This morning, a Toronto court ruled that the publisher and editor of Your Ward News are guilty of willfully promoting hatred against Jews and women.
This is an important day in the struggle against antisemitism and misogyny. Your Ward News has been the largest publication in Canada promoting antisemitic conspiracy theories and hatred against women, as well as repulsive bigotry against various minority groups.
Hate speech provisions of the Criminal Code are used in very rare circumstances to protect Canadians from those who slander and demonize entire communities. The fact that it was used today to hold accountable those behind Your Ward News is momentous.
This would not have happened without the diligent work of police and prosecutors. The efforts of community activists in providing evidence to police and other authorities should also be commended. CIJA’s team – including our Legal Task Force under the guidance of John Rosen and Mark Freiman – was proud to be a part of this vital work over the past few years. From filing a criminal complaint in 2015 to urging Canada Post to ban distribution of the paper, our persistent efforts have been vindicated by today’s verdict.
It still appalls me to think of the countless members of our community who, as recently as last week, were forced to receive this hateful “newspaper” in their mailbox. My hope is that today’s verdict will mark the beginning of the end of Your Ward News.
Vice President, Greater Toronto Area