Federal Member of Parliament, Kerry Diotte brings lawsuit against University of Alberta paper, The Gateway.

Photo from The Gateway's Facebook page.
Photo from The Gateway's Facebook page.

Recently, a member of the Canadian University Press (CUP), The Gateway, received complaints from Member of Parliament, Kerry Diotte. Diotte claimed that The Gateway published “defamatory comments.”

On his Facebook page, Mr. Diotte stated that “The University of Alberta student publication The Gateway recently made unfounded and defamatory comments about me. The most damaging and disturbing comment was that I was referred to as “a racist” in not one, but two, articles. It was also falsely alleged I supported candidate Faith Goldy in her campaign to be mayor of Toronto.”

The original article from The Gateway was published on November 5. On November 15, an editor’s note was added at the top of the article stating that “a previous version of this editorial cited various comments from third parties accusing Kerry Diotte of being a racist, as well as explicitly supporting Faith Goldy. Subsequently, The Gateway was contacted by a representative of Mr. Diotte, who provided information indicating that the comments were untrue. On the basis of the information provided by Mr. Diotte, The Gateway retracts and apologizes for the comments, and has revised the editorial.”

Kerry Diotte - Photo taken from www.kerrydiotte.com
Kerry Diotte - Photo taken from www.kerrydiotte.com

The edited article is still posted on The Gateway’s website. However, according Mr. Diotte’s Facebook post, “The Gateway management has refused to fully retract and apologize for its damaging articles.” Diotte claims that this was all he asked of the student publication.

Due to their refusal to take down the edited article, Diotte has “filed a statement of claim against The Gateway” to clear his name from false allegations. He is seeking damages in the amount of $150,000. Diotte says that if he is successful in court, he will donate these proceeds to a charity in Edmonton.

CUP is supporting The Gateway in this process, and argues that Diotte’s lawsuit “shows that his intentions go beyond protecting his own reputation and extend into the dangerous territory of stifling and financially devastating an independent student publication.”