An environmental consultant, David Barrett, had to post a public apology to Rebel journalist Sheila Gunn Reid as part of a defamation lawsuit settlement.
Barrett’s website notes that he has been employed by a number of federal and provincial agencies, including Environment Canada and Alberta Environment and Parks. He is also a visiting scholar at the University of Calgary.
“I apologize to Ms. Sheila Gunn Reid for my tweet on June 12, 2019 using the term “Neo-Nazi.” I retract the allegation without reservation and regret any harm I may have caused to Ms. Gunn Reid or her family,” wrote Barrett on Twitter.
According to Gunn Reid, Barrett has to have the tweet pinned for an entire month and also has to pay a $1,200 settlement as part of the deal.
“I have 4 years of pro-Israel, pro Zionist, anti-BDS videos. I’ve led 2 journalistic missions to Israel and work for a Jewish boss. I’m a philo-Semite. It’s not free to defame and the law is pretty clear,” said Gunn Reid.
Gunn Reid’s tweet announcing the settlement has been liked nearly 30,000 times and has received nearly 10,000 retweets.
“American journalists are shocked and a little bit fascinated and a few have reached out to me over the last 24 hours. However, in Canada, you are the first journalist who has contacted me and I think that says a lot about the incurious, and cliquish state of journalism in Canada,” Gunn Reid told True North.
According to Gunn Reid’s employer and founder of Rebel News, Ezra Levant, Barrett’s comments were “lazy” and “done in bad faith.”
“What Barrett said was very common. But the fact that we fought back was very unusual. I was surprised and pleased with the huge attention our little victory received — Sheila’s main tweet on the subject had more than 2 million views in the first day. This tells me that there is an appetite amongst conservatives for someone who fights back,” said Levant.
Rebel News is currently involved in another breach of contract lawsuit with a theatre owner who cancelled one of Levant’s book signing events after leftists called for him to be deplatformed on social media.
In total, the lawsuit names 12 individuals, including a university professor and former Alberta NDP MLA Jessica Littlewood for inducing the breach of contract.
“After we sued a dozen defendants for deplatforming our Alberta book launches, we had two more Alberta events (just last week). I did not see a single comment on social media, nor did the hotels in question receive a single phone call to that effect,” said Levant.