Your Ward News publisher avoids jail time for hatred against Jews, women

While denying he ever incited hate against women and Jews, Your Ward News publisher Leroy St. Germaine said he'll abide by his conditions after avoiding jail time at his sentencing hearing.

"I would be a fool not to," St. Germaine said, after being sentenced to a conditional sentence of 12 months house arrest.

Earlier this year, the 77-year-old St. Germaine and his editor-in-chief James Sears were found guilty of wilful promotion of hate against both women and Jews. 

Last week, Sears received a year in jail, although he was released on bail pending an appeal. 

Because of multiple mitigating factors, St. Germaine was given house arrest with conditions. 

Although all the content on the site was taken down as part of Sears' sentence, St. Germaine is technically able to publish on the site. 

"I don't do any writing, but what I may do is publish what I used to publish prior to that," he said, regarding his partnership with Sears. 

The Your Ward News case is believed to be the first of its kind in which a guilty charge was levelled regarding hatred against women. 

But St. Germaine maintained that his only concern with the site was finding content based in truth, even when challenged on the subject of Holocaust denial. 

"I don't know, I've read all kinds of stuff about it and I've said this doesn't make sense, that doesn't make sense," he said. "I think it happened, I just disagree completely with the Hollywood narrative." 

Justice Richard Blouin based his sentence on St. Germaine's age, health problems and that he only published the content, while Sears wrote it.

But the most significant reason was the Gladue factor; the consideration of First Nations heritage when it comes to sentencing. 

NEWSTALK1010 Legal Analyst Ed Prutschi said while it's always considered by judges in all sorts of cases when it comes to Aboriginal offenders, there's a particular irony with St. Germaine. 

"The accused here has been convicted of hate crimes in and of themselves, that's the kind of thing that more often than not, we see Indigenous and Metis peoples in Canada be the victim of, and yet here he's the perpetrator," he said.

Crown Attorney Jamie Klukach said while they were seeking six months in jail, she's pleased with the sentence. 

"It's a fairly restrictive sentence, he's confined to his home 24/7 with exceptions," she said, including going food shopping, legal and medical appointments. "It's fairly onerous." 

As for Sears, defense lawyer Ian McCuaig - who represents St. Germaine and was only involved with Sears' appeal - said the court clearly decided there's an arguable issue that Sears deserved the chance. 

"He deserves to be out while he explores that, because otherwise, he might in fact serve an entire sentence and then have it found that either the sentence imposed was too long, or that this sentence shouldn't have been imposed at all," he said. "An educated member of the public should realize we have to get these things right."