VANCOUVER, B.C. (CN) – A former high-level Teamster and long-serving Canadian senator sued the publisher of the Vancouver Sun for libel after the paper ran a story about a Las Vegas company’s claims to a massive stake in Arctic Ocean oil reserves. Edward Lawson, who retired from the Canadian Senate in 2004, is a director of Arctic Oil & Gas. The Las Vegas-based firm claims a 30 percent stake in an estimated trillion dollars worth of oil in the Arctic Ocean “commons” area, beyond the borders of Russia, Canada, Norway, the U.S. and Denmark, according to the Sun’s story.
The Sun’s article tracks the history of the financial players in the company and states that as of August 2007, the company had no revenue and assets totaling $27,172. The article also discusses Lawson’s history, which includes being named in a lawsuit against the Teamsters’ top brass back in the late 1980s for racketeering violations. The story says the lawsuit was settled.
In response to the article, Larson sued Canwest Publishing, investigative reporter David Baines and the Vancouver Sun’s top editors. The tersely written libel complaint does not specify which part of the story allegedly libeled the former politician. Lawson is represented by Roger McConchie.