Union Bay war of words continues

The Union Bay Improvement District and Mary Reynolds have consented to an order dismissing the district's claim about alleged defamatory material that appeared on her blog dubbed All Things Union Bay.
The UBID has agreed to pay her $15,000.
Reynolds' lawyer Jason Gratl said it is difficult to determine the exact amount of legal costs incurred thus far.

The Union Bay Improvement District and Mary Reynolds have consented to an order dismissing the district’s claim about alleged defamatory material that appeared on her blog dubbed All Things Union Bay.

The UBID has agreed to pay her $15,000.

Reynolds’ lawyer Jason Gratl said it is difficult to determine the exact amount of legal costs incurred thus far.

“My client estimates, on the basis of public documents, that the cost of litigation borne to date by UBID ratepayers is approximately $130,000,” Gratl said. “Ms. Reynolds is prepared to allow the remaining plaintiffs to drop the suit, without making any payment to her, provided the remaining plaintiffs reimburse UBID ratepayers for the costs incurred to date for this lawsuit…They can either repay their neighbours or spend more money and energies pursuing Ms. Reynolds.”

The eight plaintiffs named in the lawsuit plan to proceed “until it’s done,” said UBID trustee Alan de Jersey, who was replaced as board chair by Carol Molstad in early-May.

Molstad is a member of Taxpayers for Accountable Governance (TAG), as are fellow trustees Cleve Goldswain, Bruce Livesey and Anne Alcock.

The civil action against Reynolds stems from what the plaintiffs consider personal and malicious attacks through alleged defamatory material has appeared in the Cumberlander publication and on public signage.

“Basically all that’s happened is her four (TAG) friends on the board have withdrawn the UBID portion of the case and decided to pay her off,” said de Jersey, a retired police officer. “She’s the one being sued. She’s defamed people. As far as I’m concerned, she should be responsible for paying the money back.

“You don’t talk about an administrator being so overweight that her thighs chafe together as being freedom of speech, or saying that I’m so stupid I could never investigate a crime. That’s not free speech, it’s slander. If she commented on a decision that I made in a board meeting, then that’s free speech.”

Besides de Jersey, the plaintiffs include former trustees Dave Godfrey, Denis Royer, James Smith, Debora McMahon and David McDowell, administrator Brenda Fisher and part-time staffer Gloria Royer.

The plaintiffs, de Jersey noted, voluntarily put themselves into positions on the board to serve the community — not to be attacked and defamed — which is why they proceeded with legal action.

He said Reynolds is continuing to defame on a new blog on the Cumberlander website, even though she had signed a consent order to remove the blog.

“All she had to do was abide to the consent order, and it would have cost UBID $10,000 to end this thing,” de Jersey said. “She’s the one to blame for it, and not just her but the group that supports her.

“The whole thing is disgusting,” he added. “I don’t see anybody in Union Bay will ever be interested in running for a trustee position.”

While further legal action will be out of pocket from this point on, de Jersey said the UBID is still responsible for legal costs because the plaintiffs were indemnified as trustees. Had the plaintiffs won the case, the UBID would have had a chance to recover some of the legal costs, he added.

Gratl said Reynolds is “prepared to litigate if the plaintiffs are not prepared to settle.

“We can expect that a great deal more energy will be expended on this lawsuit.”

Reynolds said Gratl, like John Dixon, is a “true believer in freedom of speech and democracy.

“Shining examples of the legal profession,” she said. “I’m extremely grateful to John Dixon, who brought the ‘Dixon versus City of Powell River’ to the Supreme Court, successfully defending our Charter Rights.”

She was referring to the former B.C. Civil Liberties Association secretary who sought a Supreme Court declaration that municipalities had no authority to sue or threaten to sue for defamation. Powell River had sued three people after the province had passed Community Charter legislation.

de Jersey said he and the other plaintiffs sought advice from lawyers from the same firm that represented the City of Powell River. These lawyers indicated they had the right to sue Reynolds.

