Toronto (June 14, 2021) - Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) welcomes today's ruling by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, which dismissed the appeal of Your Ward News editor James Sears and publisher LeRoy St. Germaine who were convicted in 2019 for wilfully promoting hatred against women and Jewish people.
In the appeal, Sears and St. Germaine argued that they had not received a fair trial and that the trial judge presiding over the case had shown bias and had made a number of legal errors in convicting them. In the court ruling today, Superior Court Justice Peter Cavanagh flatly rejected these arguments, stating, “I am satisfied there is ample evidence by which the trial judge made his decision [to convict Sears and St. Germaine].”
"For years, the Jewish community, women and many other groups were victimized by this hate-filled newspaper that promoted everything from Holocaust denial to hateful conspiracy theories," said Michael Levitt, president and CEO of FSWC. "Today the court made the right decision in rejecting the appeal. Hate cannot be tolerated in our society, and those who perpetrate hate crimes must pay the price for their actions and cannot be shown leniency."
A representative from FSWC attended the virtual court session today.
In the years leading up to the convictions, FSWC was on the front lines meeting with police and calling on them to press hate crime charges against the editor and publisher of Your Ward News and ensure an end to the publication and distribution of the newspaper.