Operation: Stop Ward 31 News UPDATE #1


In the less than a week since I wrote about LeRoy St. Germaine's community paper Ward 31 News and his use of hate speech, I've been very gratified to have had four of his advertisers pull their ads and cut ties with the paper. A number of people have gotten in touch to let me know that they too are troubled and offended by Ward 31 News and will be joining the boycott of the paper's advertisers. This is all good news, but there is a long road ahead if we want to put a stop to this.

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has made a positive contribution thus far and to answer a few frequently asked questions.

I may not agree with him, but not liking gay adoption isn't "hate", is it?

In addition to condemning gay adoption (can you imagine if he said the same thing about a mixed race couple?) Smitherman is described in the editorial as being "infamous" for being our first openly gay city councillor.

"Infamous" is defined by Webster's as "having a reputation of the worst kind; disgraceful."

Under Canadian Law, hate speech is defined as any communication which disparages a person or a group on the basis of some characteristic such as race or sexual orientation.

I don't think it's a leap.

But I don't like Smitherman (or Davis, or Bussin, or insert-name-of-politician-here) why should I support them?

If you think this is about Smitherman (or anyone else that LeRoy St. Germaine sladers in his paper) personally, you are completely missing the point. As I stated in my original post, what worries me about this situation is not the politicians in question, but the kind of hate speech, that LeRoy St. Germaine so casually tossed around in the Smitherman editorial, being spread around my neighbourhood every month. I want to put a stop to it, and I want you to help.

Why do you hate small businesses?

I LOVE small businesses. I support them whenever possible. I have one of my own. This boycott is not designed to punish small businesses, but to help let them know that there are MUCH better places to spend their advertising dollars. In addition, I'm encouraging everyone involved in the boycott to support the businesses that pull their ads. With that in mind, a big round of applause for these trailblazers:

D&G Trophies
1517 O'Connor Drive

The Feathers Pub
926 Kingston Road

TNT Custom Contracting

IGS Systems
1268 Danforth Avenue

I'd like to read the full editorial? Is it online?

The Ward 31 News website has not been updated since March. At the end of this post is a scanned copy of the editorial in question, from the front page of the May 2010 edition. Click on the jpeg to make it legible.

What can I do to help?

Tell your friends. Spread the word via email, Facebook, Twitter, your blog, even if you (or your friends) don't live in the neighbourhood.

Write or call the advertisers to let them know you are joining the boycott. Money talks...and without the advertisers' dollars Ward 31 News will have to cease publication. Just a little action on your part can help make that happen!


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