Judge Moore’s Decision Acquitting Dr. James Sears in the Kinsella’s “Uttering Threats” Vanity Prosecution

Judge Moore’s Decision Acquitting Dr. James Sears in the Kinsella’s “Uttering Threats” Vanity Prosecution

 

ONTARIO COURT OF JUSTICE

CITATION:  R. v. Sears, 2018 ONCJ 866

DATE:  2018 12 10

COURT FILE No.:  Toronto 4811 998 17 10000304 01

 

 

BETWEEN:

 

HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN

 

— AND —

 

JAMES SEARS

 

 

Before Justice D. Moore

Heard on October 23-25, 30, and November 6, 2018

Reasons for Judgment released on December 10, 2018

 

 

  1. Giovinazzo………………………………………………………………………….. counsel for the Crown
  2. Murphy…………………………….  s. 486 counsel for the defendant Leroy St. Germaine[1]
  3. Gray …………………………………. s. 486 counsel for the defendant James Sears

The defendant James Sears…………………………………………………………. on his own behalf

 

  1. MOORE J.:

[1]           Mr. Sears is charged with “Threatening Death” contrary to s. 264.1 of the Criminal Code.   Although there was no formal admission, it was not seriously contested that Mr. Sears wrote the purported threat in an article that was published in the summer 2017 edition of “Your Ward News” a publication which lists him as the “Editor in Chief”.

[2]           The alleged threat is contained in an article[2] about an investigation of Mr. Sears by the Children’s Aid Society wherein he is extremely critical of the Society, to put it mildly.  In the article Mr. Sears theorizes that the cause of the Children’s Aid Society investigation was either the complainant Lisa Kinsella herself, or someone associated with her, or perhaps someone who had read an article she published online in the Huffington Post that was critical of Mr. Sears and Your Ward News.[3]  The alleged threat is the following passage:

I have not told our story to anyone until now.  My close friends will first learn of it in this article and wonder why I kept it from them.  No offence, but Colette and I remained silent because we have more morals than Lisa and Warren Kinsella.  You see, if I told my friends, thousands of people on my mailing list, and hundreds of thousands of readers of Your Ward News [emphasis in original] about it, while a CAS investigation was active and our son could still have been kidnapped, there was the chance that some hothead who cares deeply about me and my family, would lose it and do something illegal, like bludgeon the Kinsella’s to death.  No matter how little respect I have for them, as a Christian, I chose to turn the other cheek and let enough time pass for the people who love, would give their lives for, or would go to jail for, me and my family, to react with cooler heads.[4]

[3]           Is the above passage a threat to kill Warren and Lisa Kinsella?  This is the central issue for me to determine.  In R. v. McRae[5] the Supreme Court of Canada set out the law as follows:

10     … The question of whether words constitute a threat is a question of law to be decided on an objective standard…

11     The starting point of the analysis should always be the plain and ordinary meaning of the words uttered. Where the words clearly constitute a threat and there is no reason to believe that they had a secondary or less obvious meaning, the analysis is complete. However, in some cases, the context reveals that words that would on their face appear threatening may not constitute threats within the meaning of s. 264.1(1)(a) (see e.g. O’Brien, at paras. 10-12). In other cases, contextual factors might have the effect of elevating to the level of threats words that would, on their face, appear relatively innocent (see e.g. R. v. MacDonald (2002), 2002 CanLII 14251 (ON CA), 166 O.A.C. 121, where the words uttered were “You’re next”).

….

15     Thus, while testimony from persons who heard or were the object of the threat may be considered in applying this objective test, the question in relation to the prohibited act is not whether people in fact felt threatened. As the Court of Appeal for Ontario put it in Batista, witness opinions are relevant to the application of the reasonable person standard; however, they are not determinative, given that they amount to personal opinions and “d[o] not necessarily satisfy the requirements of the legal test” (para. 26).

16     To conclude on this point, the prohibited act of the offence of uttering threats will be made out if a reasonable person fully aware of the circumstances in which the words were uttered or conveyed would have perceived them to be a threat of death or bodily harm.

[4]           I find that the plain and ordinary meaning of the words in the impugned passage do not constitute a threat to kill the Kinsellas.  In R. v. Clemente[6] the Supreme Court of Canada cited the Oxford English Dictionary definition of a threat, “A denunciation to a person of ill to befall him; esp. a declaration of hostile determination or of loss, pain, punishment or damage to be inflicted in retribution for or conditionally upon some course; a menace.” [emphasis in original]  A threat must thus be forward-looking, not a comment on something that could have or even should have happened in the past if certain conditions had been met.  For this reason, coupled with the stated desire in the passage that Mr. Sears timed the article to avoid the risk of someone bludgeoning the Kinsellas to death I cannot find on this first step of the analysis that a threat is made out.

[5]           That does not end the matter, of course.  I must now consider whether contextual factors give the passage a threatening meaning not apparent on a plain reading.

[6]           Warren and Lisa Kinsella gave evidence over the course of three days.  To say that their “relationship”[7] with Mr. Sears is an extremely hostile one would be a vast understatement.  The “relationship” commenced several years ago and consisted of writings by Mr. Sears and others published in Your Ward News about initially Warren and later Lisa Kinsella with accompanying photoshopped images and graphics.  The articles and images are derogatory, demeaning, insulting, rude, crude, and designed, according to Mr. Sears, to incite and provoke a response from Mr. Kinsella in order to bring attention to Your Ward News (as Mr. Kinsella has a significant public profile).[8]  In addition to the personal attacks the content of Your Ward News generally is deeply offensive to both Warren and Lisa Kinsella.  In response they participated in, organized, and/or commenced a variety of legal and political actions aimed at exposing, opposing, and/or shutting down Your Ward News.  They wrote articles, held press conferences, lobbied politicians, and commenced this proceeding by laying a private information, amongst other things.

