VANCOUVER, B.C. (CN) – The National Post defamed a prominent public relations man for comparing the tactics used by climate-change deniers to the tobacco industry’s longtime denial of the pernicious effects of cigarettes, James Hoggan claims in B.C. Supreme Court.
Hoggan, president of James Hoggan Associates, sits on many prominent corporate boards. He is vice president of the Urban Development Institute, a trustee of the Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education, and chairman of the David Suzuki Foundation. In 2005 Hoggan co-founded the Web site DeSmogBlog “to research and expose the questionable public relations tactics that were developed by the tobacco industry and are now being used to promote controversy about climate change,” Hoggan says.
He claims the National Post and its editor in chief Terence Corcoran defamed him repeatedly in articles intended to smear him as a way of undermining his cause, and in retaliation for his exposing the weakness of the claims made by climate-change deniers.
Hoggan cites numerous defamatory statements the Post published in the autumn of 2006, in a “campaign of vilification” that was based upon “impugning the Plaintiff’s character and reputation”.
On Sept. 16, the Post accuses him of running “a slanderous campaign … a major disinformation campaign run out of the Vancouver officers of Hames Hoggan & Associates.”
On Nov. 16, the Post accused him of “Using smear-a-minute techniques”. This article also accused Hoggan of “maliciously attacks all who have doubts about climate change and painting them as corporate pawns.”
This sub-head in that article also was defamatory, Hoggan says: “The CBC gave Hoggan a platform to smear reputable scientists.”
And throughout these articles and another one, the Post intimated that Hoggan did this for financial gain, the lawsuit states. He demands retractions and punitive damages. He also sued Canwest Media, the Post’s corporate parent. He is represented by Roger McConchie.