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douchebag apologizes to Richard Mahoney


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(I love happy endings)

Lawsuit threat wins apology for Mahoney

NDP MP Paul Dewar agrees campaign flyer misrepresented reports on rival's lobbying

Glen McGregor, The Ottawa Citizen

Published: Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Rookie NDP MP Paul Dewar is offering to apologize to former political foe Richard Mahoney for campaign literature distributed in their riding shortly before the federal election.

The mea culpa comes one day after Mr. Mahoney, the unsuccessful Liberal candidate, filed a libel lawsuit against Mr. Dewar over a flyer sent to households in Ottawa Centre that referred to Mr. Mahoney's lobbying activities.

Last year, the Citizen reported on Mr. Mahoney's work on behalf of a Canadian Satellite Radio (now called XM Canada), which was facing an important cabinet decision on its broadcast licence.

Mr. Mahoney at the time described a series of bureaucratic snafus that he says delayed his registration as a lobbyist with Industry Canada.

He insisted that he had never done anything on behalf of the company that would require he register under the federal lobbying law. He registered only out of an abundance of caution, he claimed.

Three says before the Jan. 23 election, Mr. Dewar's campaign distributed flyers critical of the Liberal government's ethical record. They did not mention Mr. Mahoney by name, but did refer to the lobbying activities of "their candidate."

Shortly before the vote, Mr. Mahoney gave legal notice that he might sue for libel. This week, his lawyer filed a statement of claim in Ontario Superior Court, claiming the words in the flyer were wholly false and defamatory.

Mr. Mahoney claims that the flyer "severely injured" his character and reputation as a lawyer. He seeks $300,000 in damages and compensation for lost income.

None of the claims have been proved in court.

Mr. Dewar says he believed Mr. Mahoney filed the lawsuit now to keep his legal options open before the limitation period expired. But he wrote to Mr. Mahoney's lawyer yesterday saying he was "pleased to receive the unequivocal statements" that contradict the words in his flyer. "In light of your assurances, I'm happy to offer an apology for embarrassment that may have been caused, " he wrote.

Mr. Dewar said the flyer was based on his campaign's understanding of reports in the Citizen and the Globe and Mail, as well as questions in the House of Commons about Mr. Mahoney's work.

Mr. Mahoney's lawyer, Andrew Davis, would not say whether the apology had been accepted.

A close friend of former prime minister Paul Martin, Mr. Mahoney was once thought destined to serve as a minister in a Liberal cabinet. But in 2004, he lost the traditionally safe Liberal riding to former NDP leader Ed Broadbent, who did not run again this year. Mr. Mahoney lost by more than 5,000 votes to Mr. Dewar, a former school teacher.

Mr. Mahoney continues to work as a lawyer and is no longer registered as a lobbyist.

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