People’s Campaign Affirm Support For Hayward

April 28, 2016

Following Jason Hayward’s apology to Finance Minister Bob Richards in Court yesterday, the People’s Campaign said they “would like to affirm that we stand without reservation in support of our colleague.”

The Finance Minister launched legal action against Mr Hayward last year after he made certain statements about the Minister on a TV appearance in which he discussed the airport redevelopment with the Canadian Commercial Corporation.

The transcript of the apology said, “On 14th July 2015 I was sued by the Minister of Finance, the Honourable E.T. [Bob] Richards, in respect of statements made during the course of a broadcast sponsored by the People’s Campaign including allegations of corruption, collusion and scandalous behaviour.

“My intention was to highlight concerns about aspects of the Airport Development as a representative of the People’s Campaign, not to deride the Minister.

“It was never my intention to insult the Minister or to cause the public to think less of him as a person. I unreservedly apologize to him if those words had that affect.”

People's Campaign  Bermuda April 28 2016

The PC issued a statement — signed by Chris Furbert and Rev Tweed — which said, “On behalf of the People’s Campaign for Equality, Jobs, and Justice we are making the following statement in response to the settlement reached in the suit brought by E. T. Richards against Bro. Jason Hayward.

“We would like to affirm that we stand without reservation in support of our colleague,” they said, noting that the statements made were “based on information and documentation that we received as a result of a PATI request in Canada.”

“We believed and continue to believe that this suit represents a growing trend globally and one that has finally found its way into Bermuda, in which it is becoming increasingly common for Governments and/or Corporations to use a method called “Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation [SLAPP Suits]” to suppress and silence free speech.

“Strategic lawsuits against public participation [SLAPP] are lawsuits that are intended to censor, intimidate, and silence critics by unduly burdening them with excessive costs for legal defense until they abandon their criticism or opposition to a government, or corporation.

“Lawsuits of this nature have been made illegal in many jurisdictions on the grounds that they impede, and suppress free speech. Perhaps it is time for such legislation in Bermuda.

“This Government is increasingly employing methods that in our view constitute a fundamental attack on the constitutional rights of Freedom of Assembly, Freedom of the Press, and Free Speech.

“We are pleased that this suit has been resolved and believe that time has vindicated and will continue to vindicate our conviction that the proposed airport redevelopment is bad for Bermuda,” the statement added.

“Again, we fully understand the necessity of settling what we consider to be a politically motivated, frivolous suit,” the statement added. “While this matter has been settled in the Courts, the court of public opinion has long since drawn judgment on the airport”.

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Comments (25)

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  1. LiarLiar says:

    Wow!

    You guys defame someone with ZERO evidence and yet you feel that your the victims?

    So if someone stated that the ‘leaders’ of the PC were pilfering their respective organizations for their own benefit you would stay quiet and say it is simply free speech?

    If I was Richards I would reinstate the law suit against Hayward and the principles of PC.

  2. This “People’s Campaign” will support anything against the One Bermuda Alliance Government. Just maybe they too need to be sued? Food for thought…

    • Just like you support EVERTHING de U.B.P does.

      • Anyone that can make accusations and NOT sign their birth given name are no-more than a “two bit punk in a three piece suit.” So Onion Juice, you now know what I see you as right?

  3. wahoo says:

    He accused the minister of being corrupt! Freedom of speech does not allow you, me or anyone to defame a person. His public apology is proof that he ntended to sway opinion of the minister.

    Please change the name of this bogus entity because you do not represent the people, you are a self serving bunch of power hungry manipulators.

    On another note who pays for theses legal cases?

    • So how many of you accused de Dr. and P.L.P for being currupt?
      Mmmmm

      • Build a Better Bermuda says:

        Unfortunately the laws were inadequate to modern standards for it to be corruption, their actions were just determined to be unethical

  4. Mike says:

    “We believed and continue to believe that this suit represents a growing trend globally and one that has finally found its way into Bermuda, in which it is becoming increasingly common for Governments and/or Corporations to use a method called “Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation [SLAPP Suits]” to suppress and silence free speech.

    Free speech? is that code for say what ever you want?

  5. serengeti says:

    What a shock. A group led by a union leader thinks that if a union leader blatantly lies it’s “frivolous” for anyone to point that out.

