Notorious anti-LBGTQ+ activist Bill Whatcott ordered to pay $55,000 for anti-trans flyers
While victory sets a strong legal precedent, it also underscores need for better legislation
March 28, 2019
Canadian Anti-Hate Network
On March 27, the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal ruled that notorious homophobe Bill Whatcott’s anti-trans flyers targeting Morgane Oger were a discriminatory publication likely to expose a person or a group or class of persons to hatred or contempt. The Tribunal has ordered Whatcott to pay Oger a total of $55,000.
Oger ran as the NDP Candidate in Vancouver – False Creek in 2017. During her campaign Whatcott distributed 1500 copies of an anti-LGBTQ+ flyer referring to Morgane as a “transvestite” in the riding and published it online. She lost the election by 400 votes.
Whatcott is well known for his anti-LGBTQ+ screeds and is no stranger to courtrooms. In 2013 he was the subject of a Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) case as the result of flyers, one of which was titled “Keep Homosexuality out of Saskatoon’s Public Schools!”. This resulted in the SCC upholding Canada’s hate speech laws as constitutional. In June of 2018 Whatcott was charged by the Toronto Police Service for infiltrating the Toronto Pride Parade under a fake name in 2016 to hand out ‘anti-sodomy’ pamphlets.
Neo-Nazi Paul Fromm came to Whatcott’s defence as an intervenor in the case under the auspices of his organization, the Canadian Association for Free Expression (CAFE). The Tribunal writes: “the intervention was not helpful and at times constituted an unwelcome and inflammatory distraction.” Further, “CAFE’s comments about Ms. Oger are completely improper and could fairly be the subject of a costs award if made by a party.” CAFE has been recognized as an intervenor in several cases.
Oger’s lawyer Susanna Allevato Quail tells the Toronto Star that the ruling in Oger’s favour sets a legal precedent that it’s not “a legitimate subject of public debate whether or not it’s OK to be transgender or whether transgender people are real.”
While this is a victory for human rights in Canada, not every province has this legislation; legal fees are expensive; and even if the wronged party wins and is awarded restitution and/or costs, they may never recover enough money from the people that wronged them to cover their legal expenses.
Bringing back Section 13 (s. 13) of the Canadian Human Rights Act is one solution which is currently being considered by the House of Commons Justice Committee.
S. 13 made it possible for any Canadian to make a complaint to the Canadian Human Rights Commission regarding individuals or groups communicating hate online. If the CHRC found the complaint to be reasonable, it would go to the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, a semi-judicial body which could order a cease and desist and a small fine. If the individual refused to stop, they would be in contempt of court and may face jail time.
Canadian Anti-Hate Member board member Richard Warman researched, filed, and litigated 16 successful complaints against online hate and the individuals and groups responsible under s. 13, resulting in a generation of hatemongers being forced offline.
This legal tool to address the spread of hatred was found constitutional by the Supreme Court, but removed by the Conservative government nonetheless in 2013. There are relatively few tools to address unrepentant hate propagandists in its absence.
The Canadian Anti-Hate Network supports bringing back s. 13, but notes that it will only be a successful tool if the CHRC and Tribunal are sufficiently resourced.
James Sears and Leroy St Germaine have been found guilty of wilfully promoting hatred towards women and Jews. What follows are key passages from the 11 June 2018, 37-page expert report by Professor Derek Penslar on anti-Jewish hate propaganda published by James Sears (aka Dimitrious Sarafopoulos) and Leroy St Germaine in Toronto tabloid newspaper Your Ward News.
This summary was originally published at http://www.richardwarman.ca/penslar-expert-report-on-your-ward-news-anti-jewish-hate/ by Canadian Anti-Hate Network board member and human rights lawyer Richard Warman.
The report was prepared as part of the criminal prosecution against Sears and St Germaine for the wilful promotion of hate contrary to s. 319 of the Criminal Code of Canada. The report dissects the anti-Jewish hate propaganda content of Your Ward News and places it in the historical context from which Sears and St Germaine found inspiration. Both Sears and St Germaine were found guilty and the full criminal judgment can be found here.
Penslar Report Key Excerpts:
The full 37-page Penslar Report is here.
