Federal government issues permanent postal ban on hate speech publication
The federal government has ordered Canada Post to permanently cease delivering a controversial Toronto-based tabloid that has been criticized for promoting hatred against Jews, visible minorities, women and LGBTQ Canadians.
In June 2016, the government issued an interim order to stop delivery of Your Ward News to some 300,000 households through Canada Post’s unaddressed bulk mail.
After considering the recommendations of an independent board of review on the matter, Carla Qualtrough, the minister responsible for the post office, has now made that order final. The public services and procurement minister says her decision is consistent with the law and the government’s support for diversity and inclusiveness.
Last fall, the tabloid’s publisher, LeRoy St. Germaine, and editor-in-chief, James Sears, were each charged with two counts of wilful promotion of hatred against an identifiable group, namely Jews and women.
They were also both charged with uttering death threats against political consultants Warren and Lisa Kinsella, but a judge last month dismissed the charge against St. Germaine.
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, which had filed a criminal complaint about the tabloid, applauded Qualtrough’s decision Thursday to permanently ensure Your Ward News is not disseminated through Canada Post.
“Your Ward News promotes disgusting anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, misogyny, homophobia and racism,” Noah Shack, the centre’s vice-president for Toronto, said in a statement.
“Our taxpayer-funded mail service should not be used to distribute such hateful content to hundreds of thousands of households.”
Until the interim prohibition on delivery, the tabloid had been landing unsolicited every month on the doorsteps of about 300,000 households and businesses in the Greater Toronto Area.
“Just think about a Holocaust survivor picking up their mail only to find neo-Nazi propaganda on their doorstep,” said Shack. “This is totally unacceptable.”