Mayor Rob Ford was slapped with a libel notice late Thursday for televised comments he made about a reporter, who said the remarks amounted to an accusation of pedophilia.
The notice, which also names ZoomerMedia’s Vision TV where the Ford interview aired, saying an article he wrote for his newspaper would have to stand.
“I’m comfortable with my decision. I think I made the right decision. I think the mayor forced me into it and it had to be done,” Dale told 680News political affairs specialist John Stall.
“The mayor had made it clear that he was going to continue; he was not going to stop his campaign of lies against me. He not only made a defamatory comment in his interview with Conrad Black. He gave a press conference the next day where he very innocently said that he stands by every word, and then went on a Washington, D.C., radio show and repeated many of the same lies.
“So this wasn’t a one-time thing. It wasn’t something that was going to go away. It was going to be ongoing.”
Listen to the interview below:
[Download] (To download: Right click -> Save as)
Dale said that while he is seeking an apology from Ford, he has not ruled out financial compensation at this time.
“I forget the exact language — but we reserve the right to ask for financial damages to be paid. That’s not what I am after. What I am after is a retraction and an apology. If the mayor does that, I don’t think I am going to be asking him for money,” he said.
On Thursday, Dale wrote: “Enough is enough. I can’t tolerate it. I won’t tolerate it.”
Click here to read Dale’s article.
“I’m asking Ford to immediately retract the false insinuation that I am a pedophile. I am also serving Vision TV, which twice broadcast Ford’s vile and defamatory remarks…even though their interview was filmed days before it aired.”
The notice also calls for Vision TV to apologize.
Ford said a day after the interview that he stood by “every word.”
In the interview broadcast Monday, Ford told host Conrad Black that Dale had perpetrated the worst invasion of his privacy during a May 2012 incident.
“Daniel Dale is in my backyard taking pictures. I have little kids. He’s taking pictures of little kids,” Ford told the former media baron and convicted felon.
“I don’t want to say that word but you start thinking what this guy is all about.”
Dale maintains he was writing a story about a plot of public land adjacent to Ford’s house that the mayor wanted to buy, so he went to take a look when the mayor emerged from his home to confront him.
The reporter said at no time did he ever take any photographs of the mayor’s family, house or even his property — and a police investigation bore that out.
He said he was suing reluctantly, and only because Ford was repeating lies about what had actually happened.
He cited Ford’s comments on the Washington-based “Sports Junkies” program on Thursday in which Ford said, “When you’ve got young kids, that freaked me right out.”
The comments brought renewed attention to the “malicious and defamatory insinuation” that the reporter had some sort of “predatory interest in young children,” Dale said, adding that he has received strong support.
“Dozens of people, including people personally harmed by pedophilia, have offered me a total of thousands of dollars in donations for my legal fees,” Dale said.
The libel notice is the first step in the process of suing for defamation. If Ford refuses to apologize and withdraw the comments, Dale said, the mayor would have to be prepared to “repeat his lies under penalty of perjury” in a courtroom.
There was no immediate response from Ford or his lawyer to the libel notice.
But the mayor’s brother, Coun. Doug Ford, said it was Dale who should be defending his behaviour.
“At the end of the day he (Dale) was behind there (Ford’s house). He should be ashamed of himself. Rob shouldn’t be defending himself, Daniel Dale should be defending himself.”
“I don’t think he should be hiding in the bushes taking pictures whatsoever.”
On Tuesday, a defiant Mayor Ford refused to apologize to Dale or clarify his comments.
“I stand by my words, what I said with Conrad Black,” an angry Ford told a news conference.
“I stand by every word I said.”
Vision, which has refused repeated requests for comment, said late Thursday it was preparing to broadcast a prepared statement but gave no time frame.
Also late Thursday, Black told The Canadian Press that Dale was on thin ice with the action.
“If the Star goes to court with this turkey, they’ll be killed,” Black said in an email.
“They raised the pedophilia question; Ford didn’t.”
Black declined to discuss the matter further or elaborate on previous comments that Dale might have a case because it was now a legal action.
Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly, who has assumed most of the mayor’s powers in light of the various scandals, has denounced Ford’s comments as “beyond the pale” and called on him to apologize.