B'nai Brith Canada said on Friday it has learned that the editor-in-chief of a notorious anti-Semitic and misogynistic Toronto publication has lost his bid to appeal his conviction for promoting hate.
James Sears, editor of the free Toronto newspaper Your Ward News, was found guilty alongside publisher LeRoy St. Germaine of promoting hatred against Jews and women on January 24, 2019. In August of that year, Sears was handed one year in jail, the maximum sentence for summary conviction of that offense.
In June 2020, Sears and St. Germaine lost an initial bid to appeal their convictions and sentences. Sears then sought leave to appeal in turn to the Court of Appeal for Ontario, which dismissed his application in a 49-paragraph decision issued Friday.
The decision also means that Sears will not receive bail pending an appeal.
“The highest Court in Ontario has spoken today, and affirmed the need to take a strong stance against hate,” said Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada. “No one can be allowed to undermine the fabric of society by systematically denigrating identifiable groups.
“We will continue to turn to law enforcement and the courts where appropriate in order to safeguard the human rights of our community,” he added.
In one incident in 2015, Your Ward Newsdisplayed several images mocking religious Jews (including one with a long nose), with one of them saying, "Here the Holocaust is repeating itself."
The newspaper also claimed that the media are controlled by "Zionist Marxists," and implied that Israel was responsible for not only the September 11 attacks but also the January 2015 Charlie Hebdo shootings in France.
Prior to 2016, Your Ward News had been distributed for free by Canada Post to a purported 305,000 homes and businesses in Toronto, despite objections from residents and postal workers.
In 2016, the federal government issued a temporary order banning the publication from using Canada Post following a number of complaints about its discriminatory content. In late 2018, Your Ward Newswas permanently banned from distribution through Canada Post.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)