On June 4 LifeSiteNews received a complaint letter from the law firm Keel Cottrelle, acting on behalf of Ontario’s Peel District School board, threatening legal action regarding two April news reports by reporter Peter Baklinski, in a suit that LSN’s editor is calling “frivolous.”
Baklinski’s reported on a workshop given by two lesbian teachers about how they incorporate lessons about homosexuality in the broader curriculum, including math classes, and hide it from parents. Some lessons were provided to kindgarten students.
The Peel board claims, among other complaints, that the stories “included inappropriate, aggressive and hateful comments regarding Board representatives.”
On June 17, LifeSiteNews editor-in-chief John-Henry Westen informed readers that the pro-life website has “been threatened with another lawsuit – this time by Ontario’s $1.7 billion dollar taxpayer-funded Peel District School Board.”
The Peel board has accused LifeSiteNews of making “hateful” comments, issued a “cease and desist” order, and demanded removal of all “posting and images” of the two teachers or they will sue the website.
Westen noted that the threatened lawsuit could prevent LSN from “speaking and showing the truth.”
LifeSiteNews was sued in 2010 by Fr. Raymond Gravel after he said that their labeling him pro-choice cost him his job as a federal MP. The lawsuit was dismissed after Fr. Gravel’s death, but not until after LifeSiteNews spent $200,000 in its legal defense. Westen also said that answering the lawsuit distracted some staff from reporting the news as they had to attend to meetings with lawyers and court dates in Quebec.
Westen dismissed the case as frivolous: “we merely reported what the teachers said at the conference, which was open to the public, using their own words.” Westen said even frivolous lawsuits need to be answered and cost LifeSiteNews both money and manpower to do so. Westen said the school board is “resorting to bully tactics to silence us.”
LSN rejects all of the claims and has responded with demands that the Peel board immediately either withdraw in writing the allegations or immediately provide adequate particulars supporting them. It has also challenged the notion that the board has any legal interest or claim in this matter since one of the teachers in question specifically said she works for but does not represent the Peel District School Board.