[7]           I completely accept their evidence that they perceived the reference to “bludgeon the Kinsella’s to death” as a call to action and a real threat to their personal safety that they took seriously.  I also find that their negative views of Your Ward News and Mr. Sears are completely understandable, justified, and sincerely held.  However, I find their interpretation of the alleged threat to be of little assistance to me in assessing on an objective basis how a reasonable person would interpret the words written, since when it comes to Mr. Sears and Your Ward News they are the opposite of dispassionate and unbiased.  They perceive everything in the worst possible light.[9]

[8]            The Crown submitted that my interpretation of the alleged threat should be guided by a review of a number of other articles and graphic depictions in Your Ward News and to that end filed Exhibits 3 and 4, containing the June, July, and November, 2015, February, Spring, Summer and Fall, 2016 editions of Your Ward News in addition to the Summer 2017 edition which contains the alleged threat.  These editions of Your Ward News essentially make up the entirety of the Crown’s case other than the testimony of Lisa and Warren Kinsella.

[9]           I certainly agree that due to:

  •     the history of animus in the articles by Mr. Sears in Your Ward News directed at Warren and Lisa Kinsella,
  •     the history of animus in the graphical depictions of Warren and Lisa Kinsella in Your Ward News (which although Mr. Sears likely did not create them as Editor I find he must have had some control over them, particularly when the graphics accompany an article by Mr. Sears[10])
  •     the occasional use of “coded” or symbolic language in Your Ward News by Mr. Sears
  •     the article containing the alleged threat was about what Mr. Sears portrayed as a significant threat to the safety and wellbeing of his infant son and not a more general political issue;
  •     the article blaming Lisa Kinsella for directly or indirectly causing this threat to his family
  •     Mr. Sears’ statement in an article unrelated to Warren or Lisa Kinsella in 2015 that, “I do not believe in vigilante justice unless someone is threatening the life or wellbeing of me or my family.”

it is possible to reasonably interpret the impugned passage as a threat to kill.  This interpretation results from focusing in on “some hothead who cares deeply about me and my family, would lose it and do something illegal like bludgeon the Kinsella’s to death…people who love, would give their lives for, or would go to jail for, me and my family” and ignoring other portions of the passage as being there for the purpose of creating plausible deniability or as “window dressing” for “veiling” the threat.

[10]        While this possible reasonable interpretation was certainly sufficient to justify the laying of the charge and the initiation of process on the standard of reasonable and probable grounds,[11] the standard I must consider is proof beyond a reasonable doubt.  That latter standard requires that I must acquit Mr. Sears unless the evidence satisfies me that the only reasonable interpretation of the passage is that it is a threat.  A finding that a threat to kill is a possible, or even the most likely, reasonable interpretation must lead to an acquittal.[12]

[11]        Having considered all of the evidence I am unable to find that the threat to kill interpretation set out above is even the most likely interpretation, let alone the only reasonable interpretation.  In my view a reasonable person looking at all the evidence would find that the most likely interpretation is the plain and ordinary meaning of the words and the contextual evidence does not justify displacing that meaning for the more sinister one of a threat to kill.

[12]        Had I found that the words did indeed constitute a threat to kill I would have concluded that Mr. Sears did intend them to be so, since in my view the evidence clearly establishes beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Sears chooses his words very carefully and deliberately, and there would not have been a doubt about there being a secondary, innocent meaning between these very hostile parties.[13]

[13]        I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Mr. Giovinazzo, Mr. Murphy, and Mr. Gray for providing tremendous assistance to me in what has been at times a very difficult, emotional case.  All three conducted themselves in the finest traditions of the Bar and I commend them.

[14]        I find Mr. Sears not guilty of threatening to kill Warren and Lisa Kinsella and order that an acquittal be entered.

Released:  December 10, 2018

 

 

 

 

Signed: Justice D. Moore

[1] On October 25, 2018 I granted a nonsuit application brought by Mr. St. Germain at the close of the Crown’s case and accordingly dismissed the charge against him.

[2] Exhibit 4 Tab 2 p. 6-7, J. Sears in Your Ward News Summer 2017, “Children’s Aid: Righteous Crusade or Greedy Charade”

[3] Exhibit 20, article by L. Kinsella from the Huffington Post, “I’m Fighting to Keep a Neo-Nazi Paper Out of My Neighbourhood”

[4] Exhibit 4 tab 2 p. 7

[5] [2013] S.C.J. No. 68 at paras. 10-16

[6] 1994 CanLII 49 (SCC), [1994] S.C.J. No. 50 at para. 7

[7] I use quotation marks as the Kinsellas had apparently never been in Mr. Sears’ presence until this trial.

[8] Exhibit 3, Tab 1, Your Ward News, June 2015, p. 1-2 “I Love Pulling Warren Kinsella’s Strings!” article by James Sears

[9] Because I have decided to give little weight to their perceptions of the alleged threat due to their admitted bias (something not seriously contested by the Crown during submissions) I will refrain from conducting a detailed credibility analysis.  Suffice it to say that Mr. Murphy and Mr. Gray were extremely effective in their cross examinations.

