Liard First Nation defamation lawsuit settled

A Watson Lake woman has been ordered to pay $80,000 for defaming Liard First Nation Chief Liard McMillan and LFN economic development officer Alex Morrison. "I'm just happy that it's over.

A Watson Lake woman has been ordered to pay $80,000 for defaming Liard First Nation Chief Liard McMillan and LFN economic development officer Alex Morrison.

“I’m just happy that it’s over. It’s been a real difficult time for me, and it was the right verdict. I’m glad to finally have this matter settled,” McMillan said.

Last summer, during a political protest against the chief and council, Vianna Abou accused the men of corruption, nepotism, and theft. Many of these allegations were linked to the First Nation’s buying and selling of Watson Lake hotels.

Abou was acting as a spokesperson for the protesters, who had gathered what she said were 120 names on a petition calling for McMillan’s ouster.

But that petition bore the names of people that McMillan knew to be dead, the chief said.

“I’ve been to almost every one of their funerals. I helped to bury some of these people,” McMillan said.

When he saw those names on the petition, McMillan said his jaw dropped.

“I was shocked. I couldn’t understand how somebody could go to such lengths to damage my character, and to actually use individuals that are deceased. To me, it goes against our Kaska way, our Kaska laws. It’s really shameful,” he said.

He said his government doesn’t try to stifle free speech or restrict the right to protest, but Abou’s actions went too far.

“I love and care about my community. I’ve made some honest mistakes in the past, but they are honest mistakes. I think anybody’s entitled to that. I expect criticism and attack, but what I will not tolerate is lies. That’s where I draw the line in the sand,” he said.

Yukon Supreme Court ruled that Abou must pay $50,000 to McMillan and $30,000 to Morrison.

As part of the settlement, Abou was required to make a formal apology to both men.

Contact Jesse Winter at

jessew@yukon-news.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A proposed Official Community Plan amendment would designate a 56.3-hectare piece of land in Whistle Bend currently designated as green space, as urban residential use. Whitehorse city council will vote on the second reading of the Official Community Plan amendment on Dec. 7. (Courtesy City of Whitehorse)
Future area of Whistle Bend considered by council

Members set to vote on second reading for OCP change

The City of Whitehorse’s projected deficit could be $100,000 more than originally predicted earlier this year. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City deficit could be just over $640,000 this year

Third quarter financial reports presented to council

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley speaks during a COVID-19 press conference in Whitehorse on Oct. 30. Masks became mandatory in the Yukon for anyone five years old and older as of Dec. 1 while in public spaces. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
As mask law comes into effect, premier says $500 fines will be last resort

The territory currently has 17 active cases of COVID-19

Crystal Schick/Yukon News file
Ranj Pillai, minister of economic development, during a press conference on April 1.
Government rejects ATAC mining road proposal north of Keno City

Concerns from the First Nation of Na-Cho Nyäk Dun were cited as the main reason for the decision

asdf
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for Dec. 2, 2020

The new Little Salmon Carmacks First Nation council elected Dec. 1. (Submitted)
Little Salmon Carmacks elects new chief, council

Nicole Tom elected chief of Little Salmon Carcmacks First Nation

Submitted/Yukon News file
Yukon RCMP’s Historical Case Unit is seeking information related to the unsolved homicide of Allan Donald Waugh, 69, who was found deceased in his house on May 30, 2014.
Yukon RCMP investigating unsolved Allan Waugh homicide

Yukon RCMP’s Historical Case Unit is seeking information related to an unsolved… Continue reading

A jogger runs along Millenium Trail as the sun rises over the trees around 11 a.m. in Whitehorse on Dec. 12, 2018. The City of Whitehorse could soon have a new trail plan in place to serve as a guide in managing the more than 233 kilometres of trails the city manages. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
2020 trail plan comes forward

Policies and bylaws would look at e-mobility devices

Snow-making machines are pushed and pulled uphill at Mount Sima in 2015. The ski hill will be converting snow-making to electric power with more than $5 million in funding from the territorial and federal governments. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Mount Sima funded to cut diesel reliance

Mount Sima ski hill is converting its snowmaking to electric power with… Continue reading

Colin McDowell, the director of land management for the Yukon government, pulls lottery tickets at random during a Whistle Bend property lottery in Whitehorse on Sept. 9, 2019. A large amount of lots are becoming available via lottery in Whistle Bend as the neighbourhood enters phase five of development. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Lottery for more than 250 new Whistle Bend lots planned for January 2021

Eight commercial lots are being tendered in additional to residential plots

The Government of Yukon Main Administration Building in Whitehorse on Aug. 21. The Canada Border Services Agency announced Nov. 26 that they have laid charges against six people, including one Government of Yukon employee, connected to immigration fraud that involved forged Yukon government documents. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Charges laid in immigration fraud scheme, warrant out for former Yukon government employee

Permanent residency applications were submitted with fake Yukon government documents

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Mask fundraiser helps make children’s wishes come true

From Black Press Media + BraveFace – adult, youth and kid masks support Make-A-Wish Foundation

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Most Read