A woman who organized protests outside the Liard First Nation’s office in July is being sued for defamation.
Vianna Abou waged a “campaign of vilification” against Chief Liard McMillan and Alex Morrison, the First Nation’s economic development officer, according to the statement of claim.
The court documents, which were filed on Sept. 5, cite placards that Abou allegedly posted outside the band office in Watson Lake, statements she made to media and a letter to the editor she wrote, which was published in the Whitehorse Star on July 16.
In all of these instances, Abou knew the imputations were false, the chief and Morrison assert. She was motivated by personal ambition and retributive spite, they allege.
While calling for the men’s resignations, Abou alleged that McMillan and Morrison mismanaged the First Nation’s finances. She also called McMillan a bully and dictator who has ignored community concerns for years.
The placards and Abou’s letter to the editor cast aspersions on the aboriginal group’s buying and selling of Watson Lake hotels. In one instance, the transactions were called “scandalous cronyism,” the claim states.
Abou’s “misconduct was planned and deliberate,” and she has “persisted in outrageous conduct over time,” all the while “pretending concern for the community,” the claim states.
Both Morrison and McMillan’s “business reputation(s)” have been damaged and Abou has not retracted or apologized for her statements, the claim states.
Both men are seeking general, aggravated and punitive damages with prejudgement interest, although an exact amount was not filed.
A conference with a judge will be held in late October. Abou has not filed any documents in her defence. She has until early October to do so.