CAFE Backs Freedom of the Press & Free Speech As YOUR WARD NEWS Hearing Opens in Toronto

CAFE Backs Freedom of the Press & Free Speech As YOUR WARD NEWS Hearing Opens in Toronto

Temporary ban on delivery of controversial newspaper under review

BY NEWS STAFF

POSTED APR 25, 2017 4:48 PM EDT

LAST UPDATED APR 25, 2017 AT 5:04 PM EDT

Procedures have begun for Board of Review hearings over a controversial newspaper that began appearing in mailboxes across Toronto last year.

In June 2016, Canada Post was ordered by the federal government to prohibit delivery of Your Ward News, a publication that sparked allegations of racism, bigotry, anti-Semitism and hate. Judy Foote, the minister responsible for Canada Post, issued the interim prohibitory order under the Canada Post Corporation Act.

James Sears, the publication’s editor-in-chief appealed that order and, as procedure under the Act dictates, Foote appointed a Board of Review consisting of three members to consider whether Canada Post should legally distribute the paper.

Over the last few months, members of the public had the opportunity to make submissions in the hopes of participating in the review.

It has been a divided issue encompassing a debate between proponents of freedom of speech and opponents of alleged hate speech. Here’s what some players on both sides had to say as the proceedings began Tuesday.

 

IN SUPPORT OF DISTRIBUTION:

Paul Fromm, director of the Canadian Association for Free Expression:

Paul Fromm, director of the Canadian Association for Free Expression, on April 25, 2017. CITYNEWS

“This is an incredibly arbitrary and ruthless power all because some politically-correct people didn’t like what’s in Your Ward News. Tough. People should have the right to publish what they want. If people don’t want to read, there’s a garbage can. There’s a blue box. There’s the bottom of the birdcage. What we are seeing is an effort by people who don’t like the content for whatever reason to say, ‘I don’t like it and you can’t read it and you can’t send it out.’ And that’s what this battle is all about…..We used to be a country where we said, ‘Look, I don’t agree with you. But you’ve got a right to your opinion. You’ve got a right to say it. That’s what Your Ward News is.”

 

AGAINST DISTRIBUTION:

Sara Lefton, vice president of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs

Sara Lefton, vice president of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, in Toronto on April 25, 2017. CITYNEWS

“This is pure and simple hate. When people are getting Your Ward News in the mail and they’re getting it at their doorstep, they feel unsafe, they feel targeted in their homes. There’s no place for hate like this in Canada, and we need the decision to stand so hate like this will not continue … When there are pieces of clear discrimination and hate speech that are being disseminated en masse to people’s doorsteps there should be no place for that, and that shouldn’t be allowed.”

 

IN SUPPORT OF DISTRIBUTION:

Raychyl Whyte, Board of Review applicant

CTCN_CONTROVERSIAL_PAPER_RAYCHYL_WHYTE_PIC_2017APR24-

“Someone should still have the right to freedom of speech. I myself know what it is like to have public humiliation, public shame due to libelous comments and presumptions made about me. I know all too well what that is like. However, I still support people’s rights to have their own independent free speech.”

 

AGAINST DISTRIBUTION:

Warren Kinsella, founding member, Standing Together Against Mailing Prejudice

Warren Kinsella talks to CityNews in Toronto on April 25, 2017. CITYNEWS

“For the people that have been victimized by this so-called newspaper, that’s a problem. There’s Holocaust denial, there’s propagation of rape, there’s use of the N-word. There’s racism on every single page. It is the most disgusting thing. I’ve been doing this stuff for 30 years. I’ve never seen a publication like this distributed in Canada as widely as this one is and certainly not one distributed by Canada Post … We need to say Canada Post should not be distributing hatred.”

 

IN SUPPORT OF DISTRIBUTION:

Emilie Taman, co-counsel for James Sears

Emilie Taman, co-counsel for James Sears, is seen during an interview in Toronto on April 25, 2017. CITYNEWS

“It’s not something that I’m necessarily per se excited to be reading about, but I do believe in the constitutional right to free speech, and it’s one that I think is very important to be defended at every opportunity.”

 

AGAINST DISTRIBUTION:

Derek Richmond, Canadian Union of Postal Workers

Derek Richmond, of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, is seen during an interview in Toronto on April 25, 2017. CITYNEWS

“Me, personally, I didn’t deliver [Your Ward News] but many of our letter carriers did. A lot of them are very diverse and had to go through the whole day viewing swastikas, viewing hate, viewing sexist material, rape culture. It really affected a lot of our letter carriers.”

Warman’s At It Again: Wants Canada Post to Stop Distributing Your Ward News

Warman’s At It Again: Wants Canada Post to Stop Distributing Your Ward News

Let’s see, Ontario’s eccentric courts say I can’t refer to Richard Warman as the “high priest of censorship.” So, okay, this meddling lawyer, ensconced doing something or other in the Department of National Defence, doesn’t want Torontonians to be able to receive a community tabloid entitled Your Ward News through the mail. The politically correct long ago ceased debating with those who have a problem with the homosexual agenda, multiculturalism or the self-serving Hollyweird version of WW II. Disagree with them and they want to gag you and shut you down.

