James Sears

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James Sears
Born
Dimitrious Sarafopoulos

(1963-09-14) September 14, 1963 (age 56)
NationalityCanadian
Other names"Dimitri the Lover"
Occupationphysician (license revoked)
Criminal statusConvicted January 24, 2019, sentenced August 22, 2019. Released on bail pending appeal
Conviction(s)2 counts of willful promotion of hate
Criminal penalty1 year imprisonment (6 months each count, served consecutively)

James Nicholas Sears (born Dimitrious Sarafopoulos;[1] September 14, 1963)[2][3] is a Canadian perennial candidate, and a professional pickup artist under the pseudonym Dimitri the Lover. He was the editor of an antisemitic tabloid promoting his own New Constitution Party. The newspaper, titled Your Ward News, was barred from distribution by Canada Post in 2016, and Sears was convicted of willful promotion of hate in 2019. On the day of the ruling, Twitter suspended his account @dimitrithelover. On August 22, 2019 he was sentenced to imprisonment for one year.[4] On August 27, 2019, Sears was released on bail pending the hearing of his appeal.[5]

Medical background[edit]

Sears was trained as a physician and described himself as a retired Canadian Armed Forces Medical Officer (Captain).[1] In the 1980s while a medical student with the Canadian Armed Forces, Sears was noted for erratic behaviour, and graduated in 1988, despite "documented reservations". During his subsequent internship, he was judged "immature" and entered psychotherapy in 1990. Following complaints from female patients, Sears' medical licence was revoked by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario in 1992 after Sears pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual assault.[3]

Sears started the Second Opinion Medical-Legal Consultants Group in 1994, offering "medical investigative services" such as medical background checks for the prospective employees of its clients and research for parties to medical malpractice suits. In 2001, it was reported in the Toronto Star that they had been hired by Canadian Tire and the Toronto Transit Commission.[6]

Mortgage broker[edit]

He has also been involved with the mortgage brokerage industry with Trillium Mortgages and then Expert Mortgage Company. His application for a mortgage broker's licence was denied by the regulatory body, the Financial Services Commission of Ontario; however, he has continued to work for Expert Mortgage Company as a "full-time in-house marketing guru", describing himself as "Ontario’s #1 Trainer of Sales Consultants, with Specialization in Mortgage & Real Estate Agents."[6]

Pickup artist[edit]

Sears was also known for his activities as a pickup artist using the pseudonym "Dimitri the Lover" selling courses that claimed to train men in how to seduce women.[6]

Politics[edit]

In the 2014 Toronto civic election, Sears was a city council candidate in Ward 32 and received 797 votes (roughly 3% of the vote).[7][8] His campaign included a website with an interactive animation that asked users to choose one of three playable characters, Rob Ford, Vladimir Putin or Adolf Hitler to "spank" the bare bottom of a cartoon caricature of city councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon, Sears's rival in the election.[9]

He ran in the 2015 federal election as an independent candidate (no party affiliation) and placed fifth out of seven candidates, getting 254 votes (less than 0.5% of the vote).[10]

Sears was a candidate for the Canadians' Choice Party in the 2018 provincial election running against Attorney-General Yasir Naqvi in Ottawa Centre. He placed last out of eight candidates with 92 votes.[11]

In 2018 he registered as a candidate for Mayor of Toronto in that year's election.[12] He finished with 680 votes, less than 1% of the total vote.[13]

Your Ward News[edit]

Sears is editor-in-chief of Your Ward News, a quarterly newspaper which promotes the New Constitution Party, an unregistered neo-Nazi political party led by Sears.[1][14] The newspaper used to be printed and distributed as a flyer in the east Toronto neighbourhood of The Beaches. The vanity publication, which claimed to have a circulation of 50,000, was criticized for using antisemitic caricatures and language, described by former Canadian Jewish Congress Chief Executive Officer Bernie Farber as "classic anti-Semitic tropes" and "a clear attempt at a hateful representation of Jews".[14] On June 6, 2016, the Government of Canada ordered Canada Post to cease delivery of the paper.[15]

The newspaper continued to be distributed using private delivery services, and was investigated for hate crime.[16] On June 21, 2017, Sears and publisher Leroy St. Germaine were charged under the Criminal Code with uttering threats against Warren and Lisa Kinsella in an article by Sears in which he wrote that his supporters may decide to "bludgeon the Kinsellas to death."[17][18]

In November 2017, Sears and St. Germaine were each charged with two counts of wilful promotion of hatred under the Criminal Code.[19] They were accused of promoting hatred against women and Jews.[20] Both were found guilty on January 24, 2019.[21] The Crown asked that Sears be given one-year jail sentence and an additional three-years probation during which Sears would be prohibited from publishing any material.[22] On August 22, 2019, Sears was sentenced to one year's imprisonment, consisting of six months for each charge, served consecutively, the maximum sentence available.[4][22][23] He is currently out on bail, pending appeal.[5] On August 29, 2019, St. Germaine was sentenced to one year of house arrest.[5]

Electoral record[edit]

