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General News · 11th January 2019
De Clarke
Regarding the petition to initiate litigation against RD Anderson.

I visited the gofundme page https://www.gofundme.com/bernies-cabin-fire-rebuild (once on the page click on "See More" to view the entire list) cited by the signatories to the petition. There is nothing secret about it, anyone can see the history of donations. Before you read the list, please consider that the petitioners have already made at least one false statement. They claim that out of 28 donors, 27 "have connections to the regional district, such as work contracts or are part of organizations receiving grants-in-aid from the Strathcona Regional District." (quote from the Mirror article).

Four of these donations are Anonymous. So how can the petitioners claim to know that these donors are even from Cortes Island, let alone that they belong to organisations that receive GIA? So that leaves 24 donations.

Now please consider carefully. *Each and every person on this list* is being accused and defamed along with Noba, and every Cortes Island organisation or club to which these people belong is being accused and defamed along with Noba. Because offering bribes and accepting kickbacks is just as wrong and just as dishonourable as taking bribes and giving kickbacks. This petition does not accuse one person of dishonest dealings. It accuses 29 people of dishonest dealings. Twenty-nine of our neighbours.

I ask you to take a moment to read the list of names of people some of whom you may know and respect, and ask yourself whether you are really convinced by the claim that their support for Noba in a time of crisis was only a pretext to funnel bribe money to her in the hope of getting preferential treatment at SRD. The petition says this explicitly. As quoted in the Mirror it says, “Anderson took money from her constituents for personal gain and a number of those same constituents received gifts and grants in return.” Do we really find this claim credible?
not actionable, interestingly enough
Comment by De Clarke on 28th January 2019
A neighbour has been doing some research and finding that - this is really interesting - the content of legal pleading (and I think this includes petitions) is protected from action for libel. Legal pleadings enjoy something called "absolute privilege," which means that they are exempt from the laws covering defamation, libel, etc. You cannot sue someone for anything they say in such a document. So no countersuit for libel.

It's interesting because although obviously there is a very good reason for this law (you wouldn't want to let some giant corporation sue your heinie off before you even got to court with your class action against them), it's also a useful tool if you want to libel someone with impunity. I guess anyone can file a frivolous lawsuit whose petition contains the most outrageous accusations, and the target of that lawsuit cannot take action for libel.

However, there are other ways of responding to defend the reputation of our various island organisations and the defamed individual donors to that innocent, good-hearted gofundme campaign.
Libel rather than slander
Comment by De Clarke on 13th January 2019
I believe it would be libel rather than slander, no? Libel is defamation that is written or published; since the filing of this petition is a written document, and it becomes part of public record once filed (plus the Mirror article which publishes it) that seems to me definitely libel. Slander is spoken-word.

It seems to me that any organisations these generous gofundme donors are members of are also by implication defamed, if they could under any circumstances benefit from SRD funding; the "grants" referred to in the allegation would after all not go to individuals, but to these non-profit and community organisations. So it seems to me quite a reckless allegation, involving as it does the implicit defamation of so many people and groups.
Guilty
Comment by chris on 13th January 2019
As one of the twenty seven donors to Bernie Anderson's cabin rebuild, I am stunned to see such a mean, despicable action taken against our current director. We also went through a devastating fire, and were overwhelmed by the unstinting support and help that the Cortes Community offered us, no strings attached. This generosity of spirit, is what makes this a unique place to live, a haven from lies, deceits, and greed of the greater world, let's work to keep it that way. Chris Napper, Whaletown
Grounds for a Slander Lawsuit?
Comment by Peter Henbury on 13th January 2019
Sounds to me like possible grounds for a slander suit against Noba's detractors given that those who crowdfunded to help Noba house her father when his cabin burned to the ground are now being accused of bribery.