Man named in MLA’s suit denies key allegation

Terrace resident Jim Lynch, who is being sued by Skeena NDP MLA Robin Austin, says 2013 incident wasn't a political scheme

Skeena NDP MLA Robin Austin is suing former BC Conservative candidate Michael Brousseau.

The man being sued for defamation by Skeena NDP MLA Robin Austin because of statements made at an all candidates forum during the May 2013 provincial election campaign is denying the incident was a scheme between him and one of Austin’s political opponents.

That’s just one of a handful of amendments filed earlier this month to Terrace resident Jim Lynch’s response to Austin’s civil claim against him.

RELATED: MLA sues political opponent for incident at 2013 all candidates forum

In that claim, first filed in the BC Supreme Court nearly a year ago, Austin says Lynch’s comments at an April 2013 all candidates meeting, in which he alleged Austin abused a foster child, characterize Austin as a sexual predator and not worthy of his standing in the community and of his position as a public official.

Austin is claiming general, aggravated, punitive and special damages against Lynch and also against Michael Brousseau, the BC Conservative candidate who ran against Austin in that election and in the previous 2009 provincial election.

The original suit filed against Lynch included a “John Doe” who was then described as Brousseau in the amended suit, filed Oct. 2, 2014.

Brousseau “incited, assisted and/or encouraged the defendant Lynch …” in the comments made at the April 30, 2013 all candidates meeting held at the Terrace Pentecostal Assembly.

This then makes Brousseau a “joint publisher of the April 30, 2013 statements,” reads Austin’s suit.

In Lynch’s amended response, it now says “the defendant denies there was any common design, plan, or scheme between him and the defendant, Michael Brousseau, when he made the statements, or at all.”

It goes on to say that Lynch acted “entirely on his own in making the statements” and that Lynch does not know Brousseau, other than from minimal contact from when Brousseau was campaigning.

Brousseau has also maintained he did not know Lynch nor scheme with him and that Austin’s claim against him is politically motivated.

Speaking late last year, Brousseau said he encountered Lynch once when he was out door knocking in support of his candidacy.

During the all candidates meeting held at the Terrace Pentecostal church, Lynch, in a statement contained in a question to Austin and included as a transcript of comments made at the meeting in the court documents, said he had got to know a girl who was once a foster child of Austin and his wife.

He said she told him of sexual abuse and when he asked her why she did not go to the authorities, he said she wondered who would believe her.

“I really felt for the girl because we got to [be] buds,” the transcript of Lynch’s comments continued.

The transcript was included in court filings associated with the suit.

Lynch took back his statements and issued a formal retraction and apology to Austin after being contacted by Austin’s lawyers and after investigating the claim further.

A letter sent to Austin through his lawyer May 8, 3013 and included in the court documents reads that Lynch “belatedly investigated his source more thoroughly and again spoke to the child’s foster mother … he is convinced the foster child duped him into believing her and there was no basis whatsoever for her statement to him” and that he “is now convinced that there was no truth whatsoever to the allegation she made to him, that he believed and then repeated at the all candidates meeting.”

The suit has yet to be heard in court and no trial date has been finalized. Brousseau has yet to file an official response.

Just Posted

New funding opens for industry innovation

Northern Development Initiative Trust opened new funds, focused on areas impacted by the pine beetle

Former resident wins filmmaking award

Veronika Kurz will be able to make her film with $15,000 cash and in-kind services, up to $100,000

Terrace River Kings win CIHL regular season

The boys held a strong enough lead in points to claim the banner after a 15-2 win Saturday

Terrace residents discuss poverty at provincial engagement meeting

80 people were there as well as the Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction

Shames Mountain named one of the world’s Top 10 ski resorts

The UK magazine listed Shames alongside Whistler and hills in Italy, Japan and Austria

VIDEO: Orcas put on a show near Hornby Island

Louis Jobodin shares photos and video of his experience

VIDEO: B.C. Lions sign defensive back T.J. Lee to contract for upcoming season

The four-year veteran had a team-high four interceptions and 49 tackles last season with B.C.

How an immigrant to Canada helped Donald Trump prove his mental health

Test that cleared Trump was developed by doctor associated with McGill and Sherbrooke universities

Premier touches on multiple topics ahead of Asia trade trip

Housing and childcare are expected to be the focus of the BC NDP’s first budget in February.

Premier offers condolences to family of boy, 15, killed in Vancouver crossfire

John Horgan: ‘No stone is to be left unturned until we find the perpetrator of this heinous crime’

VIDEO: Explorers uncover Canada’s deepest cave in Fernie

The cave, named Bisaro Anima, was confirmed to have broken the record on New Year’s Day

Players sought for National Aboriginal Hockey Championships

ISPARC calls for bantam/midget players to register for selection camp in Kamloops

Vernon to host largest Special Olympics B.C. Winter Games in 2019

Games to be held Feb. 21-23, with more than 800 athletes expected to take part

Ex-BC Liberal staffer focused on ‘favourable’ ethnic communities in scandal: lawyer

Former communications director Brian Bonney’s sentencing hearing for breach of trust is underway

Most Read