Canada’s post office says it will no longer deliver a crude Toronto-area newspaper that repeatedly denied the Holocaust, praised Adolf Hitler and derided Jews, Muslims, women and the LGBT community.
Public Services and Procurement Minister Judy Foote, who oversees Canada Post, issued an order on June 6 against the future delivery of Your Ward News, a free, low-budget newspaper sent to 350,000 homes in the east end of Toronto. The publication claims an online readership of over 1 million.
The publication has been the subject of complaints for years, the Canadian Jewish News reported. B’nai Brith Canada said it has received “literally hundreds of phone calls and emails from people who have felt victimized by the content in this publication.”
The newspaper has defended itself as satire protected by free speech.
Amanda Hohmann, national director of B’nai Brith Canada’s League for Human Rights, said her group was pleased to see that the government “has taken appropriate steps to protect Canadians from this kind of hate propaganda.”
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs also hailed Canada Post’s move.
“Freedom of speech – a core Canadian value – is cheapened and corroded when it is cynically used by extremists to justify the dissemination of hate,” said CEO Shimon Koffler Fogel. “The fact that the Canadian Union of Postal Workers has supported efforts to ban the delivery of Your Ward News reflects a broad consensus about the nature of the racist propaganda featured in this newsletter.”
Your Ward News editor James Sears has filed a request for a review of Canada Post’s decision. An appeal would consist of a panel appointed by the minister. He called the Canada Post move an “Orwellian order”.
“We’re just a satirical, offensive newspaper,” Sears told CBC News. “It has been found multiple times by Canada Post lawyers that we’re not breaking any hate-speech laws.”
Sears is a former Toronto medical doctor who was stripped of his license in 1992 after a court found him guilty of sexually assaulting female patients.