  6. AD says:

    So Jason Hayward allegedly slanders the Minister of Finance on the radio, then apologizes for uttering those statements presumably to avoid getting sued, and then the People’s Campaign spins around and accuses the government of suppressing free speech. What kind of freaking bizarro world is the People’s Campaign living in.

    Time to put your big boy pants on guys. You can’t just go on the radio and falsely accuse people of stuff.

    Nothing to do with free speech, if you wrongly accuse someone of something and this damages the person, then they are entitled under the law to sue you for damages.

  7. frank says:

    what mr Hayward needs to do I his job at bpsu that is what he gets paid for as far as the so called peoples campaign they are a distraction and they don’t speak for me.
    the rev.also needs to do what the church pays him for and stop trying to act like he has been to the mountain top.

    • My2cents says:

      The People’s Clowns! That’s who they are.

  8. reddamtibi says:

    popcorn ready…

  9. Triangle Drifter says:

    Very shallow appology carefully worded to have virtually no meaning to it at all.

    Oh well, from this group who would expect anything different?

  10. Long Bay Trading Co. says:

    Whats new PC? same s**t different day.
    Oh hummmm

  11. San George says:

    The entire matter was frivolous and vexatious.

  12. Vigilante says:

    Perhaps the PC could talk with their QC and get the scoop on the difference between (legal) healthy criticism and (illegal) libelous statements. Mr Hayward was not asked to stop speaking against Minister Richards or the Airport Redevelopment. He was asked to stop using libelous terms such as “corruption, collusion and scandalous behaviour” which in the context were intended (despite My Hayward’s protests to the contrary) to demean the Minister’s reputation in a public forum. The law says you can’t do that, and has said so since the time of James I (circa 1600). The defense to a charge of libel is to show that the statements were true. Mr Hayward could not do that, so his next best option was to issue an unconditional apology. I applaud him for doing so.

    The PC has incorrectly (albeit conveniently for them) conflated this case and this issue with SLAPP suits, which they suggest are a growing global trend. The growth of such suits may well be a global trend, but this matter is far from a SLAPP suit. Wikipedia suggests “the typical plaintiff does not expect to win a SLAPP suit”, and further notes that the goal is accomplished if the defendant “succumbs to fear, intimidation, mounting legal costs or simple exhaustion and ceases the criticism”. Mr Hayward apologized for his comments, but I am sure he will not cease his criticism. In fact, those tactics might be better ascribed to the PC themselves, rather than Minister Richard’s suit! Yes, it is the PC who are doing the SLAPPing, not the current government…

    • reddamtibi says:

      You have me in agreement – in part. However please describe exactly how you have come to the conclusion that it is the PC that are doing the “slapping” given the clear criteria for this “slapping” you and “Wikipedia” have established.

      • Vigilante says:

        Yes, you are right, my conclusion was more general than specific, and probably incorrect by strict definition…aka literary license caught offside. On further consideration, the PC do expect to win, and the OBA has only succumbed in part to fear, intimidation and exhaustion in the face of the PC onslaught…a mixed bag, not really a SLAPP situation.

  13. Gabriel says:

    Lessoned Learned?: Don’t let your mouth write a check your body (or “bleep”) can’t cash.

  14. M.C. Beauchamp says:

    This statement is shameful. We have a strong legal system and a very good one. Like everything emanating from the so-called peoples campaign, the suggestion that this was anything other than an appropriate legal challenge to a personal slander is false. Tweed et al are not presumptively believed in a court of law, nor should they be.

  15. Enough says:

    Suppressing free speech?? You can go around shouting lies and more lies about a matter &/or person and not expect to see repercussions.

    It’s about time a SLAPP was sent the direction of the People’s Campaign.

  16. Viva Castro Country says:

    A question. Is the PC ( of which they DO NOT REPRESENT ME ) a political party in the making, a splinter group with a new wannabe leader ( and not of the church ) or just another arm of the PLP

  17. ImJustSayin says:

    They can defend him all they want. But one cannot shoot their mouth off with allegations without showing proof even if they feel they are true, they must be prepared to back them up. I hope he has learned his lesson, that he should put his brain in gear before opening his mouth. Someone in his position should act more professional.