[10] Exhibit 3, Tab 4, Spring 2016 Edition of Your Ward News, p. 3 “Message from our Editor-in-Chief” by James Sears, “I must dedicate two solid weeks per month to prepare each issue.  I must direct our talented graphic artist Robert James on exactly how I want the paper laid out and what images I want created”.

[11] As I had earlier found in dismissing Mr. Sears’ and Mr. St. Germain’s application for a stay of proceedings, oral reasons on September 20, 2018

[12] The Crown conceded this was the correct interpretation of the law.  Although not directly on point see the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in R. v. Villaroman 2016 SCC 33 (CanLII), [2016], 1 S.C.R. 1000 at paras. 16-43

[13] Also see Exhibit 3, Tab 1, Your Ward News, June 2015, p. 1-2 “I Love Pulling Warren Kinsella’s Strings!” article by James Sears

Canadian Jewish News Devotes Extensive Coverage To CAFE Response to Postal Ban on YWN


Canadian Jewish News Devotes Extensive Coverage To CAFE Response to Postal Ban on YWN

MINISTER UPHOLDS MAIL BAN ON YOUR WARD NEWS

A Canada Post truck delivers mail in Montreal.

The federal government is making permanent an interim order preventing Canada Post from delivering Your Ward News, a quarterly publication whose content has prompted hate crimes charges.

Carla Qualtrough, the minister responsible for the national mail carrier, said that after considering the recommendations of an independent board of review, “I have decided to issue a final prohibitory order that will prevent the delivery of the publication Your Ward News, or any substantially similar material developed by its authors, through Canada Post’s unaddressed bulk mail. My decision is consistent with the applicable legislation and the government’s values and stance on inclusiveness and diversity.”

The post office has not delivered Your Ward News since May 26, 2016, when an interim prohibitory order was issued by the minister of public works and government services.

At the time, postal workers, along with many people who had received the tabloid in their mailboxes unbidden, were angry at the content of the paper, which they say crossed the line into pro-Nazi hate propaganda.

READ: EDITOR AND PUBLISHER OF YOUR WARD NEWS APPEAR IN COURT

The minister’s decision prompted a request for a review by James Sears, editor-in-chief of Your Ward News, and Leroy St. Germaine, its publisher. An independent review board was convened. It held hearings, received submissions and considered the legal basis for denying mail service to the paper. The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), the League for Human Rights of B’nai Brith Canada and the Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC), among others, were granted legal standing before the board and made written and oral submissions.

On Nov. 15, 2017, while the board was still considering the case, Sears and St. Germaine were charged with wilfully promoting hatred against Jews and women. The charges arose out of material published in Your Ward News. That trial is expected to get underway in the near future.

The board submitted its report to the minister on Aug. 28. It found that the process of denying mailing privileges to Your Ward News was not procedurally unfair, that “there were reasonable grounds to believe that the affected persons (Sears and St. Germaine) have, by means of mail, sent or caused to be sent items that include hate propaganda” and material that could be considered defamatory.

Jewish groups applauded the minister’s decision to impose a permanent ban on the delivery of Your Ward News.

The cover of the Fall 2018 edition of Your Ward News.

“We commend Minister Qualtrough for her principled decision. Your Ward News promotes disgusting anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, misogyny, homophobia and racism,” said Noah Shack, CIJA’s vice-president for the Greater Toronto Area.

“Our taxpayer-funded mail service should not be used to distribute such hateful content to hundreds of thousands of households. It is shocking that such vile messages are being peddled here in Canada in 2018. Just think about a Holocaust survivor picking up their mail, only to find neo-Nazi propaganda on their doorstep. This is totally unacceptable.”

“Given the victimization of our community alongside its disrespect of women and most other communities, we are very pleased about this outcome. This is in addition to hate crime charges laid against the paper’s authors now underway,” said Avi Benlolo, FSWC’s president and CEO.

“However, the paper is still being published and distributed by hand and online. We are calling on continued Crown prosecution to the fullest extent of the law and on the federal government to reinstate Section 13 of the (Canadian Human Rights Act), which dealt with online hate speech.”

The cover of the Winter 2018 edition of Your Ward News.

Not everyone applauded the minister’s decision. Paul Fromm, a long time supporter of white supremacist causes and director of the Canadian Association for Free Expression (CAFE), responded to the board’s findings on CAFE’s website.

“Your report takes Canada one sad further step into the swamp of a cultural Marxist police state. How can we wag our prissy preaching finger at Russia or Iran for suppressing criticism and free speech and do much the same thing here? You have joined a long list of humourless puritans (religious and otherwise) through the centuries (who were) unable to appreciate spirited satire, which pricked the pompous and privileged and supported the ignored and dispossessed,” Fromm wrote.

“We note the minister has adopted your key recommendations for censorship forever of a publication. Interestingly, people who actually commit vile acts like murder, as opposed to people who say offensive things about privileged minorities, do not face a lifetime penalty.”

SHOW YOUR SUPPORT FOR DR. JAMES SEARS AND YOUR WARD NEWS — ATTEND THE FINAL SUMMATIONS & LAST DAY OF THE TRIAL

SHOW YOUR SUPPORT FOR DR. JAMES SEARS AND YOUR WARD NEWS — ATTEND THE FINAL SUMMATIONS & LAST DAY OF THE TRIAL
Things have been going very well in Warren & Lisa Kinsella’s vanity prosecution of Dr. James Sears and Leroy St. Germaine for allegedly “uttering a threat” in YOUR WARD NEWS against the Kinsella. These drama queens took their complaint to two different police personnel and two different Crowns. All told them there was no threat and no case. They laid a private charge and the Crown took it over.
 
