Monday, December 4, 2006

Colin Mayes MP / Libel

Mayes settles suit
Scott Neufeld
December 4, 2006

A settlement has been reached in the libel suit against Okanagan-Shuswap MP Colin Mayes, one year to the day after the lawsuit was launched.Greg Husband, who brought the suit against Mayes, said the settlement was reached on Dec. 2. Husband said he cannot confirm if the settlement included financial compensation or any other details of the settlement saying that there has yet to be an agreement between the parties on what details would be made public. “All I can say is we’ve negotiated a settlement and we are in the process of drawing up the documents,” he said.Mayes has said publically that the lawsuit was against himself as the former mayor and was being defended by the City of Salmon Arm. However, Husband said the settlement is with Mayes and not the city.Mayes could not be reached Sunday for comment.In October, 33 local Conservative Party members sent a letter to Stephen Harper saying that Mayes had lied to them about the lawsuit at a nomination forum. The party cleared Mayes of any wrongdoing.The civil suit was launched last December in response to a letter that Mayes distributed and had published in the Lakeshore News, a local Salmon Arm newspaper. Husband was running for mayor at the time and also named the newspaper’s owner Sally Scales in the lawsuit.According to the lawsuit’s statement of claim, Mayes’ letter “was intended to interfere with (Husband’s) election for mayor through the deliberate use of specific and defamatory wording.”Husband said he is happy to have closed the book on a stressful time for his family.Although he would not go into detail, Husband said that in the year since the lawsuit began his name has been cleared and his reputation restored.“I think there have been events in the meantime that have somewhat vindicated me,” he said.Husband organized his own case while occasionally seeking the advice of a lawyer. He said he has learned a lot about the workings of the legal system over the last 12 months.“What I’ve learned is when a person goes to court they have to have a lot of resources behind them it’s not about justice, it’s about winning,” he said.A finalized settlement is expected to be filed in Salmon Arm court sometime this week, Husband said.