03.11.2016 08:44 AM

Did someone mislead a Parliamentary committee?

As most of you know, some of us have been speaking out against the decision of Canada Post to take money to distribute the racist, homophobic, Holocaust-denying Hitlerite rag, Your Ward News.  I’ve written extensively about their content – here and here and here – and my brother Richard Warman is now going after them legally.  Me too.

Yesterday, Judy Foote – the minister responsible for Canada Post, and the minister who hasn’t stopped Holocaust denial from landing in tens of thousands of Toronto-area mailboxes – appeared before a Parliamentary committee.  She was asked about Your Ward News by former cabinet minister Steven Blaney.

Here’s Liz Thompson’s account in iPolitics:

During her testimony, Foote was also questioned on another thorny issue involving Canada Post and controversial mailings of a publication entitled “Your Ward News.” Critics of the publication have accused it of publishing material that promotes Holocaust denial, racism, homophobia and sexual assault.

Steven Blaney, Conservative MP and former Public Safety Minister, asked Foote why Canada Post is distributing the publication, which goes to homes in the Toronto area.

Foote said she shared Blaney’s concerns.

“I am aware of the situation and I too have issues with the information that is being distributed – so much so that we have asked for a legal opinion on the content to see if there is any criminal aspect to it. I am concerned about the content.”

“We have talked to Canada Post and my understanding is that there was an incident where they had where they had legal advice and there wasn’t an issue that would have them withdraw it. But now that there is another piece of literature that is being disseminated, there are concerns. I too have concerns with it and we have asked for a legal opinion”

She gave that answer yesterday afternoon.  I find that timing interesting.

Here’s why: at 9:26 a.m. yesterday, six hours before Foote appeared before the committee – and long enough for Canada Post to have briefed her, because Canada Post was on the agenda at committee – Canada Post’s “Vice-President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary” issued a letter in which he stated that Canada Post had rendered all of the “legal opinions” on Your Ward News they were going to render. And they had decided, yet again, to do nothing.

So, I’m curious: did Canada Post deliberately withhold that information from their own minister?  Or did Foote tell the committee something that was, put charitably, factually incorrect?

Confused? Me too:

  • Foote says “another piece of literature” (it’s not literature, it’s hate propaganda, Judy) is still actively being reviewed by Canada Post’s crackerjack legal team – to wit, “we have asked for a legal opinion.”  She’s on the case!
  • Canada Post’s crackerjack legal team, however, has said in a letter that it has reviewed all that it is going to review – to wit, “it is a matter for the Courts decide, not Canada Post.” That is, they’ve washed their hands of it.  They’re not reviewing anything.

So who is telling the truth?  A legal review is happening, or no one is reviewing anything, legally or otherwise?  Which is it?

This case gets curiouser and curiouser.

I can tell you one thing: Richard and me – and many others – are not going to let this go.  We don’t give a damn who the government is.

25 Comments

  1. Art says:

    The question is, why would a minister, Liberal or othwise lie or condone this type of thing? Personally, I don’t believe they would. Therefore, something wierd is going on. It seems inexplicable.

    • Kelly says:

      Agreed. Why wouldn’t the government be all over this? It’s the right thing to do, in every way. Morally, legally and politically. So what if YWN tries to sue the government and Canada Post. It’s a political win…WE are taking action while the Cons did nothing about it for years. If this continues long enough my guess is Trudeau will get involved (or at least Mr. Butts) and Ms. Foote will be sent to the corner for a while.

    • e.a.f. says:

      I think a Cabinet Minister would condon anything they thought they could get away with.

      In this case the Cabinet Minister is new, but she ought to have gotten up to speed on this and not from a Canada Post person. She ought to have sought “legal opinions” from others. Canada Post seems quite O.K. with this rag. its been going out for some time. We ought to remember these people at Canada Post were harpercon appointees. Its up to the new Liberal Cabinet minister to make changes.

      Canada Post needs to understand there is a new boss in town. If they don’t understand that, perhaps the new Cabinet mInister either makes her mark and position known, or her boss, replaces her with someone who can.

      Trying to deal with Canada Post is like going to war, so I’d suggest they give Canada Post to the Minister of Defense. Its time to clean it up.

      dealing with Canada Post is difficult, this much I do understand, but their continuing to distribute this hate mail, is a tad over the edge. From other sources, it came to my attention that one of the Postal Carriers objected to having to deliver this and he and his union were told, do it or be fired.

      I think it is not unreasonable to conclude someone at Canada Post thinks this stuff is O.K. to deliver. That person needs to go, NOW

  2. Derek Pearce says:

    They could be thinking– and I disagree with Canada Post’s & Foote’s approach if this is what they have decided– but they could be thinking “we’re ending up in court either way– if we stop distributing the rag, Sears will take us to court while if we keep distributing it Warman will take us to court. So we might as well go with the latter and make a buck from the rag in the meantime.” Despicable to be sure. I wish they’d just be honest about this money grubbing route to the eventual same result, namely the rag will in the end not be distributed by CP.

    • Warren says:

      If that’s their strategy, it’s beyond idiotic.

