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Saturday, May 25, 2024 | Back issues
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Attorney Says Vancouver Sun Defamed Him

VANCOUVER, B.C. (CN) - An expert in charity law claims in court that the Vancouver Sun defamed him in articles that implied he provided incompetent legal advice to charities targeted by the country's tax man.

Blake Bromley and his Benefic Law Corp. claim in B.C. Supreme Court that investigative journalist David Baines wrote articles accusing him of advising client charities to issue tax receipts for unqualified tax donations.

Bromley claims that the "inferential meaning" of the articles is that he "failed to provide a quality of service to six Vancouver charities at least equal to that which would be expected of a competent lawyer in a similar situation ... with the disastrous result that Canada Revenue Agency correctly revoked their registration 'for cause.'"

The articles also imply that Bromley "engaged in activity which he knew or ought to have known assisted in or encouraged dishonesty or crime on part of a Vancouver charity, namely aiding, assisting or counseling the charity to funnel money illegally to a U.S. registered charity," the complaint states.

In a subsequent article, Bromley says, Baines and his co-defendants falsely accused him of conspiring "to create a series of sham transactions with no obvious charitable purpose for the intention of enabling high-wealth sophisticated clients to evade paying income tax."

Bromley sued Baines, the Sun's editor-in-chief Patricia Graham, former business editor Hugh Dawson, publisher Kevin Bent and the Sun's corporate parent Postmedia Network Inc. dba Pacific Newspaper Group.

He claims that Baines contacted the Law Society of British Columbia, suggesting it should investigate him, and then sought comment from him after the society began investigating.

"The defendant Baines sought comment from the plaintiff about the Law Society investigation for the malicious purpose of resuming his attacks on the plaintiff by publishing a column about the investigation in The Vancouver Sun," the complaint states.

He claims the defendants refused to publish a retraction and apology.

Bromley seeks damages for libel and injunctive relief. He is represented by Roger McConchie in Vancouver.

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