In spite of pressure from the minister of public services and procurement and an approaching police investigation, the editor-in-chief of the controversial Your Ward News doesn’t see the recent legal actions taken against him as much of a threat.
James Sears, 55, made headlines last week when Toronto police announced plans to investigate the neo-Nazi newspaper for which he is also the primary contributor. Your Ward News was created by LeRoy St. Germaine in 2007. It initially gained notoriety in the Beaches where it began circulating.
Sears says he has no reason to believe the upcoming investigation will be different from those conducted in the past. He says police have been forced to announce an investigation in response to a growing number of complaints about the paper, caused by his efforts to increase its circulation.
“Interestingly, even though Your Ward News has been investigated multiple times since I was appointed Editor-In-Chief, neither myself nor Leroy were ever questioned by police during that time.” Sears said.
By May 2016, Your Ward News had expanded its reach towards the city’s west end. Sears used donations to have the Canada Post send the publication to homes through the mail.
Public Services minister Judy Foote responded to this expansion by prohibiting Sears and St. Germaine from using the Canada Post. The paper has been delivered by volunteers and staff ever since.
“Over eight months ago we appealed her illegal decision to ban me and Leroy from using Canada Post, and we are still waiting for a hearing date to be set,” Sears said. “She is dragging her heels because she knows her Canada Post ban order was illegal and based on nothing.”
While Your Ward News is accused of being blatantly anti-Semitic, Sears maintains he wants nothing more than for Jewish readers to accept Jesus.
“Mankind should not settle disputes with violence,” Sears said. “Our [job] is to help bring the Jews to Jesus Christ before Jesus shows up to avenge his crucifixion. President Donald Trump is doing his part. Now let us do ours.”
The Canadian Civil Liberties Association has come to the defence of Sears, saying that whether or not anyone agrees with his rhetoric, his Canadian charter rights must be recognized.
“For the government to intervene to prohibit the distribution of a publication is an extraordinary measure,” the CCLA said in an open letter to Foote. “Freedom should not be curtailed absent a clear and pressing objective and in a manner that is reasonable and minimally intrusive.”