Understanding Canada’s hate laws

Virtually all residents of Ward 32 are familiar with a publication delivered to their doors by Canada Post, deceptively titled Your Ward News. Many have labeled it a racist and hateful publication.

The publication features anti-Semitic rants about “ZioMarxists,” “parasites,” and the classic “illegitimate Zionist apartheid state of Israel that holocausts Palestinians.” Other targets include immigrants, blacks and women. The Confederate flag is defended and glorified. Women are degraded. History is revised. Community members, politicians, and political candidates are demeaned and debased.

Many can see the hand of the defunct neo-Nazi group The Heritage Front in the writing and content, making an unwelcome return to our community. It calls readers (men only) to join the “New Constitution Party.” The membership cards feature Nazi-style salutes and references to the number 88, neo-Nazi code for “HH” or “Heil Hitler.” It uses other sick images and abhorrent language not worthy of repeating.

When challenged about the vile content, the paper’s principals will wrap themselves in the flag of free speech and satire, and sermonize about civil liberties. They become the victims and rally us to join their cause.

Many residents have asked: Why can’t the hate laws of Canada prosecute this publication and shut it down?

In short, the law possibly can, but there is a very high threshold. Hate speech in Canada is a criminal code offence, governed by a federal law. Like most Western countries we prize free speech. We do not want to shut down others regardless of how offensive and depraved their views may be.

To pass the threshold of hate speech, the criminal code states that elements of the offence are to willfully incite hatred against an identifiable group in a public place which is likely to lead to a breach of the public peace; or to willfully (and publicly) promote hatred against an identifiable group. The matter has caught the attention of the Attorney General of Ontario, who must determine if there is enough evidence that the publication crossed the line and will face criminal charges.

However, prosecuting hate in the courts should be the last resort.

Ernst Zundel used his trial as a free media circus to promote holocaust denial. Others who equally detest the publication will rally to the defence of free speech on principle. For the editor-in-chief – reported in the media as a disbarred doctor who had his medical licence stripped for sexual misconduct – public prosecution provides a free media platform. Many believe the publication should be allowed to lavish in obscurity and hopefully wither.

It should be noted that our community has rallied loud and clear. Many have written to advertisers asking them to cancel their ads, with great success. The Facebook group East Enders Against Hate and For Responsible Advertising continues to grow. MPP Arthur Potts recently announced more funding to help law enforcement recognize hate crimes.

Which raises the question: Why can’t Canada Post simply refuse to deliver the publication? The answer follows the same reasons discussed above: Canada Post does not want to be placed in the role of censor or to be sued for failing to carry out its mandate.

Pushing Canada Post has not changed this position. However, the regulations that govern this Crown corporation also provide a grassroots solution. Canada Post must deliver addressed mail, but with some exceptions. It is not required to deliver unaddressed unsolicited mail. A large note on your mailbox that states: “Do not deliver Your Ward News to this address” is an enforceable legal right. It is the most powerful tool you have to stop delivery to your home and reclaim your space. Ironically, each one of us can directly stop personal delivery more effectively than the lawyers, politicians, and Canada Post who have reviewed this matter for months.

You can even go a step further and ask your neighbours to do the same. At the end of the day, personal action is the most powerful tool we have to reclaim our community and stop the dissemination of hate.

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14 comments

What a load of Garbage. First of all one must keep in mind you are reading this piece of left wing propaganda in a competing community paper so don’t think for a moment the above rant is unbiased, its not. second as a contributing writer for Your Ward News I have been labeled and abused for factual articles I have written on topics such as the Panam games and how papers like this one distort what YWN really is. The paper does have an anti Marxist bias and considers people like the above author to be closet communists. Yes I said it. Martin Gladstone has show support for Marxist and Communists in the past and I firmly believe him to be a Marxist shill. The left have become the foot soldiers of the globalists and most of them are too stupid to even realize it. The so called left “progressives” are more of an obedience cult than a political philosophy. Like the Borg of Star Trek they blindly follow the lead of people like Gladstone who never admit to being marxists in nature and laugh at the paranoia of anybody brave enough to point it out. The only tool in their box is to label their opponents as anti-Semitic, natzi, racist, misogynist or backwards. For years fear of these words has been all it took to keep people with real concerns at bay, it is a fear tactic that is quickly losing it’s power. YWN is not a Nazi publication no matter what they say.

The only “load of garbage” is the words of Lawrence McCurry. Anyone who wants to know more about his ridiculous unfounded opinions can find him online, if they need proof beyond his incoherent rambling above.

He is not a Beacher, I’m not sure he’s even set foot in the area, but his words prove time and again he has absolutely no clue about any of the people involved in fighting against the deception, bigotry, and inflammatory malarkey of Your Ward News. Either he’s supremely ignorant or a bald-faced liar.

He so badly wants this to be one of his “leftist” conspiracies, completely ignorant of the fact there was no organization to the movement, there is no conspiracy, and none of the people fighting it are connected in any way, politically or otherwise, other than being united in disgust over a deplorable publication they do not wish to receive. Lawrence viewing such unity as “Borg-like” shows just how too much tv has brainwashed him. Get off the couch man!

