The founder and Owner of Third-party “Ad Agency,” Jeff Ballingall, and his “Canada Proud” brand sued Dean and Crier Media last week for 200k in damages. Jeff and his legal counsel (Ryan O’Connor, who happens to be a board member of the Canada Proud network) filed a claim in the Ontario Supreme Court demanding I shut the fuck up and stop writing or talking about Jeff or Canada Proud. Our legal team has made it clear we’re. They also want 200k for their trouble.
That’s right. The same people who posted this…
Say they are suing me for “embarrassing” causing significant financial harm to their sprawling special interest funded empire working them with this…
- I’m not litigious. I’ve never sued anyone. That’s about to change, and your support is GREATLY appreciated.
- I never say or tweet anything I can’t back up with facts.
- I respect the legal process and plan on going through this honestly and aggressively because Canadians want to know how disinformation works.
- Canada Proud is owned by Jeff Ballingall, who owns Mobilize Media. They are an official agent, Media Partner, and vendor for Pierre Poilievere and the Conservative Party of Canada, Doug Ford and the Ontario Conservative Party, and several other “International”/Foreign clients:)
- Dean and Crier Media do NOT have the resources or funding of Canada Proud and all their affiliates, their founder, or their parent company, Mobilize Media. So you can help affect change and protect REAL Free Speech, here:
Here are the damages they are claiming:
They failed to include any wrongdoing on behalf of Crier Media in their statement, so that’s weird. They just claimed I was a man of awful character who did irreparable damage to THEIR reputation and financial position with some tweets from last summer and wanted A) me to shut up immediately and B) Money.
*I find it odd they want me to stop commenting publicly on the (paid) public comments they put out on social media for people to comment on.
*I also find it odd that they help their political clients curate a narrative of free speech absolutism and want to stop me (and others, according to verified news reports) from speaking freely about the public comments they put out to generate comments about free speech. It’s literally what they do.
The timing of this is interesting.
We led the charge against two of Canada Proud’s clients who were caught lying to Canadians – Doug Ford’s Conservative Party and Pierre Poilievre and the Conservative Party of Canada
— Dean Blundell🇨🇦 (@ItsDeanBlundell) November 28, 2023
— Crier Media (@thecriermedia) November 22, 2023
I’m not saying our attention to detail with their clients is the reason Canada Proud is suing us, but the timing is interesting.
Ryan, a lawyer in good standing, a board member of Canada Proud’s Network, and a friend and colleague of Plaintiff Jeff Ballingall is no stranger to this type of lawsuit or the language of similar actions/threats.
Again, Ryan is just doing his job as a lawyer/board member of Canada/Ontario Proud.
If you are familiar with the Proud Networks’s work, you know they are no strangers to litigious threats. You’ll also notice what seems to be a trend and a pattern in action and language when they do threaten to sue or sue anyone who makes a fair comment on their social media posts if they don’t like that fair comment, even if it’s based on fact.
This Canadland article on Ryan and Canada Proud subsidiary Ontario Proud’s frequent threats of online critics from 2018 is prescient and very familiarly generic to the statement of claim I received. *Notice “High-Handed” and “Malicious” alleging “Damages” for “Compensation” and “Silence” seem to be familiar territory they’ll have to prove
In their statement of claim, Jeff Ballingall claims Crier Media, and I have caused “embarrassment” and distress (by commenting on their work), which has caused Jeff and Canada Proud significant reputational and economic harm. That will need to be proven in court through a process of discovery. That’s where both sides show hard evidence of their claims (ours is coming, and then some).
These are the same folks who took time to comment from a tweet out of context tweet and used it to defame me in a defamatory meme by insinuating I am racist back in February – during the “Freedumb Convoy.” They want “Damages” because I suggested they help organize anti-Trudeau rallies groups and support those events.
OOOHHH. That’s HOT.
WHAT IS CANADA PROUD AND WHO DO THEY WORK FOR?
Canada Proud is an offshoot of Ontario Proud – a third-party agency founded by Jeff Ballingall. Ryan O’Connor, the lawyer of record, is also the director of Ontario Proud. I hope to meet him soon.
Several Media outlets have reported on their purpose. Ontario/Canada Proud says they are grassroots, but a large portion of their revenue/funding comes from corporations that are friendly with their political clients and agenda.
Canada Proud is what we call a “third-party agency.” There are very murky rules around “TPAs” contracted to take donations from corporations with close relationships with political parties. This is where certain “media companies” have loopholes in funding, and it is a widespread issue that gives donors of a political party a chance to donate to a political party’s media partner or agency. Instead of party funds paying for shit-posting campaigns, these third-party agencies can take HUGE money from friendlies to circumvent Elections Canada funding regs.
CBC wrote a great piece on how the flow of donations works and what third-party agencies like Canada Proud and others do with their funding in place of strict Elections Canada Donation and funding limitations. Again, it’s well worth your time.
Those same third-party agencies can also use legal levers not available to political parties to threaten and sue Canadians, Journalists, and online and MSM critics where Politicians and parties can’t.
