Local publisher charged with promoting hatred against Jewish community, women
The editor and publisher of the controversial publication Your Ward News have been charged with willful promotion of hatred against an identifiable group, Jews and women.
Police said in a statement that between March 2015 and June 27, 2017, law enforcement received several complaints regarding the content of the newspaper, which were investigated by the TPS Intelligence Services Hate Crime Unit.
Following the investigation, editor James Nicholas Sears, 54, and publisher Lawrence (Leroy) St. Germaine, 76, were both charged on November 15.
This isn’t the first time Your Ward News, which is posted online, has been singled out for controversial content.
The two Toronto-based men were accused of publishing numerous editions of Your Ward News that promoted hatred against members of the Jewish community and against women.
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This past June, two Toronto residents brought a criminal complaint against the publication, which the federal government had deemed too offensive to distribute in the mail.
Political strategists and activists Warren and Lisa Kinsella told Global News in June that the charges stemmed from a specific issue of Your Ward News, in which Sears writes that his supporters may choose to “bludgeon the Kinsellas to death.”
The Kinsellas are frequent targets of the newsaper, which routinely contains articles critics have claimed target women, Jews, Muslims and the LGBTQ community.
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In an email to Global News back in June, Sears dismissed the Kinsellas’ complaints.
“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 (the company run by the Kinsellas) has once again garnered for Your Ward News,” he said.
Last year, the federal government ordered Canada Post to stop delivering Your Ward News after the then-minister of public services and procurement found it “highly offensive and well outside the norm of Canadian values.”
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Jewish groups, including the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies (FSWC) are commending police for charging Sears and St. Germaine. In a statement, the centre congratulates police for the arrests.
“Just recently, the ‘newspaper’ was delivered to a predominantly Jewish neighbourhood in central Toronto where many Holocaust survivors and children of survivors reside,” said Avi Benlolo, FSWC’s President and CEO in a statement.
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The statement says that the group called on police to take action against the newspaper, and were pleased with the decision to lay hate crime charges.
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“The ‘newspaper’ promotes Nazism and is also considered offensive to many groups and individuals, including women, Black, Muslim and LGBT communities.”
Both Sears and St. Germaine are scheduled to appear in court at College Park on December 20, 2017, at 2 p.m.
With a file from the Canadian Press.
© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.