Ontario Court Greenlights Han Dong’s Defamation Lawsuit Against Global News

The Ontario Superior Court has ruled that MP Han Dong’s defamation lawsuit against Global News can move forward. The ruling, delivered by Justice Paul Perell, underscores the importance of addressing allegations that have severely impacted Dong’s reputation and political career.

The controversy began in March 2023 when Global News published a series of articles citing unnamed sources. These reports alleged that Dong, then a Liberal MP, had advised a senior Chinese diplomat to delay the release of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, two Canadians detained in China, to benefit the Liberal Party. The stories suggested that such a delay would undermine the Conservative Party’s position on the issue.

Justice Perell’s ruling emphasized the lack of documented evidence supporting Global News’s allegations.

“The defendants have no tangible and no documentary corroboration of the information derived from the confidential sources about the conversation between Dong and the Chinese Consul General,” the judgment stated.

The judgment further highlighted that the reporter, Sam Cooper, did not see a transcript of the purported conversation and failed to retain comprehensive notes.

The judge noted, “Cooper admitted that none of the documents reviewed named Dong and none stated that Dong advocated for the detention of the Two Michaels.” This critical lack of evidence led the court to dismiss Corus Entertainment’s (Global News’s parent company) motion to strike out Dong’s lawsuit.

“I have been clear from the beginning”

In a statement released following the court’s decision, MP Han Dong expressed his relief and reaffirmed his commitment to clearing his name.

“The Court recognized that Global News’s stories have caused immense damage to my reputation and agreed that I should have the chance to repair that damage,” Dong stated. He reiterated his denial of the allegations, emphasizing that he never supported or advocated for the continued detention of Kovrig and Spavor.

“I have been clear from the beginning. I never advocated or supported in any way the violation of
the basic human rights and continued wrongful detention of Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig.
The accusations made by Global News are false,” he added.

Dong also called for Global News to apologize and retract their reporting, stating, “Until they do, I will continue to fight to clear my name in the courts.”

The ruling has sparked reactions across social media and the political spectrum. An observer on X posted, “Well holy shit. He even left his tweets up, they show the lie,” referring to Cooper’s tweet last year connecting Dong to Spavor and Kovrig.

Another user, Stephen Punwasi, highlighted the need for transparency, tweeting, “Canada needs to release the unredacted transcript in full or it risks public distrust of its electoral integrity.”

Global News responded with a measured statement, acknowledging the court’s decision but maintaining the significance of foreign government interference as a matter of public interest. “As the matter remains before the courts, we will not comment further at this time,” Corus Entertainment’s statement concluded.

The allegations against Dong were part of a broader narrative concerning foreign interference in Canadian politics. These concerns prompted the federal government to appoint former governor general David Johnston as a special rapporteur to investigate such claims. Johnston’s findings dismissed Global News’s reporting on the issue as “false.”

The ongoing federal inquiry into foreign interference has yet to release definitive conclusions regarding the conversation between Dong and the Chinese diplomat.

Information for this briefing was found via CBC and the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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