Conviction of publisher and editor of Your Ward News for promoting hatred upheld as appeal is denied

This file photo shows the former location of Your Ward News on Main Street.

Two men who used to published a paper from an East Toronto address have had their convictions for promoting hatred against women and Jews upheld.

James Sears, editor, and LeRoy St. Germaine, publisher, of Your Ward News had been convicted of the crimes in January 2019.

At sentencing later in the year, St. Germaine, 79, was given one year of house arrest. Sears, 57, was sentenced one year in jail – six months on the count of promoting hatred against women and six months of the count of promoting hatred against Jews.

Sears appealed the conviction on a number of points including a claim that his lawyer in the original trial had been incompetent.

In his ruling on the appeal delivered on Monday, June 14, Ontario Superior Court Justice Peter Cavanagh rejected those claims outright.

In a report on the ruling from Canadian Press, Justice Cavanagh said he did not accept the submissions made for the appeal.

“The 22 issues of YWN (Your Ward News) provided the evidence needed for (the judge) to reach conclusions on whether the statements in YWN (Your Ward News) promoted hatred against identifiable groups,” Cavanagh said. “I do not accept the appellants’ submissions that the trial judge’s reasons are insufficient or that the verdicts are unreasonable because (he) misapprehended the evidence or submissions of counsel.”

Justice Cavanagh ordered Sears to turn himself in to be taken into custody by late afternoon on June 14. Sears told the Canadian Press that timeline was unfair.

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