As you have seen from my reports, Dr. Sears lawyers have humiliated the Kinsellas, caught them in, er, shall we say, many untruths and exposed their visceral hatred of Dr. Sears and desire to bankrupt him and shut down the hilarious, satirical YOUR WARD NEWS by any means necessary.
 
On Thursday, the judge delivered a directed verdict and the charges against Leroy  ST. Germaine were withdrawn. One down; one to go.
 
In a somewhat frightening incident, during the noon break, defence lawyer Chris Murphy was assaulted at Starbucks by a sixtyish, fat, greying woman who spat on him before several witnesses. She may have been part of what Dr. Sears terms “post-menopausal crazy cat ladies” who seem to make up part of the Kinsellas’ anti-racist entourage. The assault was brought to the attention of the Court,.
 
Come out and by your presence witness for free speech. The final day of the trail is Tuesday, October 20 at 10:00. It will be on the second floor of the College Park Building, southwest corner of Yonge and College.
Image may contain: 2 people, people standing and shoes

The Complaining Kinsellas Unravel During Withering Cross-examination in the YOUR WARD NEWS “Uttering Threats” Case

The Complaining Kinsellas Unravel During Withering Cross-examination in the YOUR WARD NEWS “Uttering Threats” Case
 
TORONTO, October 24, 2018. The trial of YOUR WARD NEWS editor Dr. James Sears and publisher Leroy St. Germaine of charges of “uttering threats” continued in Toronto today Defence lawyers (Chris Murphy for Mr. St. Germaine) and (George Gray for Dr. Sears) painted a picture of an ugly feud going back to 2015 as the Kinsellas and their group STAMP (Standing Together Against Mailing Prejudice) sought to drive the satirical tabloid out of business by any means necessary, including, Warren Kinsella admitted trying to bankrupt Dr. Sears: “I want to do whatever it takes to shut this paper down,” he snapped.
 
The defence attorneys shredded the credibility of the complainant couple is rigorous cross-examination. George Gray revisited Kinsella’s extraordinary assertion from the previous day that he was only “vaguely aware” that Dr. Sears was running for mayor of Toronto. After some technical fumbling the testimony from yesterday was played back to the court. Mr. Gray said:   “I submit you absolutely knew he was running” and references a tweet where Kinsella praised John Tory for refusing to participate in any “all candidates” debate where either Dr, Sears or populis videographer Faith Goldy were present because they were “White supremacists.” Having tried to muddy the waters by saying it took 25 signatures to nominate a candidate and that he did not keep close track of Dr. Sears’ campaign, Kinsella admitted: “I authorized the article. James Sears name never passed Mr. Tory’s lips. We do not want to legitimize White supremacy, misogyny and anti-Semitism,”
 
Mr. Gray also reminded Mr. Kinsella of his fighting tweet on October 22, urging supporters to come to the court proceedings, or help in other ways by donating money. However, as the Crown is prosecuting the case, the Kinsellas have no expenses. “In your view, it’s ethical to solicit funds for other proceedings.” Earlier Kinsella had admitted the funds would assist in other legal cases, a defamation action, they are pursuing against YOUR WARD NEWS.
 
Kinsella was visibly angry when confronted with his nickname “Prince of Darkness.” He insisted that short-lived Tory Kim Campbell called his that after her disastrous campaign. Kinsella had been a close war room advisor to victor Jean Chretien. He then added that his publisher had insisted on this handle. He concluded by asserting: “It’s what Mr. Sears does manipulating Wikipedia.” How he might do this was never explained.
 
Mr. Gray then confronted him with the name of the punk band he has played in SFH. Kinsella feigned surprise that Mr. Gray did not know what the initials meant and then explained “Shit From Hell”. Mr. Gray suggested that Prince of Darkness and Shit From Hell might explain the demonic and religious themes in some of YWN’s cartooning about the Kinsellas.
 
In the afternoon, Lisa Kinsella took the stand. In her testimony, she exposed the snowflake nature of this complaining couple. She explained the various action they and STAMP have taken — using her lobbying skills and insider Ottawa connections to get Dr. Sears and Mr. St. Germaine’s mailing rights removed, calling advertisers urging them to cease advertising in YWN, and lobbying with Jewish groups to get Dr. Sears and Mr,. St. Germaine charged under the “hate law”..
 
However, when Dr. Sears sought a review of the Interim Prohibitory order, she asked the review panel “not to ask her to give her address” as she was sworn in. [Paul Fromm, representing CAFE at these hearings had objected to this special privilege. He had argued for openness and transparency.]
 
The alleged threat in this case arose out of a reaction by Dr. Sears to the Children’s Aid Society being called to investigate his family and care of their young son. Six months later, Dr. Sears said he had not written about this malicious trick earlier because  “there was the chance that some hothead … would lose it and do something illegal, like bludgeon the Kinsellas to death … I chose to turn the other cheek and let enough time pass for (those) people to react with cool heads. As a Christian, I don’t want to see harm come to the Kinsellas and have delayed this information to let tempers cool”
 
As on the previous day, questioning centred on a tweet by Warren Kinsella calling Dr. Sears a “neo-Nazi serial sex offender” and attaching an article which posted his picture, street address, picture of his house, car, licence plate number and a picture thereof. She said her husband never posted Dr. Sears’ address. The article said: Dr. Sears ” seems to think he can sexually harass people and promote all kinds of racist Nazi bullshit with little consequence … here’s his home address and some personal info for anyone who’s interested.”
 
