The mayor of Vancouver has been accused of engaging in "hate speech against his opposition for political gain".
That's one of several allegations in a notice of civil claim filed today against Kennedy Stewart and the City of Vancouver filed in B.C. Supreme Court.
Seven NPA directors—David Mawhinney, Christopher Wilson, David Pasin, Phyllis Tang, Angelo Isidorou, Federico Fuoco, and Wesley Mussio—also alleged that Stewart "uses his office resources for patrician attacks on the NPA Board".
Moreover, they claim that the mayor "wrongly" stated on January 28 that there were "troubling reports of extremism" within the NPA board and that NPA board members showed "open support for hate groups".
The NPA directors claim that this suggestion "is a knowingly false statement for political gain as there is no 'extremism' in the NPA board or in the NPA itself".
None of the NPA directors' claims have been proven in court. Neither the city nor Stewart has filed a statement of defence yet.
Stewart's January 28 statement was issued after the Tyee published a picture of one of the plaintiffs, self-described free speech advocate Angelo Isidorou, wearing a Make America Great Again hat. He was also flashing the "okay" sign with his thumb and forefinger.
This occurred when two of Donald Trump's two adult sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, and daughter Tiffany visited Vancouver in February 2017 for the official opening of the Trump International Hotel and Tower Vancouver.
In their defamation claim, the plaintiffs are seeking a mandatory interim and permanent injunction compelling the defendants or people acting on their behalf "to forthwith remove the offending, libelous words from the social media and any other sources or documents".
In addition, they're seeking general, punitive, and aggravated damages.
As of this writing, the mayor’s office has not responded to the Straight’s request for comment.
On the same day that Stewart made his remarks about the NPA board members, the party's nine elected politicians issued their own written statement.
“The NPA elected caucus believes in an inclusive, compassionate and caring city free from hate, stigma and discrimination," they said.
“We are calling on the Board to hold an AGM immediately. The Board must reflect the values of the elected caucus, long held ideals of the organization, membership, and the diversity of our city and residents.
“Holding the AGM allows the NPA elected caucus to focus on their role as public representatives serving Vancouver residents, while the Board maintains internal administration of the NPA.”
After this article was posted, the mayor's office sent the following statement to the Straight:
"Unfortunately, due to fact that this is an ongoing legal matter the Mayor will not be able to comment."