FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 14, 2021
TORONTO , ON – Today, the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario upheld the conviction of James Sears, editor of Your Ward News. In 2019, Sears was convicted of willfully promoting hatred against two identifiable groups – Jews and women.
Sears has already begun the process of appeal to a higher appeals court.
In response, Noah Shack, Vice President, GTA, of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), issued the following:
“We welcome the court’s decision to uphold the conviction. For far too long, Mr Sears promoted antisemitic conspiracy theories, misogyny, homophobia, and racism in their most grotesque forms.”
““We appreciate the diligent work of the courts, prosecutors, and police. The evidence against Mr. Sears is overwhelming and we are confident that the guilty verdict will remain. It is crucial that a clear message is sent to those who promote hate: You will be held accountable.”
“Today’s decision coincides with the Government of Canada’s announcement of an Emergency Summit to Combat Antisemitism, which will be led by the Honourable Irwin Cotler, Canada’s Special Envoy on antisemitism.
“Jews in Canada and around the globe are being targeted with hate because of their identity. This must stop. We can preserve free speech while protecting Canadians from those who demonize and slander entire communities.”
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) is the advocacy agent of Canada’s Jewish Federations.
- Your Ward News, a hateful and blatantly antisemitic paper, has long been a source of deep concern to members of the Toronto Jewish community. The paper promotes racist, homophobic, misogynist, and pro-Nazi material.
- CIJA and other community activists provided evidence of the paper’s antisemitic content to local law enforcement and Canada Post.
- In 2016, the Minister of Public Services, Judy Foote issued an order forbidding Canada Post to deliver Your Ward News. The paper’s producer and editor-in-chief, James Sears, appealed the order, prompting the formation of a Board of Review. Mark Freiman, on behalf of CIJA’s Legal Task Force, intervened at the Board of Review hearings to ensure the concerns of the Jewish community were heard.
- In November of 2018, a final prohibitory order that prevent the delivery of Your Ward News was issued. Under the new order, those behind Your Ward News will not be permitted to use Canada Post’s unaddressed bulk mail services to distribute the paper or any substantially similar material.