Local leftists, including sometime Liberal Party backroom boy Warren Kinsella, have been gunning for Your Ward News for over a year. the Main Street offices of the tabloid have had their windows smashed numerous times by the apostles of “tolerance” and “inclusion”. Then, about a year ago, the critics flipped out and tried to pressure Canada Post not to deliver the satirical tabloid. Some posties from the notoriously leftist Postal Workers Union, which for years has has a significant contingent of Maoists, threatened they would not deliver it. The complain that it is “hate” Even under Canada’s notorious “hate” law, the accused must still be afforded a trial before his writings can be declared hate.

In a healthier society, the critics would be urged to write a letter-to-the-editor, start a paper of their own, or, if they are offended beyond all endurance when Your Ward News arrives in the mail, they can simply toss it into the Blue Box for recycling. However, we live in a mean, Puritanical society assailed by domineering followers of political correctness who want to gag all dissent from their agenda.

So, along comes Ottawa lawyer Richard Warman. Your Ward News is delivered in the eastern part of Toronto. Almost certainly Mr. Warman didn’t find an unwanted copy delivered by the mailman. So, in the normal scheme of things, what’s it to him?

Anyway, he’s taken to letter writing to try to pressure Canada Post into not delivering Your Ward Newsbecause some of its views and irreverence don’t please Warman’s Ottawa sensitivities.

National Observer (March 8, 2016), an online news commentary, reports: “A prominent Ottawa human rights lawyer is after Canada Post to drop distribution of a newsletter that he says contains misogynist, homophobic, anti-Muslim and anti-Jewish hate propaganda.

Richard Warman wrote Public Works Minister Judy Foote and Canada Post president Deepak Chopra in early March to ask for a halt to the postal distribution of a Toronto publication called Your Ward News.
Warman told National Observer that the newsletter was something he was aware of that was floating around the Toronto area.

“It had sort of a bad smell. When I finally had the chance to look at it closely, I was shocked to see the kind of bigotry that was being disseminated through Canada Post.”

In an email response to National Observer Tuesday, Foote said, “I have reviewed some of the material in question and I too find it highly offensive and well outside the norm of Canadian values. I have reached out to my colleagues to determine the best way forward in addressing this issue.

“This includes whether the material constitutes an offense under the Criminal Code.”

Your Ward News claims distribution of 300,000 and a readership of one million within Toronto. Canada Post delivers the publication unwrapped, meaning anyone is able to see the content.

The most recent issue of the quarterly publication (it was previously monthly) shows on its cover a bizarre collage of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau surrounded by women in bikinis. Beside him, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne waves a gay pride flag.

Two men are depicted on crosses, one of them clearly meant to be Christ; the other sprays blood on former advisor to Jean Chretien, Warren Kinsella, and in a word balloon says, “See you in hell, Kinsella!”

The entire spectacle is headlined “Marxist Lackeys Attack.”

Inside, the paper contains a number of racist slurs directed mostly against Jews and Muslims. The back page invites people to attend “The 1st Annual Old-Fashioned Toronto Anti-Marxist Book-Burning.”

The purported ad states that among books welcome to be burned are “FemiMarxist garbage by authors like Margaret Atwood; EnviroMarxist Agenda 21 propaganda by scientific sellouts like David Suzuki, etc.” ….

“In his letter, Warman tells Canada Post that he is concerned the Crown corporation’s distribution of the newsletter might constitute a breach of the Canadian Human Rights Act as the agency is “party to the dissemination of discriminatory material to the general public.”

Warman warns the Crown corporation that if it persists in distribution of the paper, “I will pursue the matter accordingly,” and cites, among other things, an example of defamatory libel in the newsletter against Warren and Lisa Kinsella.” …. [Actually, Your Ward News is a tabloid newspaper, not a newsletter.]

“While Warman’s letter is the most recent attempt to have Canada Post stop delivery of Your Ward News, it’s not the first time.
In May 2015, Arthur Potts, the Ontario MPP for Toronto’s Beaches-East York riding sent a letter to Canada Post’s Chopra asking the Crown corporation to reconsider its delivery of the newsletter.

In his letter, Potts noted that Toronto’s Hate Crimes Unit was probing a complaint about the then-current issue of Your Ward News, which featured “several offensive and anti-Semitic articles and caricatures.”

The Toronto Hate Crimes Unit could not be reached for comment. It’s not known whether the paper is still under investigation at this time.

Potts wrote that he was not only deeply concerned by the paper’s content and his constituents’ complaints, but added the fact that Canada Post delivered the paper, despite repeated complaints, “suggests that the Crown corporation may endorse its content.”

Canada Post did not respond to National Observer’s queries. The Crown corporation operates at arm’s-length from the government.

Megan Whitfield, the president of the Toronto Local of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, told National Observer that a number of postal workers have complained about having to deliver the publication.

However, Whitfield said Canada Post has threatened to discipline any workers who refuse to carry the newsletter.

“Both on the cover and inside they’ve had some very offensive material,” Whitfield said of the publication. At the very least the Toronto Local wants to see the publication shrink-wrapped in dark plastic so that the contents can’t be seen in the mail.
Of Canada Post, Whitfield said: “They just continue to allow it to go through.”

Ottawa human rights lawyer, Richard Warman. Photo courtesy of Richard Warman