FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 28, 2001
Local SACAR (Salmon Arm Coalition Against Racism) director, David Lethbridge has been criminally charged with defamatory libel under s. 301 of the Criminal Code of Canada as a result of an article published by him on the Bethune Institute for Anti-fascist Studies website www.bethuneinstitute.org, as well as in the local Communist paper, The People's Voice.
The article, titled "Prescription for Fascism: Alternative Medicine and Right-Wing Politics", has accused Debbie Anderson of being a fascist. Mr. Lethbridge defines fascism on his website as a movement that "..does away with the pretence of parliamentary democracy, and rules instead by force and terror."
Ms. Anderson is the co-ordinator for Citizens' Voice for Health Rights www.citizensvoice.org, a grass-roots, non-profit organization founded to educate Canadians to protect their rights to freely access high quality, natural health care products. She has been to Ottawa twice to present submissions to the Standing Committee on Health regarding this issue.
Ms. Anderson is a well-respected individual in the health freedom movement, and networks with many other organizations nationally and internationally on issues concerning people's rights and freedoms. She ran politically for the Canada Action Party in the recent federal election and is a director for the B.C. Action Party.
Ms. Anderson states that allegations made by Mr. Lethbridge's are absolutely unfounded and ludicrous, she has never advocated ruling by force or terror and claims this is exactly what she is fighting against. "There is absolutely no truth to any of his allegations, I am definitely not a fascist", quotes Ms. Anderson. "I have seen his website an I am extremely shocked and frightened by the amount of hatred this man puts forth in his articles.
"I could not stand back and watch this man destroy my reputation and years of work with falsehoods and lies. I had no choice but to charge him with libel."
Ms. Anderson says that the Court has agreed that there is enough evidence to compel Mr. Lethbridge to stand trial and has issued a summons requiring him to appear on June 5, 2001 at the Salmon Arm courthouse at 10:00 AM. Mr. Lethbridge has been successfully sued recently as a result of past libelous comments and actions committed by him, with this suit being upheld by the B.C. Court of Appeal.
The B.C. Supreme Court has found that such actions by Mr. Lethbridge, a professor at the Salmon Arm campus of Okanagan University College have included, amongst other actions, mooning people whose views he disagrees with, orchestrating threatening phone calls to these same people, and self-admittedly attempting to put these same people out of business.
A local Crown Prosecutor has informed Ms. Anderson's agent Mr. Lindsay that this file would be turned over to the R.C.M.P for an immediate police investigation into the charge she has laid against Mr. Lethbridge.
Agent for Ms. Anderson
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