Boardwalk Pub owner pulls the trigger, sues Ford for libel

Boardwalk Pub owner pulls the trigger, sues Ford for libel

The battle for the Beach is heating up. It all started back when the city extended Tuggs Inc.’s monopoly on selling food and drinks on the eastern Woodbine Beach, and has since become a symbol (for Rob Ford, among others) of everything that’s wrong at city hall. Ford has used some pretty harsh language regarding the deal, including the words “civic corruption,” which finally got the owner of the pub, George Foulidis, to threaten Ford with a defamation suit if he didn’t retract his allegations and apologize. Shocking everyone nobody, Ford has refused to retract his statement or apologize, and so Foulidis has pulled the trigger and filed a lawsuit against Ford.

According to the Globe and Mail:

The statement of claim alleges that Mr. Ford libelled or slandered Mr. Foulidis in two instances.

The mayoral candidate suggested during an interview on Newstalk 1010 on July 29 that illicit cash fuelled the deal.

“Is someone getting money under the table?” host Jerry Agar asked Mr. Ford.

“I truly believe they are and that’s my personal opinion,” Mr. Ford replied, according to the statement of claim.

The idea of trying to silence Ford with the courts, much less pry a retraction from him, is the kind of thing that must give the city’s reporters fits of the giggles. This is a councillor who’s been disciplined about half a dozen times by the city’s own integrity commissioner with no sign of letting up. A court of law has a few more options at its disposal (jail time for contempt would be the extreme), but frankly, even if Foulidis wins, it’s going to be a short victory lap.

Meanwhile, the fight against Sandra Bussin is now on the same anyone-but track that the mayor’s race has been on for weeks, as Bussin’s two main opponents agreed not to split the vote: Martin Gladstone, last seen getting into a shouting match with Foulidis himself, has dropped out of the race to support Mary Margaret McMahon. According to a poll reported in the Toronto Sun, this puts Bussin on the vulnerable list.

• Rob Ford sued by Beaches pub owner [Globe and Mail]
• Ford sued for $6 million by Boardwalk Pub owner [Toronto Star]
• Boardwalk Pub owner suing Rob Ford for libel [National Post]
• Boardwalk Pub suit haunts Ford [Toronto Sun]