January 29, 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WINNIPEG – A prominent Manitoba journalist, Lesley Hughes, who ran as a Liberal candidate in the federal election of 2008 has been cleared of allegations of anti-Semitism.
A lengthy defamation suit has ended in an out-of-court settlement, details of which are confidential.
In a public statement*, B’Nai Brith, the former Canadian Jewish Congress and Minister of the Environment Peter Kent (Conservative/Thornhill) have accepted and affirmed that Hughes is not an anti-Semite and does not condone conspiracy theories which oppress Jewish and other minority groups.
“It is an immense relief to see the end of this ordeal,” Hughes said in Winnipeg. “My deepest hope through it all has been to clear my name, and to advance the protection of journalists to write freely and without fear.”
After an anonymous blogger accused Hughes of expressing anti-Semitic views in a newspaper column she wrote in 2002, she was widely vilified in Canadian media, disgraced on the internet and was dropped as a candidate for Parliament (Kildonan/St. Paul). As a result, no Liberal candidate ran in that contest; incumbent Joy Smith (Conservative) was re-elected there. Peter Kent, named in the Hughes’ lawsuit, was elected in Thornhill.
“My campaign as a Liberal candidate lasted less than 48 hours and the lawsuit lasted four years. I’ve kept a detailed journal and will release the story as an e-book to be launched in Winnipeg in 2013. It will have plenty to share with those interested in Canadian politics, anti-Semitism, the 9/11 truth movement, the election of 2008 from the inside, and of course, the increasingly precarious freedom of journalists to do their job.”
The working title of Hughes’ book is Hit and Run: My Brilliant Career in Canadian Politics.
Hughes is an award winning journalist, broadcaster, media trainer, speaker and humourist based in Winnipeg.
*See a copy of the Publication of Joint Statement, time line of events, and an excerpt from Hughes’ forthcoming book on The Hughes Paragraph
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journalist • broadcaster • media trainer • speaker • humourist • award winner