The former LNG advocate for B.C. who was dismissed earlier this month by the new NDP government is suing the province, premier John Horgan, and jobs minister Bruce Ralston for $5-million.
Gordon Wilson’s lawyer Robert Hainsworth said his client has filed documents in BC Supreme Court, alleging that statements about his work as LNG advocate “seriously injured” his reputation.
“As a result of the Defendants’ utterances, the public has been misled,” reads part of the document.
Last week the parties involved offered an apology to Wilson, but Hainsworth said that’s only a start.
“It’s not enough because a lot of damage has been done and some of that damage may not be able to be accounted for primarily with an apology.”
WATCH: Premier John Horgan offers apology to fired LNG advocate Gordon Wilson
Hainsworth said it’s possible a settlement may be reached before heading to court.
Meanwhile The Canadian Taxpayers Federation says B.C. taxpayers will be on the hook for any possible defamation settlement, and likely also be paying for the legal fees.
“It’s a bad turn of events for BC taxpayers,” says B.C. Director Kris Sims.
“It’s almost always mostly taxpayer dollars because of the position that the people were in when they uttered these remarks.”
“If an elected official is sitting as an elected official, and they make a comment in a capacity in whatever role they have at the time, usually it’s paid for by whoever is employing them, in this case it would be the province.”
Sims says that’s just for the settlement.
When asked about legal fees, she says, “Best to guess is usually that would be taxpayer’s dollars, but that is something that we would have to investigate for sure. For all we know it could be private money, but it’s something that we’d need to investigate ourselves.”
Horgan’s lawyer Jay Straith wouldn’t say who was paying him, but he had this to say about Wilson seeking $5 Million in damages:
“I can tell you this, there has never been an award of that scale in Canadian history. Period.”
The NDP had dismissed the former BC Liberal leader on Aug. 1, suggesting there was no record of his work on LNG – allegations Wilson vigorously denied.