Former B.C. Liberal leader and NDP cabinet minister Gordon Wilson will have his day in court – 10 consecutive weeks, actually – as a trial has been set for April 14, 2020 to hear his $5 million libel lawsuit alleging he was defamed by Surrey NDP MLA Bruce Ralston, Premier John Horgan, NDP MP Rachel Blaney and others concerning his job performance as advocate for the LNG, or liquefied natural gas, program during Christy Clark’s Liberal government.
The trial is expected to be heard in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver, with Justice George Macintosh presiding.
The defendants listed are Her Majesty the Queen in Right of the Province of British Columbia by Officer of the Government, The Honourable John Horgan, Premier of British Columbia, Her Majesty The Queen in Right of the Province of British Columbia by Officer of the Government, The Honourable Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology, John Joseph Horgan, Bruce H. Ralston, and Rachel A. Blaney.
Wilson led the Liberal Party of B.C. from 1987 to 1999, when he crossed the floor to join the NDP government, with which he served as minister of aboriginal affairs, minister responsible for BC Ferries, minister of finance and minister of education.
The lawsuit concerns, in part, a tweet by Ralston and a posting on Blaney’s Facebook page. Macintosh’s Reasons for Judgment Addressing the Plaintiff’s Pleading was released on New Year’s Eve.
“The predominant purpose of the Defendants was to harm the Plaintiff and to expose him to hatred, ridicule and contempt, to lower him in the estimation of others and to cause him to be shunned and avoided,” Wilson’s notice of civil claim alleges. “In this regard, the Defendants sought to destroy the Plaintiff’s reputation so that he would have no professional credibility with the general public, or government or industry in British Columbia, nationally and internationally.”
His claims have not been proven or unproven in a court of law.
Wilson also seeks, in relation to the CBC, CKNW, The Globe and Mail, The Vancouver Sun, Times Colonist and RED FM, “an order requiring the defendants permanently remove the defamatory expression and injurious falsehoods complained of in the statement of claim from any file, whether paper or electronic, or from any electronic database, social media page, or website where they are accessible.”