“Our lawyer certainly wouldn’t have gone ahead if they didn’t feel the UBID board had the same right,” he said. “It’s all smoke-blowing.”


Just Posted

The community at Highland Secondary in Comox has received a letter about a potential COVID exposure this month. File photo
Highland Secondary in Comox had potential COVID exposure

School community sent letter as precaution; COVID cases have been dropping in last month

The bottom of the CF-18 demonstration jet for 2021 showing the missing ninth Snowbird. Photo by Derek Heyes/Facebook
Aviation a family affair for CF-18 demo pilot

Capt. Daniel Deluce looking forward to being a part of Operation Inspiration

Comox Valley RCMP arrested a suspect in connection with a dumpster fire on the weekend. Black Press file photo
Comox Valley RCMP charge suspect with arson for weekend fire

Courtenay Fire Department has responded to multiple dumpster fires this year

NIC’s new president Lisa Domae assumed the role of president on April 12. Domae has worked at NIC since 2000, most recently as the executive vice president, academic and chief operating officer. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
New North Island College president launches draft strategic plan

Lisa Domae assumed the role of president on April 12, 2021

A siren bank near Stotan Falls. Photo supplied
BC Hydro to test sirens along Puntledge River in Courtenay this week

Public safety is very important to BC Hydro, and it’s one of… Continue reading

A prowling coyote proved no match for a stray black cat who chased it out of a Port Moody parking lot Friday, May 14. (Twitter/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Little but fierce: Cat spotted chasing off coyote by Port Moody police

The black cat is seen jumping out from under a parked car and running the wild animal out of a vacant lot

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The following is a list of restaurants offering take-out and patio dining. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE
List of Comox Valley restaurants offering take-out, patio dining options

Restaurants in the Comox Valley continue to adapt to government-imposed restrictions in… Continue reading

The only access to 5th Street bridge heading east (toward Lewis Park) is via Anderton Avenue. Photo by Terry Farrell.
Single lane alternating traffic controls on Courtenay bridge now in effect

Single lane alternating traffic on the 5th Street Bridge is now in… Continue reading

A forest of dance-protesters outside the BC Legislature on April 11. These participants were doing the Dance for the Ancient Forest in support of the Fairy Creek blockade and against old-growth logging. (Zoë Ducklow/News Staff)
Arrests begin at Fairy Creek blockade on Vancouver Island

Five protesters arrested as RCMP begin to enforce injunction

A thunderstorm, with lightning, pictured in Fraser Valley in 2021. (Black Press Media/Jaimie Grafstrom)
Wildfire concerns sparked after 320+ lightning strikes blasted B.C. yesterday

Approximately one-quarter of the province is currently listed as being at moderate risk of fires

A restaurant server on White Rock’s Marine Drive serves customers on a roadside patio. Indoor dining and recreational travel bans have been in effect since late March in B.C. (Peace Arch News)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate falls to 411 cases Tuesday

360 people in hospital, up slightly, two more deaths

The Banff National Park entrance is shown in Banff, Alta., Tuesday, March 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Minister asks Canadians to camp carefully in national parks as season starts

Kitchen shelters in Banff National Park closed, trails on Vancouver Island will only be one-way

Names of those aboard the ship are seen at Komagata Maru monument in downtown Vancouver, on Tuesday, May 18, 2021. The City of Vancouver has issued an apology for its racist role in denying entry to 376 passengers aboard a ship that was forced to return to India over a century ago. Mayor Kennedy Stewart says discrimination by the city had “cruel effects” on the Sikhs, Hindus and Muslims aboard the Komagata Maru, which arrived in Burrard Inlet on May 23, 1914. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver mayor says sorry for city’s role in turning away South Asians in 1914

Kennedy Stewart has declared May 23 as the annual Komagata Maru Day of Remembrance

Most Read