Press release from the Liberal website;
March 23, 2007
Kennedy, Bains, and Alghabra serve columnist Kay, publisher and John Doe source
Toronto, ON — Former Liberal leadership contestant Gerard Kennedy; Navdeep Bains, MP for Mississauga – Brampton South; and Omar Alghabra, MP for Mississauga – Erindale, served the National Post, columnist Jonathan Kay and related persons with notices of libel over statements that the three politicians were involved in deals to exchange votes in return for changes to national security policy.
Included as a defendant in one of the notices is John Doe, representing the anonymous source cited by Mr. Kay in his column published in the National Post February 27th, 2007.
“Mr. Kay has suggested criminal conduct on the part of Mr. Kennedy. This suggestion is false and defamatory. The situation is particularly aggravated by the fact that Mr. Kay’s article is based on the information of a source whose identity, motives and credibility have been concealed. We look forward to exposing Mr. Kay’s anonymous source so that Mr. Kennedy may be fully vindicated,” said Mr. Howard Winkler of Aird and Berlis, LLP, lawyer for Mr. Kennedy.
The conversations involving Mr. Bains related as fact in the column never took place, according to the notice prepared by Julian Porter, lawyer for Mr. Bains.
“In his notice of libel, Alghabra denies his political and policy decisions are driven by his ethnicity and that he knew of and condoned the vilification of Bob Rae and Arlene Perly Rae, at the Liberal leadership convention,” stated Cliff Lax, counsel for Mr. Alghabra.
“We have enormous respect for the role of the media,” says Kennedy, “but these are equally very serious and completely false statements that if left alone would mislead the public and distort public debate.”
The service of a libel notice is the first step in a defamation suit.
There is also a story regarding this in today’s Globe and Mail.
And here is a little background on the smear on Bains
It is absolutely right and appropriate that these types of smear jobs be acted against. It represents the absolute lowest in both politics and journalism.
One would expect that a serious journalist would have too much respect for their name and their profession to be bothered with such indulgences.
One would also expect that anyone serious about politics knows there are sufficient idealogical debates to made within political spheres, and real gaffes with which to leverage advantage. Innuendo and baseless rumour mongering is the modus operandi of those who have nothing else with which to make argument.