“Do you think this is a call to action?” Mr. Gray asked. Lisa Kinsella bobbed and weaved: “Well, my husband didnt’ write this and I am not responsible for what my husband does. I cannot  speculate” whether it’s a call to action.
 
Finally, she insisted: “It’s not a call to action when compared to what was written about us.”
 
The trial continues before Judge Dan Moore on Thursday. — Paul Fromm

Stunning Revelation at Sears & St. Germaine “Uttering Threats” Trial: Kinsella Says Richard Warman Sicked Children’s Aid on Dr. Sears

Stunning Revelation at Sears & St. Germaine “Uttering Threats” Trial: Kinsella Says Richard Warman Sicked Children’s Aid on Dr. Sears
 
TORONTO. October 23, 2018. First, complainant and witness, Warren Kinsella told the Court that he had not called the Children’s Aid Society to investigate YOUR WARD NEWS editor Dr. James Sears and his family’s treatment of his young son. “But, he added, “I am aware of who did.” Near the end of today’s opening of the “uttering threats” trial of Dr. Sears and publisher Leroy St. Germaine, defence lawyer Chris Murphy returned to this issue. Warren Kinsella revealed that Ottawa lawyer and dedicated free speech opponent Richard Warman told a meeting of STAMP (Standing Together Against Mail Prejudice), Kinsella’s East End Toronto anti-YOUR WARD NEWS group that he had sicked CAS on Warman. Warman had earlier pressured Canada Post Corporation and the then Minister of Supply and Procurement Judy Foote to issue a Prohibitory Order against Dr. Sears and Mr. St. Germaine preventing them from sending any mail in Canada.
 
Dr. Sears has suspected that it was one or both of the Kinsellas, Warren or his second wife Lisa, who had maliciously contacted CAS. This had led to the sentence in the Summer, 2017 issue of YWN that resulted in the private charge filed by the Kinsellas. Sears said he waited months to inform his ‘thousands’ of friends and followers about the apparent CAS investigation due to fear that ‘some hothead who cares deeply about me and my family, would lose it and do something illegal, like bludgeon the Kinsellas to death.’” That passage, the Kinsellas alleged, constitutes a threat. The Kinsellas had twice approached the police and the Crown to lay “uttering threats” charges but were told these words didn’t constitute a threat.
Kinsella came across as arrogant and vain as he argued with the much younger Mr. Murphy. “Those are two questions,” he said several times in an imperious tone. “Which one do you want me to answer?”
 
Mr. Murphy unravelled Kinsella’s righteous warrior image and revealed him to be shaky about the truth. He put a tweet to him that Kinsella had sent in 2015 accusing Dr. Sears of having “a long career of sexually assaulting women and now publishing a junk newspaper.” Attached to this tweet was a document giving Dr. Sears’ home address, including a picture of his residence, and his car’s make and licence plate, along with a picture. Warren Kinsella had complained that satirical attacks on him in YWN had made him fearful for his safety. He had improved his home security system after, he claimed, his house had been egged. “I don’t remember sending this tweet. I did not write this tweet,” Kinsella insisted. “I retweeted it. I have not seen this attachment before.” Yet, he expressed no condemnation of this targetting of Dr. Sears. Mr. Murphy argued that it was not a re-tweet.
 
Shortly after this tweet appeared, Leroy St. Germaine offered between $100 and $1,000 for information leading to the conviction of the Kinsellas. Kinsella who has a penchant for the dramatic insisted this was a “bounty on my life.”

SEARS AND ST. GERMAINE.JPG
 
“Considering what you know now, do you still think the offer for information was a ‘bounty on your life’?”
 
Mr. Murphy argued that the Kinsellas are both public figures and have engaged in a long battle with YOUR WARD NEWS, admitting to trying to get their mailing rights taken away and with getting them charged under Canada’s notorious “hate law” (Section 319) of the Criminal Code.
 
In a dramatic moment, Mr. Murphy put to Mr. Kinsella an October 22 message written by Kinsella entitled “help us fight hate, urging people to attend today’s trial. “We expect the media and the usual cabal” of free speech supporters. In the end of this appeal to rally his followers, he says those who can’t attend “can support us in some other way.” And, there, said Mr. Murphy, is your PayPal icon. Mr. Murphy noted that the Crown was bearing the costs of this prosecution. Kinsella said the money would go for the libel case Lisa has launched against Dr. Sears and Mr. St. Germaine. Mr. Murphy pointed out that that was not mentioned. According to Kinsella, the only response thus far had been from a gay, female rabbinical scholar in New York City who had sent $300.
 
Mr. Kinsella, when asked whether he had notified the media, admitted:  “Yes, sir, my staff did.” The media were out in force and Dr. Sears gave many interviews.
 
As so often in his career, Warren Kinsella seems to have some special relationship with officialdom. Most witnesses sit on hard benches outside the College Street courtrooms until they are summoned. Not Warren. He was sequestered in some private room until he got the call some 45 minutes into the trial. He was accompanied in by Detective Yurmolak of the Metropolitan Toronto Police Service. The detective sat at the prosecution table and hovered close to Kinsella. Perhaps in the hyperventilating imaginations of anti-free speechers like Kinsella the satirical words of YOUR WARD NEWS might suddenly turn into swords.
 
Also in attendance was Bernie Farber, another complainant against YOUR WARD NEWS who has tried mightily to silence it. At the lunch break, he and Kinsella engaged in a powerful embrace. [You can’t make this stuff up.]
 