My name is Derek Jonathan Penslar. I am the Samuel Zacks Professor of European Jewish History at the University of Toronto and a Visiting Professor of History at Harvard University. On July 1, 2018, I will assume a permanent appointment at Harvard as the William Lee Frost Professor of Modern Jewish History. I hold a B.A. in History from Stanford University, and an MA and PhD in History from the University of California at Berkeley. In addition to Toronto and Harvard, I have taught at Indiana University, Bloomington, where I was a professor of history and of Jewish studies, and at the University of Oxford, where I was the Stanley Lewis Professor of Modern Israel Studies. I have research and teaching expertise in the history of Jewish civilization, Jewish-Christian relations in medieval and modern Europe, antisemitism, the Holocaust, and the state of Israel.
As per your request, I have studied all issues of Your Ward News (hereafter, YWN) published between 2015 and Spring 2018 and have considered whether YWN’s language and imagery are antisemitic. I have read YWN against the background of my intimate familiarity with antisemitic texts and images produced in Europe, North America, and the Middle East over several centuries. My reading is also informed by a substantial body of scholarly literature on antisemitism, some of which I have authored or edited.1 Based on my reading, I have determined that YWN espouses antisemitic doctrines and that both its textual and visual representations of Jews are rooted in antisemitic concepts with a long historical pedigree. I have further determined that YWN’s antisemitic rhetoric frequently echoes or resembles language employed by neo-Nazi extremists in the United States and disseminated either in print or, more recently, via the internet.
YWN consistently expresses hatred of Jews via five distinct yet overlapping mechanisms:
1) Expressions of revulsion against the Jewish faith and its practitioners;
2) Accusations that Jews were collectively responsible for Bolshevik
atrocities in the USSR;
3) Claims of Jewish conspiracies to conquer and control humanity, especially through banking and finance;
4) Demonization of the state of Israel; and
5) Holocaust denial.
Undergirding these five forms of antisemitic expression is a consistent and explicit admiration for Nazism in general and the
German dictator Adolph Hitler in particular. Since antisemitism was a key component of German National Socialism and motivated the Nazis’ persecution and genocide of European Jewry, YWN’s emulation of Nazi Germany deepens and intensifies the various forms of Jew-hatred that the newspaper espouses.
The scope and range of conspiracies attributed by YWN to the Jews is part and parcel of modern antisemitic thinking. The classic antisemitic texts mentioned earlier in this section presented Jews as responsible for the cruelties of communism and capitalism alike, for the decline in religious observance and other rapidly changing social mores, for any form of art, literature, or cinema that they found avant-garde and distasteful, and for universalistic (as opposed to militant-nationalist) political ideologies. In neo-Nazi writings of our own day, Jews are associated with contemporary processes of social and cultural transformation, such as globalization, mass migration, racial and economic protest, feminism, and gender fluidity. In antisemitic thought, Jews are akin to a universal solvent, which eats away at any social mooring. Antisemitism’s hatred of the Jews rests in fear of what antisemites believe to be Jewish preternatural power and unshakable determination to attain global domination. In its most recent iteration, antisemitism maintains the fear of internationalism, be it governmental (e.g., the United Nations) or economic (transnational corporations).
In this report I have demonstrated linkages between YWN and a long historical legacy of antisemitic writings. YWN’s depictions of Jews are consonant with antisemitism as set out in the IHRA’s definition with which I began this report. YWN makes “mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as a collective.” It preaches numerous myths “about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.” YWN presents the state of Israel as a point of origin of or prime beneficiary of these conspiracies. In its writings on politically-motivated persecutions in the former Soviet Union’s security services, YWN “accuses Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group, or even for acts committed by non-Jews.” YWN explicitly denies “the fact, scope, mechanisms (e.g. gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II (the Holocaust).” Moreover, it “accuses the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust. In its depictions of Jews, YWN resembles a variety of North American neo-Nazi publications that, since the 1970s, have preached antisemitism as a prominent component of a fearful, hateful, and conspiratorial world-view.
Judge rules that James Sears and LeRoy St. Germaine are guilty of two counts of wilfully promoting hate towards women and Jews.
"Sears, 55, a former doctor and pickup artist, was found guilty of promoting hatred against women and Jewish people."
One of the less offensive images from the pages of Your Ward News.
Canada Post should donate the hundreds of thousands of dollars they earned delivering hate propaganda to anti-hate efforts
November 28, 2018
A relatively inoffensive image on the home page of the Your Ward News website.
