She must. She’s a veteran of politics, and has been in the game for a couple decades, both in Ottawa and in her home province of Newfoundland. She won re-election in 2015 with 82 percent of the vote. She has clearly been effective, or she wouldn’t be where she now is, which is sitting in the palatial offices of the Ministry of Public Services and Procurement across the river in Hull. She’s done pretty well.
Unfortunately for Foote, she is also answerable for Canada Post. Historically, the Minister of Public Services – or Public Works, as it was long known – has typically been responsible for that Crown corporation. It hasn’t been easy.
Canada Post, to most people in government – be they Liberal or Conservative – is a big pain in the ass. When I was Chief of Staff to the super-ministry that included Canada Post, we used to call them “the evil empire.”
Back then, we disapproved of Canada Post using taxpayer millions to advertise. They had no competitors in the home mail delivery business, I told their unctuous CEO once, so why does Canada Post need to advertise? They spent taxpayer money on private boxes in sports arenas. They spent tax dollars putting Canada Post’s logo on golf balls and golf clubs. They refused to fly the Canadian flag at post offices in Quebec, for fear of upsetting the separatists. And so on.
In recent years, there’s been more of the same. They’ve tried to cut home delivery for millions of Canadians, and they’ve plopped mausoleum-like “community mailboxes” far from peoples’ homes, so that your 80-year-old grandmother is obliged to trod through mountainous snow banks to get her mail. They’ve reported millions in losses, while simultaneously paying their new CEO half a million bucks yearly – and bonuses of up to one-third of his salary.
Oh, and they do business with a man who promotes Holocaust denial and racism and homophobia and sexual assault.
It’s true. For quite some time now, Canada Post has been getting paid to distribute a tabloid newspaper called Your Ward News to tens of thousands of homes in Toronto. Your Ward News is edited by a creep named James Sears. He has in the past pleaded guilty to sexual assault, and lost his licence to practise medicine for sexually assaulting patients.
Among other things, Sears has lately started appearing in public with one of the leaders of Canada’s neo-Nazi movement, Paul Fromm. Sears is also an unabashed Hitler enthusiast, and has called the gas chambers at Auschwitz a “lie.” And he has used Your Ward News – and Canada Post – to giddily encourage anti-Semitism, racism and (occasionally) sexual assault.
In his most recent issue, Sears published a photo of Jesus Christ seemingly preparing to sodomize a naked woman clutching a crucifix. In the same issue, he likens Christ to Hitler, and approvingly writes: “Hitler saw his own campaign against the Jews as a Christian fight for truth and justice.”
He entreats people to join his political movement, and “the war to expel the parasite,” by which he means Jews. He calls 9/11 a “lie” perpetrated by “ZioMarxists.” Oh, and he publishes one extraordinary glorification of misogyny and anti-Semitism beneath the headline: “THE LIBERAL PARTY’S MARXIST KOOL-AID IS SPIKED WITH SOPHIE TRUDEAU’S MENSTRUAL BLOOD.” That’s a quote.
For months, some of us – including our riding’s hard-working Liberal MP, Nate Erskine-Smith – have been attempting to get Judy Foote’s attention about all this, to no avail. I have contacted her “director of operations” on multiple occasions to try and get them – among other things – to stop Canada Post’s role in this travesty. No response (until this week, that is, when I finally got fed up and tweeted that Foote was ultimately responsible for James Sears’ willing business partner, Canada Post – and he finally replied, tersely acknowledging my objection: “Yes. On Twitter. Thanks.” That’s it.)
As a result, James Sears continues to promote hatred against identifiable groups with impunity. The new edition of Your Ward News should by landing in 77,000 Toronto mailboxes sometime this week.
Judy Foote clearly knows how to get herself elected, and how to acquire power.
It’s time for her start using it. When an organization she’s responsible for starts accepting money to distribute hatred and Holocaust denial, she’d damn well better.
Because, you know, Judy Foote cares about this problem.
Warren Kinsella is a Canadian journalist, political adviser and commentator.