Oh, dear. I see Peter Foster, National Post Brit twit and senior climate change denialist, has landed the dreary daily in yet another legal quagmire.
Readers will recall Foster’s $50,0000 defamation faceplant, with assists from fellow Posties Terence “Corky” Corcoran and Kevin “Kevin” Libin, in a lawsuit from U. Vic prof Andrew Weaver, now BC Green Party supremo. Toastmedia lawyers successfully appealed the judgment in April and are firing up their billings for a new trial.
A lesser hack might take such costly debacles as a warning to shut his gob on occasions when his reach exceeds the facts, but not our Peter.
In February, another of Foster’s maleficent obsessions, Blackberry eminence grisly Jim Balsillie, lawyered up and dropped an eye-watering $1.5 million claim on Petey and Postmedia, this in answer to a Nov. 4 Foster frother entitled “Canada’s Innovation Bomb(ardiers)”:
“The Liberal government comes to power promising to ‘kick start’ the economy, but first it must decide whether to ‘kick in’ to the Quebec government’s billion-dollar bailout of Bombardier, which is struggling not merely with delays in its ever more costly C Series jet, but its failure to deliver street cars to Toronto. Among other things.
“According to the latest figures from Research Infosource, Bombardier spent $2 billion on R&D last year, and although that was down 8% from 2013, it still represented three times as much as the next biggest Canadian R&D spender, which, intriguingly, was Blackberry (formerly RIM).
“Given that Blackberry too is struggling, one might be forgiven for thinking that hefty R&D spending correlates with the likelihood of failure. Remember when Nortel was the star of R&D?
“Bombardier and Blackberry should certainly lead to questioning of the shibboleth that innovation and R&D are always ‘good,’ and that more is always better.
“In fact, Innovation is one of those words that covers a multitude of sins and hidden agendas. When Jean Chretien was trying to justify giving $125 million to the Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation, he claimed it was part of Canada’s “innovation strategy.” Former RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie set up the Centre for International Governance Innovation, CIGI, to promote a small and large “L” liberal agenda closely aligned with the aspirations of the United Nations.”
This was all too much for Jimbo. The complained of words, he bitched, allege he “has acted in concert with federal Liberal politicians to covertly promote a Liberal agenda…has covertly or improperly accepted Federal funding in order to promote a Liberal or liberal agenda…[CIGI] is an example of government-promoted and funded innovation that is destined to fail…Mr. Balsillie’s ‘government-funded’ innovation efforts are knowingly abusive of the rights and interests of taxpayers.”
In addition to the million-and-a-half in general damages, and his costs on a sky’s-the-limit substantial indemnity basis, Balsillie also raised exemplary and punitive damages, in amounts to be established before trial, for a “campaign of defamation which Foster has pursued against Balsillie since at least 2007.”
As evidence of Foster’s persistent hard-on for him, Balsillie cites a few of the NatPost drooler’s previous efforts, “Jim Balsillie’s Son of Samsung” (March 27, 2014), “Ottawa’s Innovation hand-holder — Kevin O’Leary is a better choice than Jim Balsillie” (June 28, 2013), “Jim Balisillie’s governance follies” (that’s enough Balsillie buggers!!–ed.)
“The malicious, high-handed and arrogant conduct of Foster in publishing his defamatory statements, all as pleaded herein, warrants an award of punitive or exemplary damages to ensure that he is appropriately punished for his conduct and deterred from such conduct in the future,” quoth the claim.
While Frank holds out little hope of Foster’s teachability, I note his most recent hack-job, while still online, has, since Balsillie’s suit landed, borne a cringing “Clarification” of his prose:
“A National Post column published on November 4, 2015, entitled Canada’s Innovation Bomb(ardier) concerning government support for innovation and research and development referred to the Centre for International Governance Innovation, an organization founded by Jim Balsillie. The newspaper would like to clarify that it did not intend to suggest that Mr. Balsillie acted with an improper purpose or hidden Liberal agenda in establishing CIGI. CIGI’s stated mission is to promote innovation in governance and not technological innovation.”
Will the kneebender suffice to forestall another Foster fustercluck in the courts? Stay tuned!