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Friday, May 24, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

A Bit of Nasty in Canadian Election

VANCOUVER, B.C. (CN) - A Liberal Party candidate in the May 2 federal election claims his Conservative Party opponent defamed him by republishing a YouTube video that accuses him of unjustly enriching himself with employee pension funds when he was president of a forestry firm.

Daniel Veniez claims in B.C. Supreme Court that John Weston, a lawyer and member of Parliament, put links to the allegedly defamatory video on Weston's website and Facebook page.

Veniez claims the video contains false allegations that he enriched himself with employee pension funds while he was president of the Skeena Group, a financially troubled forestry firm.

"I was not aware of these details of Dan Veniez's actions with Skeena, a corporation that went into bankruptcy and forfeited its unprotected employee pensions but not before he withdrew > $200 K in personal wages himself," Weston wrote on his Facebook page, according to the complaint. "If you intend to support him, please watch this video so you stand informed."

Veniez claims the republication of the allegations were attempts to assassinate his character and to influence the outcome of the election.

"The Defendant John Weston is a Barrister & Solicitor has a higher duty of care as a [sic] officer of the Court in dealing with allegations of unlawful conversion or unjust enrichment of pension funds against the Plaintiff which are unsupported in fact and never raised in the Court proceedings over 7 years," the complaint states.

"By adopting these unsupported allegations for political advantage, the Defendant John Weston demonstrated a disregard of the process of the Court and Judgment of the Courts in his publication and republication of false allegations which the Defendant Weston knew, or as a Barrister & Solicitor ought to have known, were contrary to the public and court record and were factually and legally impossible allegations."

Veniez also sued Paul Veltmeyer, a member of the Conservative Party who allegedly defamed him in a letter to Weston, and John and Jane Doe, who posted the video on YouTube.

Veniez is represented by Jay Straith.

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