Monthly Archives: March 2020

The City of Guelph was forced to reveal spending $90,000 to support a private lawsuit by a former employee alleging defamation

By Gerry Barker
March 8 2020

Opinion

On February 5, two days before being hospitalized, I published a post that outlined the history of a three and a half year lawsuit. The City refused my request to disclose the cost to the citizens of Guelph.

Tony Saxson, a reporter with Guelph Today, made a request under the Freedom of Information Act and revealed that the City’s cost to support the lawsuit was approximately $90,000 to the date of disclosure.

This revelation of $90,000 spent over three and a half years on supporting the defamation lawsuit brought by Amorosi, defies the pledge by the Mayor and his council. Whatever happened to accountability to all citizens, transparency of all administration responsibilities, and operation of an open government?

Who has been aware of the $90,000 cost to the taxpayers, so far?
• Not the four judges in the case
• Not the taxpayers
• Presumably the lawyer who was billing the city
• Presumably Amorosi
• Presumably the Chief Administrative Officers from 2015-2019, Ann Pappert and Derrick Thomson

Superior Court Judge, Cynthia Peterson, said in her denial of our motion to dismiss the lawsuit that it was almost “too close to call.”

If she had known the details of the city’s involvement and the cost to citizens, would she have ruled differently? She ruled against our argument that it was in the public interest.

This whole episode was an abuse of the public trust. The administration in 2016, and since, was complicit in using its resources to build and fund a private citizen’s defamation case against me.

Bottom line, it has cost me $86,000 in legal fees yet I have never been found guilty of defamation.

How many readers could defend themselves against a city-funded attack against them for having the audacity to challenge mismanagement of the public purse? This was a secretive deal to shut me down, using a surrogate to cripple me financially.

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Editor ill, needs time to recover Friends, neighbours, supporters and viewers. It is the winter of our discontent. It has been a rocky, almost three weeks since my last column. Two weeks in the Guelph General Hospital with a serious lung infection plus influenza, has left me weak and wired up to oxygen with a 50-foot tether. Not only do I have COPD, an irreversible lung disease, but I have low vision. I am currently waiting to be assessed by the University of Waterloo Low Vision clinic to improve my vision. Barbra and I are coping with a huge chance of circumstances. However, the improvement in the health situation will take some time. Don’t worry, there is no shortage of material! I wil keep you posted as we reach warp speed in the wordsmithing department Best to all, Gerry and Barbara Barker

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