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Sandy Shindleman


by Rhonda Spivak, April 10, 2013

When I first learned in the news that Sandy and Robert Shindleman were suing Gordon Warren for defamation and were seeking an injunction to prevent him from continuing to author posters and emails about them (which also have named others in the Jewish community) I contacted Sandy Shindleman.

In the course of a conversation, I indicated that I had received a number of emails from Gordon Warren which I had not published, but I had saved over the course of the last 6-7 months as they had what I considered to be anti-Semitic and racist content. I offered to go through my emails and collect all those that I had and provide them to Shindelmans' lawyer Robert Tapper. These were all emails that I received to my address at [email protected].

Since I have been trained and previously worked as a lawyer, I realized that it was possible that I could have in my possession evidence that would be relevant in the case, and I began collecting the emails and sending them to Tapper. I realized that as an editor I may well have received emails that others in the Jewish community did not, and I had made a special point of making sure that I did not delete any of  what I believed to be Warren's emails, even if I had chosen at the time not to publish them for a variety of reasons. 

As an editor of a Winnipeg Jewish community publication I felt and continue to feel that it was important for me to stand up and be counted. When I was asked by Tapper to swear an affidavit in the case I agreed.

I could have chosen to stay silent and done nothing. But I did not think it was the right thing to do and I believed that silence would have poorly served the Jewish community in this regard.

I think that the persistence of Gordon Warren’s posters, emails, and hate filled postings have been troubling to say the least. I swore the affidavit, because I believed that it is in the interests not only of the Shindlemans' as individuals but of the Jewish community as a whole to have provided this evidence.

It is also in the interest of Winnipeg as a city to not tolerate racist or anti-Semitic remarks. Unfortunately, the statistics are that relative to their numbers, more than any other minority, Jews are the target of hate speech.

I spoke with Robert Tapper on April 8, the day of the hearing’s decision and he informed me that one of the emails that I provided which he felt was important (and was not one that would have otherwise have been in evidence before the court) was an email that I received just before WE DAY on October 31, 2013 that referred in particular to “THE FINAL SOLUTION."

What is important here is that Chief Justice of the Court of Queen's Bench Glenn Joyal has concluded that Warren’s writing constituted hate speech and that there is no likelihood that they could ever be defended in the defamation suit against him.

It should be noted that Warren, who was representing himself, failed to file a statement of defence or to submit any evidence or affidavits to counter the Shindlemans’ case against him.

It is fitting in my view that as Holocaust Remembrance Week began, and ceremonies to mark the event were being held at the Manitoba Legislature on April 8, 2013, not far away on the same day, a court of law issued an injunction to stop the persistent postings by Warren of hate-filled messages relating to Jews. The timing of the two events is rather remarkable.

The Winnipeg Free Press reported that "Joyal said he wanted the terms of the injunction to stop Warren from linking his racist comments to the Shindlemans, but he was concerned in going too far in his restrictions. Joyal said Warren should be free to write or talk about published news items about the brothers."

“Tapper said Warren had improperly linked the Shindleman brothers with corruption and racist and anti-Semitic statements, describing the writing as filth that cannot be tolerated in a democratic society."

For those of readers who want to know more about Warren, he lists his occupation as "spokesman/founder " of Eco Friends of Canada, on the latter's website, which says that the organization hoped to acquire the Canadian Museum of Human Rights building at the Forks in Winnipeg and have the museum relocated to the expanding Winnipeg Convention Centre.

In a post Warren made on January 14, he wrote:

"I had spent a considerable amount of time and effort putting a consortium together, only to realize that Ottawa has stubbornly supported its deadbeat anchor tenant, Friends of Canadian Museum for Human Rights.

 It was my hope that we could one day acquire this facility (see earlier posts) in order to create a new ecology and economy for the 21st century."

Warren has a Masters in Post Modern theology and biblical studies and garnered a mere 264 votes when he ran for Winnipeg city councillor in 2010.


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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.