Pointing this stuff out or asking questions publicly can be contentious, as many journalists and private citizens have found out over the past several years. It appears we’re just the latest.
Canadaland: Some critics of Ontario Proud — an influential Facebook page with over 354,000 followers that is also a registered third-party advertiser for the Ontario election — are accusing the organization of telling them to do as it says, not as it does. Over the the past several months, vocal detractors of the political action group, which impugns the characters of Liberal leaders Kathleen Wynne and Justin Trudeau on a near-daily basis, have been threatened with lawsuits for “libellous” statements made about Ontario Proud on Facebook and Twitter.
The person most recently threatened by Ontario Proud was freelance journalist John Semley, a contributor to publications like The Globe and Mail and Maclean’s (and who has also written for CANADALAND and appeared on its podcasts).
At 4:24 p.m. on Monday, April 23, shortly after the horrific van attack in Toronto, Semley replied to a tweet from CANADALAND news editor Jonathan Goldsbie about how Ontario Proud had edited a Facebook post to remove a description of the event as an “apparent terrorist attack”:“[L]ikely a DIRECT result of my repeatedly telling them that they’re using the word exclusively to peddle paranoia and a demonstrably racist political agenda,” Semley tweeted. He had been arguing against the use of the term “terrorist” in the comments below their Facebook post.
Twenty-four minutes later, Ontario Proud board member and lawyer Ryan O’Connor sent Semley an email threatening to sue him for defamation if he didn’t delete the “libellous tweets” and make a public apology on Twitter.
“Your false and defamatory comments have caused reputational damage to Ontario Proud, its employees, and its directors. This is especially so considering that you have disseminated your libel on the web and to your 4,872 Twitter followers. The fact that you have accused Ontario Proud of engaging the promotion of ‘racis[m]’, which is proscribed by law, is high-handed and malicious and has amplified the damages Ontario Proud has sustained,” read part of O’Connor’s email to Semley.
(Interesting. I wonder if Ontario/Canada Proud has a form letter they use when they threaten to sue or sue people)
Many of Ontario Proud’s memes and videos depict Trudeau as stupid and Wynne as a greedy crook giving kickbacks to friends.
Others think it’s ironic that Ontario Proud criticizes Trudeau…for encroaching on free speech but then ostensibly goes after the free speech of some of its critics.Yet some of Ontario Proud’s own content could be characterized as misleading. Many Trudeau supporters, for example, were outraged that Ontario Proud truncated a clip of Trudeau at a town hall event interrupting a woman to correct her for using “mankind” instead of “peoplekind.” In the full exchange, the crowd laughed and many interpreted it as a bad joke from Trudeau (and the PM later described it as such). The Ontario Proud video clip removes this context.
Whooooaaahhh. That’s us!
Here’s what I want
The Truth. It’s all I ever wanted.
If I’ve destroyed Jeff Ballingall’s career and business model and defamed him, I trust the judicial system and the esteemed courts in Ontario will adjudicate that fairly. After we go through the process of filing our pleadings, an Anti-Slapp legislation suit, and counter for damages, we beleive we are entitled to as a result.
I want to get to “discovery” and welcome the opportunity to see who their donors are, along with all communication that may have led to this action against my employer and me. I want to go through the public trial process because all I want is the truth.
It’s part of a more extensive interest to lift the lid on disinformation and misinformation and who pays for and benefits from it. For Canadians. With Canadians who want the same thing. A vibrant, fair online community where we inform Canadians in good faith.
To do that, we need your help. This will be a long, expensive road, and as stated, we don’t have “Canada Proud” money to fight for free speech and the unmitigated truth.
We’ve started a GoFundMe because we have the capacity and temerity to fight this lawsuit to get to the truth for Canadians. We want you to come with us – you’re stakeholders, too. We’re 1/5th of the way to our goal of $25,000 in two days – it appears common sense Canada wants the truth, and we’re happy to stand at the front of the line against misinformation for and with YOU.
If you click the link in this tweet or can share it, Canadians who want the #TruthTogether can do more than help defend against this threat – you can help us go the distance.
🚨We’re 1/5 of the way to our goal. Grateful for Canadians who want the truth. Click here to support “Fight Canada Proud Lawsuit And Disinformation” GFM 🙏 #TruthTogether. https://t.co/ItWijXafo9 #GoFundMe
— Dean Blundell🇨🇦 (@ItsDeanBlundell) November 29, 2023
Remember, Canada Proud and Jeff Ballingall are the third-party agencies that help curate and promote Pierre Poilievere’s constant gaslighting of Canadians – wouldn’t it be cool to see how it’s all connected?
I’m here for that, too.
More to come, and THANK YOU, for supporting free speech, us, and fair-minded Canadians who want the truth.
Dean Blundell is a Canadian radio personality. Best known as a longtime morning host on CFNY-FM (The Edge) in Toronto, Ontario. In 2015 he was named the new morning host on sports radio station CJCL (Sportsnet 590 The Fan). Dean started his career in radio in 2001 and for nearly 20 years been entertaining the radio audience. Dean’s newest venture is the launch of his site and podcast which is gaining tremendous momentum across North America.