Carla Qualtrough, the Minister in charge of Canada Post has issued a final order that the neo-Nazi newspaper Your Ward News can’t be sent out through Canada Post’s bulk mail program anymore.
Before the ban, Canada Post is believed to have earned hundreds of thousands of dollars to deliver Your Ward News. We are calling on Minister Carla Qualtrough and Canada Post to donate the proceeds for distributing hate propaganda to organizations that work to counter hate groups and promote equality and multiculturalism in Canada.
Your Ward News spread hatred towards women, Jews, Muslims, LGBTQ+ persons and other groups of Canadians. It encouraged raping women, compared Jews to Satan, and pictured its critics in a gas chamber. The hate propaganda was so bad, its editor and publisher were ultimately charged criminally for the wilful promotion of hate propaganda and their trial starts today in Toronto.
From March 2015 to May 2016, Canada Post delivered individual issues of Your Ward News to as many as 300,000 households in Toronto per edition.
Canada Post started receiving complaints immediately from postal workers and the community about the fact they were delivering hate propaganda. Canada Post incorrectly claimed it wasn’t their job to review mail. Your Ward News was an open newspaper and its content was self-evident from each cover. Canada Post’s own regulations bar people from using the mail to break any law and Canada Post must respect the Canadian Human Rights Act that prohibits them from discriminating against or harassing their employees or the public on the basis of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, etc. If Canada Post had really felt their hands were tied, they could have asked the Minister to review the problem.
But Canada Post didn’t stop delivering Your Ward News voluntarily. Minister Qualtrough, had to issue an order prohibiting them from continuing. The order was then appealed by the editor and publisher of Your Ward News, triggering a lengthy Board of Review process.
The independent Board of Review was composed of two lawyers and a political science professor. While not a criminal court, they found that Your Ward News is likely criminal hate propaganda and the postal ban was justified.
While community advocacy was ultimately successful, Canada Post profited from delivering hate propaganda for sixteen months before being forced to stop. During the Board of Review process, one of the delivery contracts for Your Ward News was disclosed and indicated Canada Post was paid in excess of $40,000 to deliver one edition. While earlier editions were not as large, Canada Post delivered the paper 14 times and therefore likely earned hundreds of thousands of dollars in total.
Now, Canada Post and Minister Qualtrough have the opportunity to invest that money earned by distributing hate propaganda into efforts to fight overt hatred towards groups of Canadians.
James Sears (editor) and Leroy St. Germaine (publisher) have been charged with the wilful promotion of hate, Canadian Criminal Code S319(2). Sears is appearing in court today (November 28, 2018) at the College Park courthouse, room 508 at 10AM.
Anti-Muslim blogger facing hate crime charge ran for mayor of Mississauga and came in second place
Kevin J. Johnston’s next court date is later this month
November 8, 2018
Kevin J. Johnston selling Faith Goldy for mayor t-shirts.
Elections in Ontario last month drew international media attention to the failed candidacy of Faith Goldy, a self-proclaimed propagandist for the alt-right neo-Nazi movement. Although she ended the Toronto mayoral race in distant third place, she received more than 25,000 votes, or 3.4 per cent of the total ballots cast.
In nearby Mississauga, Canada’s sixth largest city, anti-Muslim blogger Kevin J. Johnston came second in the mayoral race, securing 13.5 per cent of the vote — despite facing a hate crime charge.
For many, Johnston may have been the default protest vote against Mayor Bonnie Crombie. The third-place candidate received less than 4 per cent of the vote.
Police charged Johnston in June 2017 with wilful promotion of hatred against Muslims following a five-month investigation. The case is still before the courts. If convicted, he could face up to two years in prison.
Johnston’s record of anti-Muslim activism goes back several years.
In 2015, he led a racist campaign against a proposed mosque in Mississauga. On his website StopTheMosque.com, Johnston claimed without evidence that the Meadowvale Islamic Centre would lead to an increase in vandalism and sexual assaults, and that the mosque’s presence would erode free speech and women’s rights. He published an article on his website in 2016 baselessly accusing Muslim high school students of widespread sexual assault against their classmates and inciting Mississauga residents to “take the law into your own hands.”
