Editor and publisher of Your Ward News found guilty of promoting hate speech

The editor and publisher of the Your Ward News newspaper have been found guilty on two charges each of hate speech.

Editor James Sears, 55, and publisher LeRoy St. Germaine, 77, were charged with two counts of willful promotion of hatred against an identifiable group.

At 10 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 24, Judge Richard Blouin of the Ontario Court of Justice released his ruling and found them guilty of hate speech towards Jews and women.

The trial began on Nov. 28 and the pair had pleaded not guilty.

The free newspaper is distributed around east-end Toronto.

In May 2016, the federal government issued a temporary order banning Your Ward News from using Canada Post to mail the newspaper due to complaints from readers. The ban was recently made permanent.

Lisa Kinsella, founder of Standing Together Against Mailing Prejudice (STAMP), has been fighting the publication for years. After attending the court trial, she said was pleased with the verdict.

“Never before in Canadian history has there been a successful prosecution under the Criminal Code for promoting hatred against women,” Kinsella said in a statement on Jan. 24. “That’s a first – and it’s long overdue. We thank Judge Richard Blouin for his decision.”

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