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No word from Toronto's Mayor Ford on libel notice served by reporter

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is seen inside his office lobby with a holiday card from Prime Minister Stephen Harper stuck on the window in the foreground at city hall in Toronto, Friday December 13, 2013.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark Blinch
December 13, 2013 - 4:53 AM

TORONTO - Rob Ford is not commenting on a libel notice brought against him by a reporter who claims the Toronto mayor made remarks on TV that amounted to an accusation of pedophilia against him.

Ford refused to answer questions on Toronto Star reporter Daniel Dale's libel notice, which demands the mayor apologize for and retract what Dale calls a "false insinuation."

Meanwhile, the mayor's brother says Ford does not owe Dale an apology.

Coun. Doug Ford says he is "not too sure" what his brother meant in the comments that led to the libel notice but he says the move is "all about the Toronto Star."

He calls the newspaper a "hurting" company which he claims is using Dale as a "pawn" to draw more readers.

In the interview broadcast Monday, Ford told host Conrad Black that Dale had perpetrated the worst invasion of his privacy during a May 2012 incident when he claimed the reporter was in his backyard, "taking pictures of little kids."

Ford said "I don't want to say that word but you start thinking what this guy is all about."

The mayor said a day after the interview that he stood by "every word."

Dale has said at no time did he ever take any photographs of the mayor's family, house or even his property — and a police investigation bore that out.

The libel notice is the first step in the process of suing for defamation. If Ford refuses to apologize and withdraw the comments, Dale said, the mayor would have to be prepared to "repeat his lies under penalty of perjury'' in a courtroom.

He said he was taking legal action reluctantly, and only because Ford was repeating lies about what had actually happened.

 

TORONTO REPORTER SLAPS ROB FORD WITH LIBEL NOTICE OVER 'PEDOPHILE INSINUATION'

Colin Perkel

TORONTO - Mayor Rob Ford was slapped with a libel notice late Thursday for televised comments he made about a reporter, who said the remarks amounted to an accusation of pedophilia.

Toronto Star reporter Daniel Dale would not comment on his suit that also names Vision TV, which aired the Ford interview, saying an article he wrote for his newspaper would have to stand.

"Enough is enough. I can't tolerate it. I won't tolerate it," Dale wrote.

"I'm asking Ford to immediately retract the false insinuation that I am a pedophile. I am also serving Vision TV, which twice broadcast Ford's vile and defamatory remarks...even though their interview was filmed days before it aired."

The notice also calls for Vision TV to apologize.

Ford said a day after the interview that he stood by "every word."

He left city hall Thursday evening without saying anything.

In the interview broadcast Monday, Ford told host Conrad Black that Dale had perpetrated the worst invasion of his privacy during a May 2012 incident.

"Daniel Dale is in my backyard taking pictures. I have little kids. He's taking pictures of little kids," Ford told the former media baron and convicted felon.

"I don't want to say that word but you start thinking what this guy is all about."

Dale maintains he was writing a story about a plot of public land adjacent to Ford's house that the mayor wanted to buy, so he went to take a look when the mayor emerged from his home to confront him.

The reporter said at no time did he ever take any photographs of the mayor's family, house or even his property — and a police investigation bore that out.

He said he was suing reluctantly, and only because Ford was repeating lies about what had actually happened.

He cited Ford's comments on the Washington-based "Sports Junkies" program on Thursday in which Ford said, "When you've got young kids, that freaked me right out."

The comments brought renewed attention to the "malicious and defamatory insinuation" that the reporter had some sort of "predatory interest in young children," Dale said, adding that he has received strong support.

"Dozens of people, including people personally harmed by pedophilia, have offered me a total of thousands of dollars in donations for my legal fees."

The libel notice is the first step in the process of suing for defamation. If Ford refuses to apologize and withdraw the comments, Dale said, he would have to be prepared to "repeat his lies under penalty of perjury" in a courtroom.

There was no immediate response from Ford or his lawyer to the libel notice. Vision has also refused repeated requests for comment.

On Tuesday, however, a defiant Ford refused to apologize to Dale or clarify his comments.

"I stand by my words, what I said with Conrad Black,'' an angry Ford told a news conference.

"I stand by every word I said."

Black was not immediately available, but told CBC Radio on Wednesday that Ford's comments were open to interpretation.

"He wasn't saying [Dale] was a pedophile," said Black.

"You don't have to be a pedophile, you can just be unduly nosy, and frankly, lots of journalists are."

Black, who said he was unaware police investigated at the time and found nothing to the mayor's complaint, added the reporter could have a case against Ford if he was suggesting Dale was a pedophile.

"In my brief days in the practice of law and certainly to my extensive experience in defamation matters, Mr. Dale would have a case against him," Black said.

Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly, who has assumed most of the mayor's powers in light of the various scandals, has denounced Ford's comments as "beyond the pale" and called on him to apologize.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2013
The Canadian Press

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