NCCM ordered to provide all documents related to Hamas in its lawsuit against Stephen Harper
by Ilana Shneider
On May 26, 2014 the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) has commenced a lawsuit against Stephen Harper, then Prime Minister of Canada, Jason MacDonald, then his Director of Communications, and the Crown for defamation in relation to a media statement made by Mr. MacDonald about the NCCM on January 16, 2014 alleging that NCCM has ties to Hamas.
On December 2, 2015, Judge Liza Sheard ruled in favour of the motion brought by the defendants seeking an order for the plaintiff to deliver a further and better affidavit of documents.
The documents the NCCM is ordered to provide relate to its relationship and dealings with Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), and to decisions, actions or communications by or on behalf of NCCM or its predecessor CAIR-CAN, made or taken by its director and board members relating in any way to any of the organizations identified by the defendants as having ties to Hamas including CAIR, the Muslim Association of Canada, the Jerusalem Fund for Human Services and IRFAN-Canada.
The motion to extend the time of the oral examination for discovery of the plaintiff from the two hours mandated under Rule 76 of the Rules of Civil Procedure to 21 hours was dismissed.
The claim states that on January 19, 2014 Mr. Harper travelled to Israel with a delegation of over 200 ministers from relevant portfolios and stakeholders who could "help Canada strengthen its ties to the [Middle East] Region". Mr. Harper included Rabbi Daniel Korobkin in the delegation.
By way of a press release and an open letter to Mr. Harper dated January 14, 2014, NCCM expressed its objections to Rabbi Daniel Korobkin being included among the delegates calling him a "controversial individual" and "anti-Muslim".
The statement of claim alleges that on January 16, 2014, on instruction from Mr. Harper, his chief spokesperson, Mr. McDonald, responded to the plaintiff's published objections stating: "We will not take seriously criticism from an organization with documented ties to a terrorist Organization such as Hamas". The plaintiff claims that this statement is defamatory and contains serious false allegations."
On May 26, 2014 NCCM filed a lawsuit for general, aggravated and punitive damages for the alleged libellous statements made and published by one or more of the defendants. As drafted and issued, the original claim was seeking injunctive relief (a complete public retraction of the defamatory comments) and more than $100,000.00 in damages.
Later, NCCM chose to abandon the claim for injunctive relief and proceed under the simplified rules to streamline the litigation and minimize its costs because the organization has limited funds.
Geert Wilders Lauds Legal Project
Latest Blog Posts
Latest LP in the Media