Jason Kenney’s lawyers respond to eight environmental groups threatening to sue



If Jason Kenney’s lawyers give him sound advice, they’ll tell him to seek a compromise with the coalition of eight environmental groups who threatened to sue him last month if he doesn’t back down and apologize for the statements they say defame them.

This could save the premier of Alberta and us the taxpayers of Alberta a lot of money a lot of trouble.

But the advice Kenney would want to hear, or what he would be inclined to think, is unlikely to be the most. politically effective action plan, so he will probably opt for an expensive legal fight. Why not? He’s unlikely to be the one who ends up footing the bill.

Yesterday, Tim Gray, Executive Director of Environmental Defense Canada, said Alberta Journal that “we have received a letter from a private law firm which the Prime Minister has retained, indicating that we will receive a response soon.”

An advocate for the eight environmental groups – which, in addition to Environmental Defense, are the Dogwood Initiative, Greenpeace Canada, Raincoast Conservation Foundation, Sierra Club Canada Foundation, Sierra Club of British Columbia Foundation, West Coast Environmental Law and Research Foundation and Western Canada Wilderness Committee – wrote to Kenney on Nov 22 to inform him of his intention to sue for statements he made after the release of the report of the $ 3.5 million public inquiry into the energy campaigns anti-Alberta if he refuses to apologize and retract.

Ottawa letter from lawyer Paul Champ concluded: “We expect your response no later than Tuesday, November 30, 2012.”

However, Gray said in his email yesterday: “Our legal team feels we should give them some time to review documents etc. and respond to us on how the Prime Minister intends to address our concerns.”

Yesterday too, Champ told the Canadian Press that “we expect Premier Kenney to get some solid advice on this issue.”

“Assuming the prime minister heeded this advice, we would expect these messages to be deleted with apologies,” he added.

Eight environmental groups provide comments on survey findings published by the Government of Alberta on its website Alberta.ca falsely claimed that Commissioner Steve Allan’s report “confirms the existence of well-funded foreign interests that have been waging a disinformation campaign for ten years.”

These statements have been “repeated and amplified by you on social media platforms Facebook and Twitter,” the letter said.

The new Alberta government investigation website also repeats the false claim that Commissioner Allan has confirmed the existence of ‘campaigns based on disinformation’ that have ‘had an impact on the lives and means of livelihoods “and” have cost Albertans and Canadians thousands of jobs, “” the letter added.

“These statements are defamatory because they claim that our customers have disseminated ‘disinformation’. The fact of suggesting or declaring that a person is deliberately lying has been found to be defamatory by many courts, ”the statement continued. “Your statements were intended to undermine the reputation and credibility of the groups in the public eye by falsely claiming that the Alberta investigation concluded that the groups were disseminating disinformation.

“Premier Kenney, you are undoubtedly fully aware that the Alberta Inquiry makes no such finding. In fact, Commissioner Allan made it clear throughout his report that he could not make any conclusion or suggestion that “any information released by an organization is false or misleading,” “the letter reads. “Despite the Commissioner’s unequivocal statements, you and your government falsely claimed that the investigation found the groups to be involved in a ‘ten-year disinformation campaign’.

The letter calls on the province to remove all references to disinformation on the Alberta.ca website, remove and withdraw similar statements made by the premier on Facebook and Twitter, and post an apology on the Facebook and Twitter accounts de Kenney “expressly confirming that the Alberta Inquiry states in its final report that it made no findings or suggestions that any information released by any organization is false or misleading.” “

In late November, the prime minister’s office defiantly responded to the legal threat. “We will of course respond vigorously in court, if and when necessary,” said a spokesperson at the time.


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