2014 Toronto election, Ward 32[24]
Candidate Votes %
Mary-Margaret McMahon 15,762 60.92
Sandra Bussin 4,552 17.59
Brian Graff 1,922 7.43
James Sears 797 3.08
Eric de Boer 677 2.62
Carmel Suttor 464 1.79
Alan Burke 404 1.56
Maria Garcia 402 1.55
Michael Connor 334 1.29
Sean Dawson 241 0.93
Bruce Baker 213 0.82
Jim Brookman 107 0.41
Total 25,875 100%
2015 Canadian federal election: Beaches—East York
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Liberal Nathaniel Erskine-Smith 27,458 49.45 +18.69 $104,089.50
New Democratic Matthew Kellway 17,113 30.82 -10.82 $129,211.99
Conservative Bill Burrows 9,124 16.43 -6.31 $35,453.04
Green Randall Sach 1,433 2.58 -2.02 $3,691.94
Independent James Sears 254 0.46 $35,400.00
Marxist–Leninist Roger Carter 105 0.19 -0.08
Independent Peter Surjanac 43 0.08 $449.62
Total valid votes/Expense limit 55,530 100.00   $208,561.84
Total rejected ballots 216 0.39
Turnout 55,746 73.18
Eligible voters 76,173
Liberal gain from New Democratic Swing +14.76
Source: Elections Canada[25][26]
2018 Ontario general election: Ottawa Centre
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
New Democratic Joel Harden 29,675 46.08 +25.69
Liberal Yasir Naqvi 21,111 32.78 -18.89
Progressive Conservative Colleen McCleery 10,327 16.03 -2.08
Green Cherie Wong 2,266 3.52 -4.22
None of the Above Marc Adornato 437 0.68
Libertarian Bruce A. Faulkner 385 0.60 -0.96
Communist Stuart Ryan 110 0.17 -0.35
Canadians' Choice James Sears 92 0.14
Total valid votes 64,403 100.0  
New Democratic gain from Liberal Swing +22.29
Source: Elections Ontario[27]

Sources[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Message From NCP Leader, Dr. James Sears". New Constitution Party of Canada. Retrieved October 26, 2015.
  2. ^ https://twitter.com/dimitrithelover
  3. ^ a b "Disgraced doctor is T.O.'s seduction guru". Toronto Sun. December 30, 2008. Retrieved May 20, 2015. By 1986, Sears was in the Canadian Armed Forces and while still a third-year medical student was evaluated by a military psychiatrist who suggested there was "something seriously wrong" with Sears.
  4. ^ a b https://www.theglobeandmail.com/amp/canada/toronto/article-your-ward-news-editor-james-sears-sentenced-to-one-year-in-jail-for/
  5. ^ a b c "Your Ward News publisher sentenced to 12-month house arrest".
  6. ^ a b c "Did the Controversial Editor of Your Ward News Send Homophobic Hate Mail to Councillor Wong-Tam?". 2017-04-19.
  7. ^ "2014 Municipal Election Results - Councillor Poll by Poll" (PDF). 31 October 2014. Retrieved December 1, 2015.
  8. ^ "'Dimitri the Lover' back making headlines". Toronto Sun. March 25, 2015. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
  9. ^ "Toronto city council candidate James Sears promotes online 'spanking' game against female rival". canada.com. Postmedia News. June 30, 2014. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
  10. ^ "Federal Election 2015: Beaches-East York riding results - Toronto | Globalnews.ca". globalnews.ca. Retrieved December 1, 2015.
  11. ^ https://www.elections.on.ca/content/ngw/en/election-results/ottawa-centre.html
  12. ^ Sears, James (Winter 2018). "Editor's message". Your Ward News. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  13. ^ Watkiss, Uli (October 25, 2018). "2018 Clerks Official Declaration of Results" (PDF). toronto.ca. p. 1.
  14. ^ a b "Beach residents decry 'offensive' newsletter". Toronto Star. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
  15. ^ Shane, Emmett (June 6, 2016). "Canada Post ordered to stop delivering controversial Your Ward News". CBC News. Retrieved June 7, 2016.
  16. ^ Pelley, Lauren (January 30, 2017). "Toronto police investigating controversial Your Ward News publication". CBC News. Retrieved January 4, 2018.
  17. ^ "Editor, publisher of neo-Nazi tabloid charged with uttering threats". CityNews. June 21, 2017. Retrieved January 4, 2018.
  18. ^ Loriggio, Paola (June 21, 2017). "Criminal charges laid against publisher of controversial newspaper Your Ward News". CTV News. Canadian Press. Retrieved January 4, 2018.
  19. ^ "Court Ruling - Sears and St. Germaine". Scribd. Retrieved 2019-01-26.
  20. ^ Cameron, Peter (November 16, 2017). "2 men behind controversial Toronto publication face hate-related charges". CTV News. Canadian Press. Retrieved January 4, 2018.
  21. ^ Perkel, Colin (January 24, 2019). "Your Ward News duo found guilty of peddling hate against women and Jews". CBC News. Retrieved January 24, 2019.
  22. ^ a b Perkel, Colin (April 26, 2019). "Editor found guilty of peddling hate says Your Ward News gave 'angry men' a voice". National Post. Canadian Press. Retrieved April 27, 2019.
  23. ^ Perkel, Colin (May 30, 2019). "James Sears fires lawyer; sentencing for Your Ward News delayed". 680 News. Canadian Press. Retrieved June 22, 2019.
  24. ^ "Toronto Election 2014 Poll By Poll Results: Councillor" (PDF). Toronto City Clerk's Office. Retrieved June 11, 2018.
  25. ^ Elections Canada – Confirmed candidates for Beaches—East York, 30 September 2015
  26. ^ Elections Canada – Final Candidates Election Expenses Limits
  27. ^ "Summary of Valid Votes Cast for each Candidate" (PDF). Elections Ontario. p. 6. Retrieved 20 January 2019.

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