Are police stonewalling on charges against Your Ward News?

Canada Post has declined to stop delivery of the east-end rag and Toronto police are stubbornly silent

Articles promoting Holocaust deniers and blaming immigrant “parasites” for everything from crime, pollution and gridlock to high taxes, bad DNA and poor farmland letters to the editor attacking “homos” and “queens” and advertisements publicizing something called the New Constitution Party of Canada, whose membership cards feature references to “88,” neo-Nazi code for HH, or Heil Hitler. 

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but you get the picture.

Your Ward News, previously just a wacky rag but now openly racist and sexist, may be violating Canada’s hate laws, but evidently not enough to warrant charges. Or for Canada Post to stop door-to-door delivery.

Your Ward News is distributed by Canada Post to (allegedly) 50,000 households in east Toronto. The self-described “world’s largest anti-Marxist publication,” claims to have recently quadrupled its delivery area to “300,000 homes, businesses and apartment buildings,” according to an editorial in its spring edition written by editor-in-chief James Sears. 

A former doctor (his licence was revoked in the early 90s over allegations of sexual impropriety) and self-described seduction guru/pickup artist known as Dimitri the Lover in a past life, Sears took over operation of Your Ward News from owner LeRoy St. Germaine about a year ago. 

He entertains some strange ideas. For example, he blames a Marxist conspiracy for homophobia and just about everything else, including a plot to “chemically and psychologically” castrate Western men. At least that’s what the promo says for a talk he gave earlier this year to the Canadian Association for Free Expression, run by former Mississauga school teacher and white racialist Paul Fromm. The paper endorsed Fromm for Mississauga mayor during the last municipal election, one of his many failed runs for the spot. It also endorsed Christopher Brosky, who was convicted of the racially motivated murder of a Texas man in 1991, for city councillor in Ward 28. 

Recently, the Toronto police completed an investigation of Your Ward News. I have asked TPS for a copy of their report and have so far been met with stubborn silence.

Canada Post has declined to stop delivery of the paper, despite complaints from east-end residents about its showing up at their door and regulations requiring postal workers to cease delivery of mail deemed offensive or sexually exploitative. 

No matter what you may think of our anti-hate laws, they were written to deal with the vile kinds of expressions found in Your Ward News.

Are the police stonewalling? I have to believe that if there was an investigation, it was a cursory one. The province’s attorney general would have to be consulted about any charges under hate crimes laws, and to my knowledge this has not happened in the case of Your Ward News.

The official position of local politicians has been to ignore the paper lest it receive more publicity. 

This is similar to the initial response we saw back in the 1990s when the neo-Nazi Heritage Front was peaking and racist publications, anti-Semitic, Islamophobic and anti-native graffiti and sloganeering seemed to be popping up everywhere. 

The difference is that today there is no institutional force like the Canadian Jewish Congress to rally an effective response.

But as in the days of the Heritage Front, ordinary citizens, activists, labour leaders, faith groups – and even a municipal politician – are organizing, meeting in a downtown office recently to draw up a plan that will include everything from a complaint to the Canadian Human Rights Commission to urging the attorney general to determine why our hate crime laws have been ignored.

If the police and Canada Post refuse to do the right thing, perhaps our voices will help them rethink their positions.

Bernie Farber is executive director of the Mosaic Institute. | @nowtoronto

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