NEWS RELEASE April 20, 2005
BC SHIPYARD GENERAL WORKERS' FEDERATION
BC Shipyard Workers Federation files Supreme Court libel action against BC Ferries' CEO David Hahn over libelous comments made in radio, newspaper interviews about Federation's charge that new Bowen Island ferry project likely to go to Polish shipyard; punitive damages and restraining injunction sought against Hahn
VANCOUVER – The BC Shipyard General Workers' Federation is filing a libel action in BC Supreme Court today against BC Ferries' CEO David Hahn over comments made about Federation President George MacPherson earlier this month in radio and newspaper interviews.
Leo McGrady Q.C., legal counsel for Federation, has asked the Court for general and special damages, punitive and exemplary damages and an interim and permanent injunction restraining Hahn or BC Ferries from making further defamatory remarks.
The action comes after Hahn refused a demand from the Federation for a full apology for statements he made April 5 and 6 on CKNW's Jennifer Mather and Bill Good shows and a story published in the Vancouver Province newspaper.
McGrady's statement of claim describes Hahn's remarks about MacPherson as “false and malicious “.
MacPherson said he is disappointed Hahn refused to apologize, even after Hahn's lawyer requested and was given several extensions beyond the original deadline to consider the matter.
“The issue at hand should be about BC Ferries refusing to give BC shipbuilding companies a fair chance to bid against international competitors, not about myself or David Hahn,” MacPherson said. “But if Mr. Hahn wants to attack my personal reputation and integrity, he will have to answer for that in court.”
Hahn's comments on MacPherson came after the Federation charged that BC Ferries will build a new $35 million Bowen Island replacement ferry in Poland but is deliberately delaying announcing that decision until after the May 17 provincial election.
The Federation says the Bowen Island ferry contract was supposed to be announced early this year has been put off until after the election. Newspaper reports in August and September 2004 quoted BC Ferries as saying the contract would be awarded in January or February. And a BC Ferries “Project Update” released on October 29, 2004 said the final selection and contract signing with the shipyard chosen to build the new ferry was “expected in early 2005.”
MacPherson said that the Federation has consistently been correct in its comments about BC Ferries' actions, noting that the Federation predicted that the $542 million Super C-Class ferry contract for three new ships would go to Germany months before BC Ferries announced its decision.
For more information : Call George MacPherson at 604-254-8204 or cell 604-220-3291 or Bill Tieleman, West Star Communications, at 604-844-7827 or cell 778-896-0964. For background, go to www.bcshipyardworkers.com