REGINA — Ramiro Sepulveda ran into some controversy at his job as a Canada Post letter carrier, after he refused to deliver a far-right publication.
Sepulveda believes The Epoch Times, the publication in question, is “hate mail” and could pose a threat to those who read it.
“There’s already been violence and hatred towards Asian communities in North American. Since [President Donald] Trump got into office and since COVID started exploding, everything’s been anti-China.” Sepulveda said. “That can rub people the wrong way with certain people, especially people that don’t know how to filter information.”
On its website, the Epoch Times describes itself as a paper founded “in response to communist repression and censorship in China.” It said it uses “Truth and Tradition” as its “guiding light.”
University of Regina Journalism professor Patricia Elliott says the paper has been on campus for years.
“The religious sect that they are associated with was banned in China. So they had this beef against the Chinese government, but in recent years they have expanded that beef. They have fallen in with extreme right wing groups in the U.S., supporting Trump. They’ve got all sorts of misinformation out on Facebook,” Elliot said.
She believes this level of misinformation is dangerous and is calling on Canada Post to look into the situation further.
“If Facebook is shutting it down, why can’t Canada Post? You do have to take responsibility as a platform and a purveyor,” Elliot said.
Sepulveda said he’s not the only employee who has opposed delivering the paper. He says those who refuse are being reprimanded with suspension days.
“They asked me three times whether I was committed to delivering this flyer, and I said no I don’t consider it a flyer it’s a published newspaper that spits lies,” he said.
In a statement, Canada Post said it is not its role to decide which mail gets delivered.
“Canada Post is obligated to deliver any mail that is properly prepared and paid for, unless it is considered non-mailable matter. The Courts have told Canada Post that its role is not to act as the censor of mail or to determine the extent of freedom of expression in Canada,” the statement reads.
“Any views we may have about the content do not change our obligation to deliver.”
Sepulveda is hoping the company will create a board to go over what is and isn’t appropriate to deliver.