describes being investigated by a child protection agency and attributes it to a complaint prompted by an article on him that was written by Lisa Kinsella.
Sears states that he kept the incident private until now. “You see, if I told my friends, thousands of people on my mailing list, and hundreds of thousands of readers of Your Ward News about it, while a Children’s Aid Society (CAS) investigation was active and our son could still have been kidnapped, there was the chance that some hothead who cares deeply about me and my family, would lose it and do something illegal, like bludgeon the Kinsella’s to death. No matter how little respect I have for them, as a Christian, I chose to turn the other cheek and let enough time pass for the people who love, would give their lives for or would go to jail for me and my family, to react with cool heads,” he wrote.
The Kinsellas said they were alerted to the article by friends. “We were shocked at reading such a blatant threat,” said Lisa Kinsella. “Then obviously we were concerned.… We read it as not just a direct threat to us, but a call to action to harm Warren and myself.”
The Kinsellas asked the Toronto Police Service to lay charges, but they were told the article was insufficient to support a criminal prosecution. “They said it was simply James Sears’ opinion,” Warren Kinsella stated.
He said that he and his wife have experienced “ongoing harassment within this hate rag, and now this threat.”
He was particularly critical of Toronto police, who declined to lay charges on the alleged personal threat, or to prosecute Sears on earlier occasions for promoting hate.
“They don’t care in this city about anti-Semitism, white supremacy or bigotry,” he said.
Warren Kinsella, who described himself as “a partisan Liberal,” said he was also critical of the provincial attorney general, who has withheld consent for a hate prosecution and has failed to provide adequate resources to address hate crimes and collect hate crime statistics.
Your Ward News has been a lightning rod for controversy for the past two years.
The tabloid-sized newsletter, which is also available online, describes itself as “the world’s largest anti-Marxist publication.”
Its critics say it is inspired by Nazism and traffics in anti-Semitism, misogyny and homophobia, while attacking minorities of all types.
It was delivered largely to the Beast end of Toronto by Canada Post, until a Jewish postal worker objected to delivering what he called hate propaganda.
Various community groups also objected to Canada Post delivering the paper. The Kinsellas were the founding members of a group called Standing Together Against Mailing Prejudice (STAMP), which campaigned against postal delivery of the paper.
In 2016, Judy Foote, the minister responsible for Canada Post, ordered the postal agency to stop delivering the publication.
However, it is still being delivered privately to homes in east end Toronto. In 2015, Your Ward News claimed it was delivered to 48,000 homes and was read by 300,000 people. The paper’s website now says it is delivered to 305,000 homes and businesses, and is read by one-million people.
Sears declined to comment about the Kinsellas’ complaint, telling The CJN that his lawyer had put him “on a tight leash mid-day yesterday.”
Prior to being restrained by legal counsel, however, he told the Toronto Star that, “My legal team and I will mop the floor with the Kinsellas on our first available opportunity in court, but in the meantime, we will enjoy the free publicity that Daisy Group has once again garnered for Your Ward News!,” referring to the company run by the Kinsellas.