Griffin counters Poulin in Chelsea, Quebec libel suit

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by Mark Burgess on April 22, 2010

Former council candidate Doug Griffin has filed a counter motion and claim against Chelsea, Quebec Councillor Luc Poulin, who is suing Griffin for defamation over comments made during last fall’s municipal election campaign.

In the counter motion, Griffin refers to an “epidemic of legal actions and threats in Chelsea against citizens expressing concerns over commercial projects affecting public assets.” He cites instances of warnings and mises en demeures sent to residents from developers, councillors and municipal staff.

April 21 front page

April 21 front page

Griffin also reiterates the claims that led to Poulin’s lawsuit against him.

Poulin is suing Griffin for $9,000 for defamation, based on a flyer and an email Griffin distributed during the final week of last fall’s municipal election, when the two were contesting the seat in Chelsea’s Ward 1. Griffin stated that Poulin knew the terms of the $6.1 million in federal and provincial funding for the proposed Meredith Centre could not be met, saying that Poulin withheld this information from voters. In the email, Griffin wrote that Poulin had “participated in a cover-up.”

In the counter motion, Griffin again states that Poulin’s claims during the campaign – that the funding was secure – were false. He says Meredith Centre funding was the “primary issue” in the election and the matter of whether the $6.1 million in government funding was secure swung votes.

The conditions for the federal and provincial funding stated that construction of the Meredith Centre was to be completed by March 31, 2010. No new funding agreement has yet been signed.

A hearing for the counter motion is scheduled for April 27 at 9 a.m. at the Hull courthouse. The oral hearing for Poulin’s lawsuit against Griffin is scheduled for June 9.