Defendants perplexed by Danny Williams lawsuits
Former premier and mining company have filed defamation actions against blogger and Sierra Club
Sierra Club Canada and a local political blogger say they don’t understand why they are being sued by former premier Danny Williams and mining company Alderon.
Sierra Club officials say they have apologized in writing twice for alleged defamatory comments on VOCM talk radio, as requested by lawyers for Williams and Alderon.
The environmental group has denied that other comments made by spokesman Bruno Marcocchio were defamatory.
In a statement of claim filed at Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court, Williams and Alderon said the group continues to repeat the alleged defamatory statements.
Both the Sierra Club and Marcocchio said they have not been formally notified of a lawsuit.
Sierra Club executive director John Bennett said the group believes the comments were part of a "fair comment" conversation with the host of a radio show.
Bennett has noted in the past that two of those comments in question were actually made not by Marcocchio, but instead by the VOCM host.
Meanwhile, blogger Brad Cabana said the legal action looks to him like a "SLAPP suit, a suit that's used to silence critics."
Cabana runs a political blog called Rock Solid Politics. He attempted to run to replace Williams as provincial Tory leader, but was disqualified by the party.
Cabana later threw his hat in the ring to lead the provincial Liberals, also without success.
He said the lawsuit will not stop him from voicing his opinion online or on the air.
"We will definitely defend it, we may even counter-sue it," Cabana said.
Cabana said he has yet to receive any legal notice.
"Should I be delivered a statement of claim, I will consider this lawsuit to be frivolous and vexatious," he noted.
When reached for comment, Williams would only confirm that he is taking legal action.