So inept and hostile is much of the fake news media that one outlet didn’t even know the case being tried. CITY-TV reported that Dr. Sears and Mr. St. Germaine were on trial for “hate speech.” — Paul Fromm
[A fuller report will follow later.]

The Ontario Civil Liberties Association Calls on Ontario Attorney General to Revoke Consent for ‘Hate’ Charges Against Dr. Sears & Leroy St. Germaine (YOUR WARD NEWS); Kevin J. Johnston & Bill Whatcott

The Ontario Civil Liberties Association Calls on Ontario Attorney General to Revoke Consent for ‘Hate’ Charges Against Dr. Sears & Leroy St. Germaine (YOUR WARD NEWS); Kevin J. Johnston & Bill Whatcott
http://ocla.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/2018-07-24-Letter-OCLA-to-AG-Ontario-Mulroney.pdf 
Media Release: 
The Ontario Civil Liberties Association (OCLA) has sent a letter to Ontario’s new 
Attorney General Caroline Mulroney, re: Criminal code censorship prosecutions in Ontario.
By Email
 
July 24, 2018

 

Hon. Caroline Mulroney
Attorney General of Ontario
Ontario, Canada
Dear Attorney General Mulroney:
 
Re:  Criminal Code censorship prosecutions in Ontario

 

The Ontario Civil Liberties Association (OCLA) advocates for civil and human rights, including the fundamental human right of individual expression, opinion and belief.
We write to ask you to refrain during your mandate from consenting to any prosecutions based on the censorship provisions of the Criminal Code, because the said provisions categorically violate the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (the “Covenant”) ratified by Canada in 1976.
The impugned sections of the Criminal Code are:

 

LIBEL
·   S. 296 – Blasphemous libel
·   Ss. 297 to 317 – Defamatory libel

 

HATE PROPAGANDA
·   S. 318 – Advocating genocide
·   S. 319 – Public incitement of hatred / Wilful promotion of hatred
·   Ss. 320 to 320.1 – Warrant of seizure

 

Our point is not that expression cannot be criminal. For example:  ss. 22 and 464 of the Criminal Code, which apply to valid provisions of the Criminal Code.
Our point is that Canada and the provinces are obligated under international law not to enact and use laws that violate fundamental human rights.
The “blasphemous libel” (s. 296) and “defamatory libel” (ss. 297 to 317) provisions are squarely contrary to international law,[1] and opposite to all the relevant joint statements of international rapporteurs on human rights.[2],[3],[4] In particular, the said provisions prescribe imprisonment, whereas international law expressly disallows imprisonment as a penalty for any type of defamation, whether characterized as “criminal” or not.[5]

 

Section 296 will be repealed by Bill C-51 (referred to committee on Senate second reading). The defamatory libel” sections (ss. 297 to 317) are maintained, except that “published” cannot mean solely to the person who is defamed (s. 299(c)).

 

The “advocating genocide” provision of the Criminal Code (s. 318), is noncompliant with the Covenant because it does not prescribe an onus on the state to establish a “direct and immediate connection” to an actual “threat”:[6]

 

When a State party invokes a legitimate ground for restriction of freedom of expression, it must demonstrate in specific and individualized fashion the precise nature of the threat, and the necessity and proportionality of the specific action taken, in particular by establishing a direct and immediate connection between the expression and the threat.
A valid law prohibiting advocating genocide is required to prescribe that the “advocating” must be credible and causally connected to a palpable threat.
The “public incitement of hatred / wilful promotion of hatred” provisions (s. 319) violate the Covenant because no actual harm to any specific person needs to be proven by the state; nor is the issue incitement of a crime, but rather incitement of “hatred” (an emotion which is not in itself a crime) in unspecified persons at large.
The court is asked to subjectively hypothesize an induced “hatred” at large. The state need only wave the magic wand of “hatred”, subjectively inferred from the impugned expression itself, to imprison an individual for up to two years.
These are victimless crimes of hypothetically inducing emotions transmitted into the ether of society, which hypothetically cause unspecified harm to unspecified persons. No evidence of any kind is needed beyond the impugned expression itself and the context of the expression.
The Supreme Court itself determined this statutory interpretation of prosecutions pursuant to ss. 319(1) and 319(2):[7]
“The offence does not require proof that the communication caused actual hatred. … The risk of hatred caused by hate propaganda is very real.  This is the harm that justifies prosecuting individuals under this section [319] of the Criminal Code.  In the Media Case, the ICTR said that ‘[t]he denigration of persons on the basis of their ethnic identity or other group membership in and of itself, as well as in its other consequences, can be an irreversible harm’.”  [Emphasis added]
The proverbial slippery slope has now led us beyond this victimless crime — in which any effect or harm from the expression need not be proven and cannot be tested — to a place where “holocaust denial” is argued to automatically generate the said hatred at large. On the contrary, the Covenant holds the state to an entirely different standard:[8]

 

Laws that penalize the expression of opinions about historical facts are incompatible with the obligations that the Covenant imposes on States parties in relation to the respect for freedom of opinion and expression. The Covenant does not permit general prohibition of expressions of an erroneous opinion or an incorrect interpretation of past events.

 

The impugned Criminal Code provisions include overt “book burning” clauses (ss. 319(4), 320 and 320.1) for recorded materials that are subjectively hypothesized to induce “hatred” in the reader, listener or viewer.
Canada has an obligation to remove these laws,[9] an obligation that it appears to be largely disregarding despite our calls starting in February 2016.
All prosecutions pursuant to the impugned provisions are fundamentally unjust towards the individual, extraordinarily wasteful of public resources, and harmful to democracy itself.

