Former LNG advocate Gordon Wilson sues B.C. Premier John Horgan for defamation in $5M lawsuit
Jobs Minister Bruce Ralston, MP Rachel Blaney also named after claims that Wilson did no work as LNG advisor
Former B.C. LNG advocate Gordon Wilson has filed a lawsuit against Premier John Horgan and Jobs Minister Bruce Ralston after Horgan and Ralston implied Wilson had not done any real work during his tenure.
Powell River NDP MP Rachel Blaney is also named in the suit.
The suit claims public comments made by Horgan, Ralston and Blaney were politically motivated and have damaged Wilson's reputation.
"The Defendants, together and individually, undertook a campaign to destroy the Plaintiff's reputation from the position of authority and credibility granted to them by their offices," claims the lawusit filed in B.C. Supreme Court.
Wilson is seeking $5 million in damages, according to his lawyer Robert Hainsworth.
On August 1, Wilson was fired from his job as the province's advocate for LNG development. At the time, Ralston told CBC News his staff couldn't find any evidence of work done by Wilson, saying "it's very difficult to see that he accomplished anything other than to cash his cheques."
In an interview with CBC Radio One's On the Coast, Horgan said his government "decided there was a better value-for-money proposition for the people of B.C. than paying [Wilson] $150,000 for no reports, no briefings [and] no memoranda."
Apologies not enough
Blaney is alleged in the suit to have posted similar comments on Facebook.
"No notes, nothing tracking the work [Wilson] had done," Blaney is quoted in the suit as writing. "Taxpayers paid $550,000 for what?"
Horgan later apologized publicly to Wilson, saying if Ralston missed some of the documentation of Wilson's work, Horgan was sorry to have said otherwise.
Ralston apologized as well, saying his comments were based on "incorrect information."
Wilson declined to comment on the filing of the lawsuit, but the court filing says he met with LNG project proponents, organized public meetings, advised government and worked with First Nations as part of his duties.
Hainsworth said the suit is specifically about the public comments made by Horgan, Ralston and Blaney — not about Wilson's dismissal from the position.