An anti-racism group called Standing Together Against Mailing Prejudice (STAMP) says that it is doing everything in its power to stop the publication of Your Ward News, a neo-Nazi publication that’s once again being delivered to many Toronto households, including taking legal action.
Spearheaded by Lisa Kinsella and her husband, Warren, STAMP was formed two and a half years ago, when the Kinsellas were made aware that Your Ward News was being delivered in their neighbourhood.
“When Your Ward News started to be delivered in our neighbourhood, because their so-called headquarters are a short distance from our home, we started to oppose it,” said Warren Kinsella. “We’ve continued to push against and to fight Your Ward News.”
In a Sept. 13 press release, STAMP outlined the current legal cases against the publication’s editor, James Sears, and publisher, Leroy St. Germaine, many of which were initiated by STAMP, B’nai Brith and other groups.
In November, the pair were charged with promoting hatred against Jews and women. It was the first time a charge of promoting hatred against women had ever been laid in Canadian history.
“Lisa pushed hard for that charge to be laid,” said Warren Kinsella, adding that with all of these lawsuits, they are hoping to bankrupt Sears and St. Germaine.
Next month, the two will appear in court on the charge of uttering death threats against at the Kinsellas.
“The court agreed that there was a case there to be pursued and that’s the next fight we’ve got with these creeps,” said Warren Kinsella. “So we’re hopeful we’re going to be successful there.”
Last year, STAMP successfully lobbied for Canada Post to stop delivering Your Ward News.
“When the publication first started showing up a few years ago, I thought it was odd, considering it was billing itself as being news about the ward that I lived in,” said Rob Johnston, a resident of one of the neighbourhoods that’s been receiving the paper.
“It certainly didn’t feel, or appear to me, like news, but more opinion and personal-attack focused. It was all about hate. It was being shoved in our faces.”
Former public services minister Judy Foote issued the ban on the federal mail carrier delivering the publication in 2016. Despite that, it is still being delivered by volunteers and private carriers. Nevertheless, the fact that it is no longer being delivered by the postal service was welcomed by many.
“I understand and appreciate that we live in a country that allows and promotes free speech, but this felt like someone wanting to inflict their opinions on us through where we lived and directly to our doors without our permission,” said Johnston.
Warren Kinsella agrees, adding that, “The prohibitory order was mainly as a consequence of the lobbying that Lisa was doing in Ottawa to get folks there to pay attention to what was happening in Toronto.”
STAMP has worked closely with a number of Jewish advocacy groups. The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), which supports what the group is trying to do, has also been pushing back against Your Ward News.
“It is heartening that the stand against this disgusting publication has been actively taken up by an array of individuals and groups, reflecting the fact that Your Ward News traffics not only in anti-Semitism, but other vile forms of hatred, as well,” said Noah Shack, CIJA’s vice-president for the Greater Toronto Area.
“Every voice condemning this grotesque publication is important and we commend all those who have come forward to take a stand against it.”
While the Kinsellas are still waiting on court dates for a number of pending lawsuits, Warren Kinsella said they want their community to know that they are standing up to Your Ward News.
“As upsetting as it is, the fight is continuing and we’re not going to let these guys get away with it,” he said.