TORONTO – On behalf of Member of Parliament Han Dong, Polley Faith LLP served Global News, Corus Entertainment Inc., Sam Cooper, Sonia Verma, and others with a statement of claim today seeking $15 million in damages for libel. The defendants published malicious, false, and defamatory articles and broadcasts about Mr.Dong in February and March 2023, which have destroyed his hard-earned reputation and career and exposed him and his family to a campaign of hateful messages and threats.
Because of the serious allegations against Mr.Dong reported by the defendants – which include claims that he attempted to subvert Canada’s democratic processes, acted as a foreign agent, and is a traitor – the defendants had a duty to thoroughly scrutinize the veracity of their anonymous sources’ allegations before publication. They also had a duty to report information that was inconsistent with or raised questions about their sources’ allegations.
The defendants failed to meet these duties in a number of ways, as detailed in the statement of claim. Crucially, they did not review a transcript or recording of the February 2021 conversation in which they allege Mr. Dong called for the continued imprisonment of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor. They also failed to report key contextual information, including that:
- Mr. Dong won his 2019 Liberal Party nomination in a hard-fought contest, complying with strict election finance laws;
- As is common practice amongst politicians running for office, Mr.Dong’s campaign provided transportation to seniors living within his riding to allow them to vote;
- As is common practice for elected officials, Mr.Dong occasionally spoke with diplomats as part of his work, including in his capacity as co-chair of the Canada-China Legisative Association;
- As reported by the Globe and Mail, the Prime Minister’s Office found no “actionable evidence” in the transcript of Mr.Dong’s February 2021 conversation with the Chinese Consul General in Toronto; and
- Senior government officials have explicitly contradicted and clarified key aspects of the Chinese interference allegations in testimony.
Contrary to the defendants’ allegations, Mr.Dong repeatedly advocated for the release of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor when he had the opportunity to speak with Chinese diplomats.
Following a written demand for retraction, Mr.Dong has brought this action against the defendants to restore his reputation and career, and to protect himself and his family from further harm.
For further information, please contact Mark Polley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To access the court file mentioned in this article, please click on the following link: http://tinyurl.com/3j464s8z. This will direct you to the official court website where you can view and download the file in question.
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