For Immediate Release
Press Release: CIJA Applauds Decision in Your Ward News Trial
Toronto, ON — Today, the Ontario Court of Justice found James Sears and LeRoy St. Germaine of Your Ward News guilty of wilfully promoting hatred against two identifiable groups — Jews and women.
In response, Noah Shack, CIJA’s Vice President for the Greater Toronto Area, issued the following:
“CIJA applauds the court’s decision, which sends a clear message that those who promote hate will be held accountable. For years, Your Ward News has been peddling antisemitic conspiracy theories, misogyny, homophobia, and racism. We appreciate the work of police and prosecutors, and hope that this ruling will mark the end of Your Ward News.”
“The hate promoted by James Sears and LeRoy St. Germaine was not limited to the print editions of Your Ward News, but was also published online. We are calling on the Government of Canada to launch a national strategy to combat online hate. We can preserve free speech while protecting Canadians from those who demonize and slander entire communities.”
“While the abhorrent views reflected in Your Ward News belong to a small, marginal group, we cannot allow antisemitism and bigotry to gain traction in our society. Those who target Jews and other minorities pose a threat Canada as a whole, and we must remain vigilant and steadfast in opposing them.”
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA)
is the advocacy agent of the Jewish Federations of Canada
- Your Ward News, a hateful and blatantly antisemitic paper, has long been a source of deep concern to members of the Toronto Jewish community. The paper promotes racist, homophobic, misogynist, and pro-Nazi material.
- In recent years, CIJA and other community activists provided evidence of the paper’s antisemitic content to local law enforcement and Canada Post.
- In 2016, the Minister of Public Services, Judy Foote issued an order forbidding Canada Post to deliver Your Ward News. The paper’s producer and editor-in-chief, James Sears, appealed the order, prompting the formation of a Board of Review. Mark Freiman, on behalf of CIJA’s Legal Task Force, intervened at the Board of Review hearings to ensure the concerns of the Jewish community were heard.
- In November of 2018, a final prohibitory order that prevent the delivery of Your Ward News was issued. Under the new order, those behind Your Ward News will not be permitted to use Canada Post’s unaddressed bulk mail services to distribute the paper or any substantially similar material.
- According to Statistics Canada, hate crimes against the Jewish community increased for the second consecutive year in 2017, and accounted for 18% of all hate crimes in Canada.