 

The “hate propaganda” prosecutions are structurally political because they are made at the discretion of the Attorney General (ss. 318(3), 319(6) and 320(7)). They have a potential to be used as propaganda and societal manipulation, much as witch trials were used in the Reformation in competing for “religious market share” between Catholics and Protestants.[10] Those who seek censorship of a particular negative view are often partisans of a particular political party or ideology or may have a special interest they wish to advance. Reactions to views one finds repugnant are emotional vectors that can align, consolidate, increase or strengthen partisan affiliation when the issue is predictably mediatized through a controversial trial.

 

In addition, we ask you to retract the Attorney General’s consent for all the ongoing such prosecutions, which were consented to by the previous Attorney General despite our requests.

 

We know of three current such prosecutions being pursued in Ontario:
  • Kevin Johnston – for expressed negative opinions about Muslims
  • James Sears – for expressed negative opinions about women and Jews
  • Bill Whatcott – for expressed negative opinions about gays

 

Please let us know your responses so that we may report these to our members and to the public.
Yours truly,
Joseph Hickey
Executive Director
Ontario Civil Liberties Association (OCLA) http://ocla.ca
613-252-6148 (c)
Cc: Hon. Jody Wilson-Raybould, Attorney General of Canada, Jody.Wilson-Raybould@parl.gc.camcu@justice.gc.ca
[1] General comment No. 34, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Human Rights Committee, 102nd
session, CCPR/C/GC/34, <http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrc/docs/gc34.pdf>, paras. 47 to 49
[2] JOINT DECLARATION: Current Challenges to Media Freedom, by the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media and the OAS Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression, 30 November 2000, <http://www.osce.org/fom/40190>
[3] JOINT DECLARATION, by the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media and the OAS Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression, 10 December 2002, <http://www.osce.org/fom/39838>
[4] JOINT DECLARATION ON DEFAMATION OF RELIGIONS, AND ANTI-TERRORISM AND ANTI-EXTREMISM LEGISLATION, by the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, the OAS Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and the ACHPR (African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights) Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information, 10 December 2008, <http://www.osce.org/fom/35639>
[5] General comment No. 34, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Human Rights Committee, 102nd
session, CCPR/C/GC/34, <http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrc/docs/gc34.pdf>, para. 47
[6] See Article 20 of the Covenant; and see General comment No. 34, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Human Rights Committee, 102nd session, CCPR/C/GC/34, para. 35
[7] Mugesera v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), [2005] 2 SCR 100, 2005 SCC 40 (CanLII), <http://canlii.ca/t/1l249>, at para. 102
[8] General comment No. 34, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Human Rights Committee, 102nd session, CCPR/C/GC/34, <http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrc/docs/gc34.pdf>, at para. 49
[9] General comment No. 31, The Nature of the General Legal Obligation Imposed on States Parties to the Covenant, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Human Rights Committee, 80th session, CCPR/C/21/Rev.1/Add. 13, 26 May 2004, <http://www.refworld.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/rwmain?docid=478b26ae2>, para. 13
[10] “Witch Trials” by Peter T. Leeson and Jacob W. Russ, The Economic Journal, 2017, DOI: 10.1111/ecoj.12498
Contact:
Joseph Hickey
Executive Director
Ontario Civil Liberties Association (OCLA) http://ocla.ca
613-252-6148 (c)

Paul Fromm Reports on the Final Submissions on Behalf of YOUR WARD NEWS at the Hearings into the Cancellation of Their Mailing Rights

Paul Fromm Reports on the Final Submissions on Behalf of YOUR WARD NEWS at the Hearings into the Cancellation of Their Mailing Rights

Jan 23, 2018 at THE CANADA POST BOARD OF REVIEW In the matter of Minister Judy Foote’s interim probationary order respecting James Sears, Lawrence (Leroy) St.Germain and YOUR WARD NEWS My Statement to The Board of Review http://canadaawakes.blogspot.ca/2018/… Link to YOUR WARD NEWS http://www.yourwardnews.ca/
 

YOUR WARD NEWS “Hate Law” Case & Kinsella’s Charge of Threatening” Set Over Until January 4

YOUR WARD NEWS “Hate Law” Case & Kinsella’s Charge of Threatening” Set Over Until January 4

TORONTO, December 21, 2017. With the Crown hinting that charges of “uttering threats” launched in a private prosecution by Warren Kinsella may be dropped,  January 4 was set down as the date for next court appearance, the Crown told the Court

Publisher Leroy St. Germaine and editor Dr. James Sears are also charged with two counts of wilfully promoting hate under Canada’s notorious “hate law” against women and Jews. This case was put over also to 10:00 a.m. on January 4.

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The Crown told the Court it is “still deciding whether to proceed with the charges” of uttering threats.

The uttering threats refer to a non-threatening sentence in  the summer issue of YOUR WARD NEWS. Warren Kinsella, a mortal enemy of the satirical newspaper tried two police and several Crowns and was told the comments did not rise to the level of threats. Nevertheless, on June 21,he laid a private charge against Mr. St. Germaine and Dr. Sears, a charge which the Crown has since taken over.