Johnston publishes daily videos on his website, where he has called for violence and harassment against Muslims. In early 2017, he offered a $1,000 bounty for videos of Muslim children praying in Peel Region schools. In another video, according to the Toronto Star, Johnston said it was time to “take our masculinity back and beat the living hell out of Muslims.”
“Pin them down on the ground, and beat them until they pass out. And when they’re passed out, you beat them further; and when they’re on the ground passed out, kick them, break a kneecap, break an elbow, press their hands backwards turn their wrists sideways, start breaking these guys down,” Johnston said in the video.
Leila Nasr, the communications coordinator for the National Council of Canadian Muslims, said such quotes underline how disturbing it is that Johnston received 16,079 votes for mayor.
“Mississauga is an incredibly diverse community with a significant Muslim population, which makes the vile sentiments expressed by Mr. Johnston even more concerning to us,” Nasr told the Canadian Anti-Hate Network. “Like many in the community we are very troubled that these elements not only exist, but have increased in prominence so quickly.”
Johnston also regularly attacks women, the LGBTQ+ community, and others. His videos rarely receive more than a few hundreds views online, and his crowdfunded Patreon account receives a paltry $31 a month from supporters. Johnston has appeared on Rebel Media shows and until at least December of 2017, he co-hosted a YouTube series called Rebel Yell with Rebel correspondent David Menzies. He has also been a guest on the far-right conspiracy outlet InfoWars.
Johnston previously ran for mayor of Mississauga in 2014, when he came in 11th place with 741 votes, comprising 0.5% of the final tally. His second-place finish last month marks a dramatic increase in support.
Johnston’s campaign appeared to downplay his inflammatory views. On his campaign website, Johnston listed housing, crime, and transportation issues as some of his top priorities. Johnston claims he would have won if the media covered his campaign. He was not invited to the main election debate, held at the University of Toronto’s Mississauga campus. The Mississauga News published an op-ed by Johnston about his campaign that didn’t mention his hate crime charge and ran without any sort of editorial note.
In an interview with the Canadian Anti-Hate Network, Johnston said that while his campaign website highlighted local issues, he did not hide his views about Islam and other social issues during private conversations with Mississauga voters. He claims to have taken part in over 100 public speaking engagements.
Unlike in 2014, Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie did not face an established opponent in the election and won re-election with 77% of the vote, suggesting Johnston benefited as the default alternative or protest vote against the incumbent from voters who may not have been aware of his record.
“In the better part of 15,000 people I spoke to over the course of five months,” says Johnston, “everyone said the same thing - they hate Bonnie Crombie - they just didn’t know who the alternative was.”
Johnston continues to produce videos targeting Muslims, LGBTQ+ persons and others and said he plans to run more political campaigns in the future, as well as finish a documentary that denies Myanmar is carrying out a campaign of what the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights called “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing" against the country’s Muslim Rohingya minority. Johnston was allowed into the country to work on this ‘documentary’, escorted by military handlers, while Reuters journalists were imprisoned.
Johnston livestreamed our interview on his Youtube and Facebook channels. In the same video he says that “LGBTQ laws” would legalize the rape of four-year-olds by adult men. At other points in the interview and his subsequent monologue, Johnston said Islam is not a religion but a political ideology, and that he refuses to eat halal meat or fly on airplanes with Muslim pilots. In response to a viewer question, he encouraged parents to train their children to respond to bullying with extreme violence such as breaking bones, adding that the children’s criminal records would be expunged at age 18 anyway. In arguing for the superiority of “Western culture,” Johnston said: "African culture right now is to just walk around the country and kill white people. Rape them first, then kill them second." He described new immigrants from Muslim-majority countries as violent “psychopaths.”
"We have imported 100,000 psychopaths into this country and they're going to choke you, they're going to hit your kids, they're going to lift your daughters' skirts up and grab their asses," Johnston said.
Johnston says his lawyer was recently in court to receive disclosure from the crown regarding the hate crime charge and that there will be another court date at the end of November to review that disclosure.
Asked about the election result, Mississauga Mayor Crombie said the city remains a place where diversity is respected: “I think we can all be more vigilant to call out hate and discrimination and to better vet our candidates for office.”
The Toronto Police Service has reportedly charged notorious homophobe Bill Whatcott for Public Incitement of Hatred, aka hate speech. Whatcott infiltrated Toronto Pride under a fake name in 2016 to hand out ‘anti-sodomy’ pamphlets.Read more