Public invited to comment on Your Ward News publication ban

A local publication that has been described as “hate propaganda” is in the news again.

This time, with a newspaper ad from the federal government notifying the public of an upcoming board of review hearing and call for submissions.

Following a human rights complaint about the publication, federal minister Judy Foote issued a rare interim order May 26, 2016 “to stop the distribution by Canada Post of the publication of Your Ward News.”

In January, Public Services and Procurement Canada issued a statement noting that one of the persons affected by the order requested that a board of review be appointed. The minister tapped Ms. Fareen L. Jamal, Ms. Elizabeth Forster and Mr. Peter John Loewen to sit on the independent board of review and hear the challenge.

“The Board will review the matter to determine if the affected persons were, either committing or aiding the commission of an offence in sending, or causing to be sent, the material at issue by means of mail,” reads the notice. “The Board will consider matters relating to the offences of defamatory libel and hate propaganda found in sections 300 and 319(2) of the Criminal Code.”

According to the advertisement, found in the Toronto Star classifieds section, “anyone who believes they are ‘a person affected’ or a ‘person who has an interest in the matter’ … and who wishes to participate in the review process” has until March 31 to notify the board in writing.

A citizens group called STAMP (Standing Together Against Mailing Prejudice) is calling on the board to extend the submission deadline and asking community members to speak out against the publication.

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