Your Ward News, a tabloid that’s under investigation for promoting hatred, arrived this week in mailboxes in the Bathurst and Lawrence area of Toronto, prompting complaints to police.
Officers visited to a number of homes in the area and took down information. In one case, police reviewed a security video of the person delivering the paper and, in another, they took fingerprints of the recipient, to distinguish that person’s prints from those of the delivery man.
One resident of the neighbourhood, who asked to remain anonymous, said police responded to his call within half an hour and took down information related to the delivery.
He said that the police officer told him that she had visited about half a dozen homes in the area.
The man said he had received the publication once or twice before and was “shocked” by its contents.
“I can’t believe that the flier delivery company should be delivering content like this. They wouldn’t deliver child porn. I treat this the same way. They shouldn’t deliver it,” he said.
The fall edition of Your Ward News followed the template employed by earlier iterations of the paper – one that has prompted a police hate crime investigation.
The front cover is a cartoon pastiche of images that promote the longstanding anti-Semitic stereotype of Marxist Jews manipulating compliant gentiles.
Inside are numerous homages to Nazis – in one, a child is seen wearing a swastika armband.
The paper attacks Liberal politicians, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who is called a “globalist puppet,” and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, who is depicted as a representative of the “Communist thought police.”
One headline refers to Pharisees killing Jesus and says that “their spawn have holocausted and oppressed tens of millions of Aryan Christians.”
One interesting twist in the relentless barrage of attacks is a suggestion by editor-in-chief James Sears that a crucifix he received to protect him from Jews may have protected him “from cancer … by blocking the effects of Pulonium-210 (sic) slipped into my food.”
Polonium-210 is a poisonous substance that’s believed to have been used in 2006 by the Russian FSB, a successor of the Soviet KGB, to kill Alexander Litvinenko, who had received political asylum in London.
Whether the Fall 2017 edition warrants charges under Canada’s hate crimes laws remains to be seen.
Detective Constable Kiran Bisla, a spokesperson for the Toronto Police Services’ hate crimes unit, acknowledged that Your Ward News remains the subject of a longstanding police investigation.
David Hopkinson, a media relations spokesman for the Toronto Police, said that, “We get complaints about the publication all the time. Every time, we investigate. Every time, we take this quite seriously.”
To date, he added, “it is determined not to be a hate crime.”
Jewish organizations beg to differ.
“It is CIJA’s view that the content of Your Ward News violates Canadian hate speech laws and we have provided evidence of its anti-Semitic content to local law enforcement,” said Noah Shack, interim vice-president in the Greater Toronto Area for the Center for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA).
“We have received reports that copies of Your Ward News being delivered to Thornhill and other Jewish areas within the GTA,” he said.
Shack noted that in June 2016, Canada Post pulled Your Ward News’ mailing privileges, under a directive from the minister of public services and procurement. Your Ward News is contesting that order before a board of review and CIJA has been accepted as an intervener in the case, arguing in favour of the order, Shack said.
Avi Benlolo, the CEO of the Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, believes the publication is intentionally being delivered to a heavily Jewish area.
“There was an intent to hit Jewish homes with it,” he said. “This is a Jewish area. What they are trying to do is harass the Jewish community with this issue.”
Benlolo encouraged recipients of the publication to raise their concerns to police.