The National Post (June 21, 2017) reported that in the Summer, 2017 issue of YOUR WARD NEWS, editor Dr. James Sears explained “that his family had been targeted by a ‘hoax’ complaint to the Children’s Aid Society. In his column, Sears accused Lisa Kinsella of …  being responsible for the complaint. Kinsella, for her part, vehemently denied any involvement.Sears said he waited months to inform his ‘thousands’ of friends and followers about the apparent CAS investigation due to fear that ‘some hothead who cares deeply about me and my family, would lose it and do something illegal, like bludgeon the Kinsellas to death.’” That passage, the Kinsellas alleged, constitutes a threat.

Kinsella went wild over a story. A person who is all elbows and insults in politics, Warren Kinsella went scurrying to the Metropolitan Toronto Police. The National Post’s account continued:  “Kinsella brought the article to Toronto Police, but she was told that there was not enough evidence to pursue criminal charges.Toronto Police spokesman Mark Pugash told the National Post that a detective looked at the case, then asked the advice of a Crown attorney. That Crown attorney, in turn, asked another Crown. ‘Both Crowns came to the same conclusion as the detective’ Pugash said, “which was that there wasn’t enough evidence.'”

So, the Metropolitan Toronto Police and two Crown Attorneys found no evidence of a crime. Still, the relentless Kinsellas initiated a private charge. This harassment is a time and resource waster. Dr. Sears and Mr. St. Germaine had to attend a court hearing August 2. The Kinsellas did not attend.

Neither Kinsella was in Court today. “This is the 7th or 8th appearance in this matter,” Dr. Sears told the Court: “I want the charges dropped by the next court date and, if not, I want an immediate date set for a judicial pretrial conference. This has been over six months and every delay has been the Crown’s fault.”

Again, there was no sign of the Kinsellas following up on the time and money wasting judicial mischief they’d caused.

More than a dozen free speech supporters jammed the tiny courtroom competing for seats with some two dozen sad sack accused all of whom had their cases adjourned. — Paul Fromm

B’nai Brith Extols Suppression of Free Speech in Its On-line Fundraiser at Taxpayers’s Expense: We Fund the Zionist Lobby

B’nai Brith Extols Suppression of Free Speech in Its On-line Fundraiser at Taxpayers’s Expense: We Fund the Zionist Lobby

 

This Giving Tuesday, Help B’nai Brith Canada Fight Back

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Dear Friends,

A week from today – on Nov. 28, 2017 – the world will mark #GivingTuesday, an international movement that seeks to promote charitable giving, and where people from around the world donate to causes that are near and dear to their hearts.

As the voice of Canada’s grassroots Jewish community, B’nai Brith Canada is proud to participate in this important initiative that embodies the Jewish concept of tzedakah. In a year marred with antisemitism and hatred targeting members of our community from both sides of the political spectrum, B’nai Brith’s ongoing advocacy efforts have been particularly vital, and it is only through your support that we can continue to fight for the human rights of all Canadians.

With the help of your fully tax-deductible donation, B’nai Brith will continue to:

a) Fight against the purveyors of racism and hatred in Canada, from notorious white supremacist Paul Fromm to Your Ward News editor James Sears to the Vancouver imam who urged his congregants to finance Palestinian terrorism.

b) Refute the antisemitic boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement, as we did through our nation-wide campaign in support of award-winning filmmaker Ian Halperin’s Wish You Weren’t Here, which exposes BDS and its supporters as antisemitic.

c) Support Jewish and pro-Israel students facing discrimination on campus. After three pro-Israel students at McGill University were targeted for their support of Jewish causes, B’nai Brith launched a petition (which now has more than 5,350 signatures) demanding that McGill’s administration investigate. McGill has since complied with this request.

On #GivingTuesday, please consider giving back to your community – by supporting Canada’s oldest self-funded and independent Jewish organization. Even the smallest donation helps in our objective of eradicating the racism and antisemitism that threatens our society today, defending the Jewish State of Israel, and supporting the members of our community.

To donate, please click here.

Thank you for your commitment to B’nai Brith Canada.

Sincerely,

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Michael Mostyn
Chief Executive Officer
B’nai Brith Canada

White Supremacist Paul Fromm Barred From Winnipeg Hotel

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White Nationalist Paul Fromm
Nov. 15, 2017
By Ran Ukashi
Regional Director, Winnipeg Region
B’nai Brith Canada

WINNIPEG, MB – A notorious white supremacist has been disallowed from holding a private meeting in a Winnipeg hotel room, B’nai Brith Canada has learned.

The Hilton Winnipeg Airport Suites has been directed by its leadership to cancel a reservation by Paul Fromm, who had booked a room in the facility for a Wednesday night meeting.

B’nai Brith and concerned citizens in Manitoba had been advocating against the meeting after reports circulated that it had been planned.

Fromm lost his teaching licence because of his association with white supremacist organizations. He also was penalized for endorsing racist and antisemitic organizations ranging from neo-Nazis to the KKK, including their Canadian counterparts.

In a recent talk delivered in Vancouver, Fromm made antisemitic, homophobic, anti-First Nations, anti-Sikh, anti-black and anti-Muslim remarks. He also distributed material showcasing propaganda produced by Alfred Schaefer, a Holocaust denier who is facing trial in Germany on criminal incitement charges.

“B’nai Brith commends Hilton Hotels & Resorts for saying no to hatred,” said Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada. “There is no place for Fromm’s vile brand of hatred and antisemitism in Canadian society.”

Fromm also has endorsed and distributed the newsletter Your Ward News, a‎n antisemitic and hateful publication that has been disseminated by publishers James Nicholas Sears and Lawrence (Leroy) St. Germaine. Sears and St. Germaine were charged Wednesday with willfully promoting hatred against Jews and women.