Victoria Lawyer Michael Mulligan on CFAX 1070 – Legally Speaking – discussing the legal implications of Christy Clark making false claims that the NDP hacked into the BC Liberal web page.
John Horgan categorically denied the allegation and advised that he had consulted a lawyer concerning a possible civil actions for slander.
The episode is discussed in the context of former premier Vader Zalm being successful sued for $60,000 by Ted Hughes for false claims made a book written by Vander Zalm.
While MLAs cannot be sued for making defamatory statements in the legislature they enjoy no such privilege for statements made elsewhere. False statements that damage someones reputation are actionable. Repeating the statements can aggravate damages, while retracting them and apologizing can mitigate the damages.
Independent MLA Vicki Huntington later advised that the BC Liberal web site had no password protection and that private donor information was accessible by simply clicking on a link.
Christy Clark has now apologized for her false claim of NDP hacking and promised to improve security on the web page.
Also discussed on the show are reports that Esquimalt Mayor Barbara Desjardins plans to seek a nomination to run for the BC Liberals in the next provincial election and how the forthcoming report with respect to suspended Victoria Police Chief Elsner may impact her.
Michael Mulligan is a lawyer at Mulligan Tam Pearson in Victoria. Legally Speaking is live on CFAX 1070 Thursdays at 2:00pm.