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Toronto: Today, Sid Ryan the Ontario president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE Ontario) served a Notice of Libel on Mel Lastman in respect to recent statements made by the Mayor linking Ryan and CUPE Ontario to criminal activity that allegedly occurred during a demonstration in Torontos financial district on October 16.

The Notice of Libel on Mayor Lastman specifically focuses on comments made by the Mayor during a press conference held on October16 and an interview with Bill Carroll on CFRBs Newstalk Radio program on October 22.

On October 25, a Notice of Libel was also served on the National Post and Editor-in-Chief Kenneth Whyte for similar statements made in an editorial published by the newspaper on October 19.

Ryan today released details of the libel actions at a City Hall media conference. Joining Ryan was Chris Paliare, senior partner of the legal firm Paliare Roland Rosenberg Rothstein LLP, retained by Ryan and CUPE Ontario.

The innuendos of the Mayors statements and the editorial comments of the Post are patently false. Lets be clear. Both CUPE Ontario and I condemn violence in the strongest terms. We are proud of our non-violent activism.

We also deplore that one of these fringe protestors burned an American flag, and the activities of those who allegedly defaced public property and vandalized private poverty, says Ryan, who in recent years has acted as an international peace observer in strife-torn Northern Ireland.

Ryan and CUPE Ontario are pursuing legal action because we fully intend to clear CUPEs name and my name. We are seeking an apology from both the Mayor and the National Post. If appropriate apologies are not forthcoming, we will vigorously pursue further legal action.

Had either the Mayor or the National Post taken the time to check their facts or to call me, it would have been clear to both that neither CUPE nor I sponsored the protest organized by the Common Front, a broad-based coalition of social justice groups. However, CUPE Ontario did officially participate in a non-violent peace march from University Ave. to City Hall at 5 p.m. on October 16,says Ryan.


For more information please contact:
Sid Ryan, President CUPE Ontario
Odette Soriano, Paliare Roland Barristers
Stella Yeadon, CUPE Communications