Your Ward News editor gets the maximum one year jail for hate promotion

TORONTO — The editor of a Toronto-based publication was handed the maximum one-year jail sentence on Thursday for promoting hatred against women and Jews.

In sentencing James Sears, Ontario court Judge Richard Blouin said he would have handed down a much stiffer sentence had the law allowed.

“It is impossible, in my view, to conclude that Mr. Sears … should receive a sentence of any less than 18 months in jail,” Blouin said. “Mr. Sears … promoted hate to a vast audience in an era where online exposure to this material inexorably leads to extremism and the potential of mass casualties.”

The sentencing of the editor of Your Ward News, who had sought to reopen his trial, came after Blouin rejected Sears’ arguments that his lawyer had thrown the case. Sears, 55, who had gone into the courtroom expressing confidence that the case would be again put over, looked stunned at the sudden turn of events and quietly shook his head.

“Don’t worry honey,” he told his wife, who was carrying a child, as officers handcuffed him and led him from the courtroom.

“That’s not right,” one supporter said from the back of the courtroom before leaving in tears.

Blouin had found Sears and Your Ward News publisher LeRoy St. Germaine, 77, guilty in January of two hate counts each.

Evidence was that the free publication was distributed over three years to more than 300,000 homes and businesses in the Toronto area as well as online.

It consistently portrayed women as inferior and as inviting rape. It also promoted tropes of Jews drinking the blood of Christian children and denied the Holocaust occurred. Those themes continued even after the trial started, Blouin noted.

The Crown had called for the maximum six months on each count for a total one year for Sears.

The judge did deny a prosecution probation request to bar Sears from publishing Your Ward News. Such a ban would violate the constitutional right to free expression, Blouin said.

Hate Promotion

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Company walks away from massive oilsands project

VANCOUVER — Teck Resources Ltd. has withdrawn its application for a massive… Continue reading

Fort Macleod, Alta., to get special advance screening of new ‘Ghostbusters’ film

There will be something strange in the neighbourhood of Fort Macleod, Alta.,… Continue reading

Hundreds turn up at Coldest Night of Year walk in Red Deer

It wasn’t the coldest night of the year, which probably helped the… Continue reading

Police in Saskatoon shoot two dogs that attacked man, then advanced on officers

SASKATOON — Police in Saskatoon say officers had to open fire at… Continue reading

Alberta and two First Nations make deal for proposed oilsands mine

EDMONTON — The Alberta government has struck deals with two northern Alberta… Continue reading

Fashion Fridays: The 8 best quality online stores! Shop the ultimate sales

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Your community calendar

Feb. 19 A Liberation of Holland event is being held at the… Continue reading

Wranglers win wild Game 1 double OT thriller over Red Deer Vipers

The best-of-seven series continues Sunday in Sylvan Lake

Kings and Queens basketball triumph over Ambrose, keep playoff hopes alive

Guard Sandra Garica-Bernal sets new Queens all-time steals mark

Five things to watch for in the Canadian business world in the coming week

TORONTO — Five things to watch for in the Canadian business world… Continue reading

View of a longtime economist: Slower growth but no recession

WASHINGTON — In this high-profile election year, the U.S. economy boasts an… Continue reading

Amy, chasing: Klobuchar, already beating odds, faces uphill climb

WASHINGTON — It’s been a running gag ever since she launched her… Continue reading

B.C. money laundering inquiry to begin amid hopes for answers, accountability

VANCOUVER — British Columbia’s attorney general hopes an inquiry into money laundering… Continue reading

Russian spy case documents missing or destroyed, Canada’s info watchdog finds

OTTAWA — Federal officials lost or possibly destroyed sensitive records about the… Continue reading

Most Read