A lawyer who represented organizers of the Freedom Convoy during the public inquiry into the use of the emergency law is being sued for defamation by a Toronto aide who he says carried a Nazi flag to the Jan. 29 protests in Ottawa.
Brian Fox and government relations firm Enterprise Canada filed a lawsuit Wednesday against Calgary attorney Brendan Miller, calling the allegation “malicious” and “character assassination without basis and regardless of the effect of his words.”
The lawsuit alleges Miller falsely claimed Fox condoned hatred surrounding the Nazi flag and engaged in a conspiracy with the Liberal government to discredit the protesters.
During the Emergency Public Order Commission, Miller suggested that David Vigneault, Director of Canada’s Security Intelligence Agency, testify that Fox was the person photographed carrying a flag bearing a swastika.
Vigneault denied any knowledge of the claim.
Miller’s allegations at the hearing echo a conspiracy theory circulating among convoy supporters on social media, based on partially obscured images of a man carrying the flag.
The allegation drew an immediate response from Enterprise Canada, a Toronto-based company where Fox serves as communications and crisis response consultant.
The company called the allegation “absurd” and “despicable” and said Fox wasn’t even in Ottawa at the time. In addition, the firm said Fox is a conservative and supported Pierre Poilievre in the leadership race.
In the Complaint, filed in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Fox and Enterprise allege, “These allegations are manifestly false. Mr. Fox has not been to Ottawa since 2019 when he attended the Manning Conservative Action Conference. Neither Enterprise nor Mr. Fox was involved in some way, either for or against the Freedom Convoy protests.”
The defamation lawsuit seeks damages totaling $2 million against Miller and calls for him to publicly retract and apologize for the allegations.
None of the allegations in the lawsuit have been proven in court and Miller has not yet filed a defense against them. He did not respond to a request for comment on Wednesday.
Miller had also petitioned the hearing to call Fox as a witness, saying there was evidence that “the flags and alleged protesters using them were not convoy protesters at all, but provocateurs.”
The motion was supported by an affidavit from protester Shawn Folkes, who claimed he spoke to the man holding a Nazi flag on January 29.
“I went to Enterprise Canada’s website and found Brian Fox’s profile, including a photo of him,” Folkes said in the affidavit.
“I can confirm that Brian Fox is the man I met with the Nazi flag on January 29.”
But the lawsuit filed by Fox and Enterprise says even Folkes has questioned Miller’s charges, saying in a social media post, “I hope Miller knows what he’s doing because he’s gotta have something.” How did he get that name?”
Miller also claimed that the photographer who took pictures of a man carrying a Confederate flag was the prime minister’s photographer.
In fact, the images were taken by longtime Parliament Hill photojournalist Dave Chan, who worked as an official photographer for then Prime Minister Paul Martin in 2004 and 2006.
During the investigation, Miller was also involved in a strange incident outside of the hearing room, in which he appeared to have confused Ottawa lobbyist Greg MacEachern with Fox and invited him to testify at the hearing. Afterward, he admitted to reporters that he made a mistake, saying, “Apparently there are a lot of people out there who look like Mr. Fox.”
Lawyers are usually protected from libel claims for things they say in court proceedings. However, the lawsuit alleges that Miller “went far beyond the role of attorney and elaborated, repeated, justified, and made false allegations against the plaintiffs outside of the commission hearing, to numerous media outlets, on social media, and to anyone who would listen.” strengthened”.