Thursday November 30th, 2023 - 02:00:30 AM

They Want To Stay In The Darkness
- Austin Wright, May 11, 2007, Editorial Response to Lawsuit Threats
Note: This article was posted in response to legal threats and is the subject of a legal action. For that reason, the article had been removed from this site. However, no Notice of Libel was ever served prior to including the paragraph in the lawsuit complaining of this article, and the particulars were not pleaded properly. Therefore, there is nothing at law that can keep this article censored. Imagine - the person who writes the most brutal and personal attacks on the opinion pages thinks this is defamatory of them!

The latest action by Mr. Cryderman appears to reinforce everything this site has published in the past few months. Naming my spouse, my 76 year-old father and my business interests as defendants to my own statements that they know nothing about is the ultimate act of political cowardice. Perhaps it's documents like this that are preventing Chatham-Kent residents from learning the truth from mainstream media, many of whom have been suspected of operating under similar conditions. I take full responsibility for my statements and ask, who dares to take responsibility for actions of the Chatham-Kent Coalition of Concerned Citizens? It is understandable that some people might object to material which exposes a dark side to municipal politics.

Chatham-Kent is not well-served when those willing to make a difference in the community are threatened and cajoled into silence. If Mr. Cryderman has an issue with my content, he is free to contact me and discuss it face to face (as others have) instead of resorting to intimidation and scare tactics against innocent family members.

Mr. Cryderman seems to have appointed himself in the media as the unofficial ombudsman of Chatham-Kent in a very outspoken public manner, therefore, it is fair and proper that at least one media source document, report, and question his political activities to the same standards he used to demand of other political participants. Resorting to legal threats to mute this inconvenient scrutiny simply confirms Mr. Cryderman's frequent contention that municipal politics requires more accountability and transparency. That I don't hold the same political opinions as the Plaintiff, despite being fed false friendship and intentional misinformation for years, speaks to the strength of my political principles and ability to think for myself.

I am not intimidated by this Plaintiff, and intend to stand behind every word I have written. Each statement is supported by research and evidence which will stand up to scrutiny. Mr. Cryderman has always been welcome, as in the past, to submit material to support his positions, or challenge reported statements, but he chose strong-arm tactics instead. If this site has reported inaccurately or inadvertently editorialized a personal attack (as opposed to statements of political accountability), then such statements would be quickly clarified or retracted with apologies with a simple request. I think my probes just started hitting too close to the truth.

Nothing on this site contravenes any Canadian law. Allegations of defamation and libel are groundless - this site sets out to expose political activity and inspire political debate, not engage in name calling and rumours. (It was never the intent to concentrate narrowly on municipal politics until local media declared certain topics off-limits, including Mayor Hope's connections and performance, and the enigmatic activities of a certain local citizen who writes letters to the editor but cannot be named in the rare refutal that's published, due to editorial policy.)

Should this legal action not be withdrawn with apologies, I am prepared to defend each and every item of complaint in court and in public. What further details could be revealed on this site? Mr. Cryderman ought to ask himself if proceeding is worth it because the rules of disclosure make everything a public record. There might be awkward details revealed. I'd much rather start writing about some more positive topics. My reputation for tenacity is not without validity, and nothing motivates me like attempts to shut me up.

It's time for the municipality's other media to get the politics out of the secret backroom and out in the open where all participants can be held accountable. Chatham-Kent voters demanded accountability in the last election, and this legal notice from Mr. Cryderman, the self-declared "Champion of Public Accountability," should serve to inform the public about the political and journalistic environment which may exist locally. Do we really want influences like this controlling the Mayor's office and the future of this community? Mr. Cryderman, come out in the open where we can see you. If you can't stand the heat, give up politics and go make some boomerangs. At least you can see those before they come back on you.

Postscript: It appears that somebody is abusing the legal process to achieve an ulterior motive - using faux claims of defamation against innocent citizens on behalf of Mayor Hope to chill criticism. Well, Mayor Hope better get ready to turn over all his documents pertaining to "his" idea to hire his campaign manager to a position of political authority with less than the necessary amount of scrutiny. Auditor Bernard Nayman is being subpoenaed for all the compliance audit material. I'm bolder now that I studied libel law and know the rules. Since I'm defending the subject matter of this lawsuit as truth, I am free to use every bit of evidence available to establish the Plaintiff's pre-existing reputation (that was impossible for me to have damaged). I have a list of items that I expect to be amongst his disclosures. And they are all privileged public documents, which means they can be reported! Some coward always has to kick a sleeping dog. There could be some interesting reading - I know my stuff is good. He always told me CYA, and he has no idea how well I did. How many reels of incriminating tape are there?


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