Here’s what the latest edition of Your Ward News has to offer: Nazi swastikas by the bushel, not to mention photos of Adolf Hitler; pictorial collages with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in various states of undress; a photoshopped Liberal logo featuring a hammer and sickle and a rat sniffing nearby; suggestions that a Jewish fifth column advised prime ministers Pierre and Justin Trudeau to open the borders to “Muslim rapists”; offers to provide new neighbourhoods with “some National Socialist truth” and the argument that, “Most women are irrational, short-sighted, passive-aggressive traitors who cannot be trusted with a vote.”
And that’s just in the Spring 2017 edition.
In 2016, Judy Foote, the minister responsible for Canada Post, ordered the postal agency to stop delivering the tabloid-sized publication, and on April 25, a three-person Board of Review was convened to hear an appeal of the order by Your Ward News.
The board will determine if the minister had reasonable grounds to believe the publishers were committing an offence. The April 25 hearing examined preliminary matters, with future hearing dates yet to be announced.
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) and Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Center have been granted standing before the board, entitling the organizations to be considered “an interested party,” said Sara Lefton, CIJA vice-president for the Greater Toronto Area.
CIJA will ask the board “to ensure that this hateful newspaper, which is very anti-Semitic, should not be broadly distributed.
“Right now, the question at stake is whether Canada Post has to deliver this particular paper. We don’t believe that Canada Post should be delivering this hateful paper,” Lefton stated.
Avi Benlolo, CEO of the Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, said Your Ward News’ glorification of Nazis and its denial of the Holocaust directly impacts members of the Jewish community — a point he made in addressing the board.
The Wiesenthal Center has twice gone to police with criminal complaints about the publication, asking that it be investigated for promoting hate, he added.
Warren Kinsella, a founding member of Standing Together Against Mailing Prejudice (STAMP) and a political consultant, said his organization, and others, “remain determined to keep this violent, racist and misogynistic rag out of their communities.”
Kinsella, who lives in The Beaches, said he first found out about the paper when it appeared in his mailbox. “It was up close and personal hate,” he said.
Kinsella applauded Foote for prohibiting the distribution of Your Ward News, something that STAMP had urged.
“That was a huge victory for the group,” he said.
— Lisa Kinsella (@lisakinsella) December 5, 2016
He noted that a similar measure was taken decades ago against neo-Nazi propagandist Ernst Zundel, and while that step was overturned by the courts, he said it occurred before the charter of rights was introduced and thus may not be a precedent that could be used in these proceedings.
Simon Rosenblum is a resident of the city’s east end, who also received an unsolicited copy of Your Ward News in his mailbox.
He supports Canada Post’s refusal to deliver “that rag,” saying there is precedent for that decision. “Postal workers won’t deliver legal pornography,” he said.
James Sears, the publication’s editor in chief, said in an email to The CJN that, “My slick, pricey lawyers totally outmaneuvered Richard Warman, Bernie Farber, Warren and Lisa Kinsella, and their bitter band of menopausal Marxist shrews, thereby shutting down their kooky cacophony and setting the Board of Review’s agenda going forward.
“Our demented detractors are trying to turn Canada’s most important free speech case of the 21st century into a freak show, without realizing that we are also fighting for their right to express their irrational opinions. I am confident that the esteemed judges on the Board will rise above the histrionic rants of the enemies of free speech, and focus on the strictest interpretation of the law.”