      Holocaust denial is a crime – cf. SCC in R. v. Keegstra. Your Ward News denies the Holocaust more aggressively than Keegstra did.

      Canada Post is facilitating a crime.

      They can stop this if they wanted to, as they did the anti-Trudeau/anti-abortion flyer in Saskatchewan in Summer 2015.

      They don’t want to.

    • Matt says:

      But what would have better optics:

      Ending up in court being sued by the guys responsible for this hate rag because you stopped this shit from being distributed by Canada Post

      or

      Ending up in court because citizens are suing you for NOT stopping distribution of this hate rag by Canada Post

      Choice seems pretty obvious to me.

  3. Lauren says:

    I would be very interested to see the letter issued by Canada Post. Where could I find it?

  4. doconnor says:

    Taking this to court would give them a lot of publicity and bring their views to a lot more people then they can afford to reach by mail. By the time the Supreme Court of Canada rules one way or the other many years from now the actual mailer will have been long forgotten.

    They are probably trying to wait for them to run out of money and go away quietly.

    • Warren says:

      Really? That so? They’ve just expanded their delivery area to half of Toronto. hey have access to a fortune to distribute this shit.

      So, no, the ostrich strategy won’t – and hasn’t – worked.

      Take off your partisan blinders.

    • Nosferatu200 says:

      Hoping the bad guys get bored or run out of money doesn’t work and never has worked. To deal with evil you expose it and you fight it.

  5. Kenz0s says:

    This story reeks of crappy legal advice, the previous government’s abandonment of ethics and bureaucratic bumbling, fumbling and obfuscation. Now add political incompetence of the new Minister.

    To hide behind a “contractual obligation” for something like this, is the ultimate political cop-out. There is a bigger contract in play, it’s called The Charter. Idiots.

  6. SamIam says:

    I am aware of another case proceeding through the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta in Edmonton concerning Canada Post supervisors and one of their employees, who is alleging harassment. Even though Canada Post is not named as a Defendent, Canada Post is footing the defence bill which could turn out quite astronomical if it goes to trial. I have been told Foote is aware of this and also has done nothing about it.

    My theory is that now that Chopra’s new 5 year, $500K/year contract has started (February 1, 2016; was inked by Harper in July 2015), he could get a nice severance if Trudeau decides to dump him.

    http://ottawacitizen.com/news/national/canada-post-president-gets-new-500k-contract

    • SamIam says:

      BTW,

      Something strange happening over in their Legal Department which the Vice-President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, is head of. He is the third to occupy that position in less than six months.

    • Nosferatu200 says:

      “My theory is that now that Chopra’s new 5 year, $500K/year contract has started (February 1, 2016; was inked by Harper in July 2015), he could get a nice severance if Trudeau decides to dump him.”

      And the Conservatives destroyed David Dingwall because of a pack of gum….

      • e.a.f. says:

        Chopra is overpaid. Fire the guy. He isn’t doing his job. Can’t stop the hate mail from going out. He’s not doing his job.

        The new government can simply change his job description and he will leave. he can be fired on the grounds he just isnt’ in line with the new employer’s ideas. they do it all the time in private industry. It isn’t like the guy belongs to the Union.

        $500K for head of Canada Post is way too much. They were going to gut door to door delivery to save money, well they can start by firing this guy and the 22 vice presidents and restore door to door without the hate mail. A big win all around. The guy wants to sue, let him. The federal government has a whole legal dept.

  7. Marc-André Chiasson says:

    Looks like other Crown Corporations are using the same “crackerjack legal team”. The Canadian Broadcorping Castration sided with the anti-French bigots and racists yesterday by reacting flaccidly to the situation below. The CBC’s director of digital news basically said that they would henceforth monitor things more carefully. Yet, not so long ago, the CBC decided to shut down its public forums regarding aboriginals because of all the hateful comments. The comment sections of many large media in Canada have sadly become the repository for all that is wicked and slimy in this country. I’m just waiting for the next unfortunate soul from The Friends of the CBC to call me for a donation.
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/francophone-comments-cbc-online-1.3485621

  8. Marc-Andre Chiasson says:

    It seems that the same “crackerjack legal team” is also working for a few other crown corporations. In a flaccid mailed response to the unfortunate situation outlined in the link below, the Canadian Broadcorping Castration’s director of digital media has sided with the camp of contempt, intolerance and division. Yet, not so long ago, the CBC shut down their forums where aboriginals were constantly being smeared in a similar manner. It is sad that the comments sections in some media have become the repositories and harbours of intolerance for much of the slime floating around in Canada. I am impatiently awaiting the next call from some unfortunate canvasser for The Friends of the CBC. I hasten to add that Radio-Canada Acadie does a much better job of monitoring its comments section.

    http://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/canada/new-brunswick/francophone-comments-cbc-online-1.3485621

  9. Marc-Andre Chiasson says:

    Sorry for the double post. The first one was not showing up so I went ahead and rewrote it. Guess it shows that I’m doubly pissed off.

  10. Tomasz Winnicki says:

    You leftists ought to familiarize yourself with the term “bigotry”. See http://thefreedictionary.com/bigotry

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