NEWS RELEASE April 4, 2005
BC SHIPYARD GENERAL WORKERS' FEDERATION
Legal counsel for BC Shipyard Workers Federation demands immediate apology and retraction from BC Ferries' CEO David Hahn over libelous comments made in radio interview about Federation's charge that new Bowen Island ferry project will go to Polish shipyard; Federation President George MacPherson will file libel action if no apology given
VANCOUVER – Legal counsel for the BC Shipyard General Workers' Federation today have sent a letter demanding an apology and retraction of libelous remarks made by BC Ferries' CEO David Hahn yesterday in a radio interview.
Lawyer Leo McGrady sent the letter a day after Hahn made remarks about Federation President George MacPherson in an interview with CKNW's Jennifer Mather.
McGrady's letter said Hahn's remarks about MacPherson “constitute one of the most serious forms of libel” and describes them as “malicious”. McGrady's letter gives Hahn until April 8 to respond with an apology or a Writ of Summons and Statement of Claim for libel will be filed with BC Supreme Court.
MacPherson said he was shocked when he heard Hahn's comments 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.
“Mr. Hahn is entitled to vigorously disagree with the Federation but I will not allow him to attack my personal reputation and integrity in public,” MacPherson said. “Mr. Hahn's comments were ill-advised and just plain wrong and I hope he will admit that and apologize so we can debate the issues which are important to British Columbians.”
MacPherson said that instead of making personal attacks Hahn should explain to the public why a decision on the Bowen Island ferry contract that was supposed to be made 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