Scales of Justice

Defamation lawsuit defendant claims developer told him he ‘controls’ South Asian media

Developer Bob Cheema has declined to comment on the contents of defendant Brian Young’s response to his civil claim

The defendant in a defamation lawsuit launched by a land developer with ties to Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum claims the plaintiff told him he controls the South Asian media “by paying host to report my stories” and that he also paid cleaning staff at Surrey city hall to retrieve items from councillors’ garbage.

None of either side’s claims have been proven in court.

Developer Bob Cheema, who is suing a former Surrey council candidate for defamation, has declined to comment on the contents of defendant Brian Young’s response to his civil claim pending a hearing in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver later this month.

“It’s before the court, I cannot say anything,” Cheema told the Now-Leader on Thursday.

The court date is set for Oct. 28.

The lawsuit centres on six tweets by Young that Cheema claims to be false and defamatory. Young denies this.

“The Defendant denies that the alleged literal meanings were false, malicious or defamatory of and concerning the Plaintiff,” the response reads.

READ ALSO: Businessman sues over tweets regarding his connection to Surrey mayor, policing plan

READ ALSO: Businessman sues Surrey councillor after questions raised about government meeting

The defendant is a former president of the Cloverdale Chamber of Commerce, former president of the Cloverdale Rotary Club, and unsuccessfully ran for Surrey council in 2014.

Young’s response, filed in court, alleges that Cheema had told him “on or about August 2018” he had already picked the police chief for Surrey’s new police force – a deputy police chief of the Vancouver Police Department.

Young’s response alleges that Cheema at about that same time told him during a meeting where he, Cheema, Doug McCallum and another man were present that “I am not involved in the front line; you will never see me in photos or videos with Doug. I’m only in the back room.”

The document that was filed in court on Young’s behalf also alleges Cheema at that same meeting told him “I spent over $300,000 on the campaign so far. I control the South Asian media by paying host to report my stories,” and also told him, “I paid cleaning staff at Surrey city hall and they retrieved items from councillors’ garbage.”

The Now-Leader has sought comment from McCallum. The mayor has yet to respond.

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