Canada Post distributing hate propaganda, Ottawa lawyer complains
Published Monday, April 25, 2016 8:06AM EDT
An Ottawa lawyer has filed a human rights complaint against Canada Post and the Canadian government over the distribution of a newsletter he says is filled with simple hate propaganda.
Richard Warman says “Your Ward News,” which is distributed to approximately 80,000 homes in east Toronto, contains misogynist, homophobic, anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic hate.
The free newsletter says it is “dedicated to holding city councillors accountable to their constituents,” yet typically speaks of such things as “the hidden Holocaust” against white people.
The latest issue, for example, accuses Prime Minster Justin Trudeau of receiving his “marching orders from a ‘Shadow Government’ made up of Fascist Globalists hell-bent on erasing our culture and decimating our economy.”
Warman says he filed the complaint alleging that Canada Post is in violation of human-rights law by continuing to ask postal workers to deliver the newsletter.
“Under the Human Rights Act, it’s illegal for a business like Canada Post to distribute hate propaganda either in the workplace or into the public, and Canada Post is doing both,” Warman told CTV’s Canada AM on Monday.
Responding to previous complaints about the newsletter, Canada Post has argued that it is only responsible for delivering the mail, not for vetting its content. Warman says he disagrees.
“I think that’s wrong both legally and morally,” he said.
The federal government has agreed to numerous international and legal agreements that obligate them to suppress hate propaganda, “not profit by its delivery,” says Warman.
Warman says employees with CUPW, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, have objected to delivering the newsletter since March, 2015, when Canada Post first agreed to distribute the paper door-to-door.
“That’s the worst thing about it. Canada Post has known since the beginning when they started delivering this that the material is hate propaganda,” Warman said.
He says it’s his understanding that some employees have even been told they could be subjected to discipline or dismissal if they refuse to distribute it.
On Friday, the union released a statement calling the filing of the human rights complaint “encouraging” to union members.
"Postal workers don't pick and choose which materials to carry. If Canada Post accepts it, we deliver," union president Mike Palecek said in the statement.
"But many of us are fed up with being part of the distribution network for hateful material like Your Ward News."
Warman says he wrote to Canada Post in March, outlining in detail why he believes that distributing the newsletter is against the Crown corporation’s own regulations that deal with what can and cannot be mailed.
When he didn’t receive a response from Canada Post president Deepak Chopra and Judy Foote, the minister responsible for Canada Post, he filed a formal complaint with the Human Rights Commission on Friday.
How long it will take for the complaint to be heard remains to be seen. The Commission must seek a response from Canada Post and the federal government before deciding whether to proceed.
“If they decide it merits further inquiry, they will refer the matter to the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal for a formal hearing,” he said.