Lawrence won’t comment on the FACT that YWN lied to many of the advertisers, misrepresenting who and what they are to get the advertising dollars. Advertisers that are now willingly pulling out once they learned the truth. So tell us Lawrence, are ALL these advertisers a conspiracy of leftists too? Why am I even asking, anything you’ve ever written condemns anyone of a dissenting opinion as a “Marxist/Leftist”. The fact your only defense is to fall back on such simplifications only proves how…

Nice Try, This person is not Adam Smith but in fact Patrick Clohessy, Who runs the web site “Your Ward News Watch” a site dedicated to slandering the paper (and me). How do I know this? By the bad writing style and misinformation in the above reply. These people think that if they tell the same lies enough times, it becomes the truth, It does not. I in fact grew up in the beaches, I attended Bowmore P.S. and Fairmount Jr. High. I now reside in Scarborough not far east of Victoria Pk.
I stand behind every word I write and speak, use my real name and picture in social media, which is more than Patrick or Adam as he calls himself here can say. I have been published by many other publications other than YWN again unlike Patrick Lie about nothing! All I can urge readers is to read the articles in YWN and make up your own mind, rather than let this “Borg Collective” do your thinking for you.

Lawrence, how can you claim with a straight face that Sears is not a Nazi when he has said many times that Hitler is one of his heroes and when he rambles on in each issue about the Jews? And how can you call Martin Gladstone a “Maxist”, “Communist” etc when he opposed Paula Fletcher and tried to unseat her from City Council and when he worked with the Toronto Sun’s Sue-Ann Levy to try to get Queers Aginst Israeli Apartheid banned?

Sorry Lawrence, but I think your imagination is getting the better of you. Adam Smith is someone other than me. I know It’s hard for you to believe that this could be anything other than a shadowy conspiracy.

The publishers of the blog Your Ward News Watch (YWNW) have read every issue of Your Ward News (YWN) from cover to cover since last October and documented dozens of articles espousing racism, sexism, homophobia, anti-Semitism, and anti-immigrant xenopohobia. Gary Schipper, a well known bonafide Nazi who did jail time for his part in the now defunct Heritage Group is listed as a “Senior Journalist” of YWN under his pseudonym J.J. James Sears is on the record denying the holocaust multiple times and praising Hitler, and Golden Dawn.

YWNW has posted irrefutable evidence of connections to and support for Nazis in YWN. Either you haven’t looked, or your delusional conspiracy theories have blocked your ability for rational thought. Unlike you, we use documentation to prove our points. Everything we accuse YWN of is based on things they’ve published, and images and links are provided on our blog.

Oh Lawrence, you crack me UP! Thank you so much for proving without a doubt how you pull your wild assumptions and specious accusations out of thin air!

I am Adam Smith, I am the secretary of the Beach Village BIA representing the Fox Theatre (look it up on our website). I chair the Ward 32 Transportation Committee (W32TC on fb). I haven’t even the slightest clue who Patrick Clohessy is.

Thank you for providing a legal opinion on what has offended so many residents in our ward. This is not a ‘newspaper’ at all but rather an opinionated, hate mongering, offensive flyer that is not only irritating to receive but that I believe can cause significant harm, especially if read or seen by children, too. This has already happened. It is irresponsible to have it delivered to every household. I would strongly suggest YWN provide copies to anyone who wants to pick one up or sign up for delivery, but otherwise, cease and desist. They do nothing to further their own cause, whatever that truly is as it is still hard to decipher, given that most of it seems to focus on attacking others. Enough already.

Thank-you Joanne but Gladston’s so called legal opinion in this article was wrong as well. You Can leave a note for Canada Post to reject all unsolicited ad mail but you cannot ask them to not deliver one piece of it. So in essence Martin Gladstone’s so called legal advice in the propaganda rant is wrong.
Joanne I can understand why you wish to act as a censor for what your neighbours should be able to read and not read but I certainly don’t agree with you. You strike me as the type of person who would remove Mark Twain from a public library because your children might be exposed to it’s racism.

I never said I wanted to affect what anyone else chooses to read. If you are confident you have so many supporters, they would surely pick up your paper and may request it be delivered. I don’t appreciate this stuff showing up in my mailbox at all.

And the concern for children being unwittingly exposed to this hateful stuff is a responsible, adult concern. Most of us want to live in a world that is tolerant and accepting and loving of all humans. Your paper rants on and on about groups of people that is nothing but racist, sexist, homophobic and ignorant. It’s sad, really.

Lawrence – you assert a factual statement that “Martin Gladstone has show support for Marxist and Communists in the past” and “I firmly believe him to be a Marxist shill”.

You are free to believe what you want, but please identify specific Communists that Martin has supported… a list would be very helpful.

Paula Fletcher is the only (former) Communist I know of around these parts, and Martin never supported her I believe.

Lawrence:

I would prefer to answer any questions anyone has about the OMB matter on the page you noted rather than here.

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