On today’s date in 2016, the feds ordered Canada Post to stop delivering a Toronto-based publication that received widespread criticism for its sexist, homophobic and anti-Semitic tirades and illustrations.
On June 6, Minister of Public Services and Procurement Judy Foote, who oversees Canada Post, issued the prohibitory order against Your Ward News, which was delivered by Canada Post to more than 300,000 residences and businesses in Toronto’s east end beginning in 2015.
“We are ecstatic about the Minister’s decision,” said Lisa Kinsella, one of the founding members of Standing Together Against Mailing Prejudice (STAMP), in a recent press release. “For too long, Your Ward News has been permitted to disseminate racism, homophobia, misogyny and anti-Semitism to as many as 300,000 homes in Toronto. Minister Foote’s swift and decisive action means that this disgusting material will no longer be landing in the mailboxes of people who don’t want it.”
A HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUE
Less than two months ago, Ottawa lawyer Richard Warman filed a human rights complaint against Your Ward News.
“Canada Post and the Government of Canada are regularly and knowingly delivering misogynist, racist, anti-Jewish, anti-Muslim and homophobic hate propaganda into Toronto-area homes,” wrote Warman in the complaint.
Your Ward News editor James Sears – described by CBC News as a former pick-up artist named Dmitri The Lover, and as a former doctor whose license to practice medicine was revoked after pleading guilty to sexually assaulting patients – recently told CBC he would fight the prohibitory order.
Calling it a “temporary inconvenience,” Sears said he will ask for a panel to review the order.
“We’ve done nothing illegal. There have been no criminal charges filed. It is an arbitrary decision,” Sears told CBC News. “We’re just a satirical, offensive newspaper. It has been found multiple times by Canada Post lawyers that we’re not breaking any hate-speech laws.”
According to the National Post, Sears also referred to Foote’s announcement as an “Orwellian order” and wrote to the minister to request a review.
In an email he has since provided to the National Post, Sears wrote: “I was not aware that Canada is now under Napoleonic law.”
In the STAMP release, Kinsella called Sears “an unabashed Hitler enthusiast,” adding the Toronto-based publication is not satirical and is “hate promotion.”