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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 24, 1975, Lethbridge, Alberta 24 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD Monday, February 24, 1975 CBC official gets in Vancouver libel case VANCOUVER (CP) A British Columbia Supreme Court jury awarded a Cana: dian Broadcasting Corp. of- ficial damages of Saturday for a libel in the Vancouver Sun. Mr. Justice J. S. Aikins is expected to award costs at a later date. The jury's award was made to Robert McGall, CBC Pacific Region director, against Sun television colum- nist Lisa Hobbs, Sun publisher Stuart Keate and the Sun Publishing Co. Ltd. In its majority decision, the jury of four men and four women held after six hours deliberation that a column written by Mrs. Hpbbs anc published Oct. 10, 1973, libell- ed Mr. McGall. Following the decision Mrs. Hobbs said she was pleased the verdict apparently guarantees the right of critics to level justifiable criticism without fear of lawsuit. Mr. Keate said he fell "good" about the case, and that Mrs. Hobbs' column had had the desired effect oi revitalizing CBC news coverage in Victoria. Mr. McGall, whose lawyer had argued for large and sub- stantial damages, declined comment. The case began with a col- umn written by Mrs. Hobbs and published Oct. 4 in which she attacked the CBC's televi- sion coverage of the B.C. legislature. The column said that during September, 1973, the CBC did not have a reporter in the legislative press gallery and its nightly news coverage reflected this lack. The column added that the CBC's resident reporter, Arch Snow, had been ill and that the Vancouver office of the CBC had not sent anyone to replace him, instead rely- ing on its cameraman, Ron Thompson. Mr. McGall replied to the column in a letter to the editor published in the Sun Oct. 9, saying the column's accusa- tion that the CBC had no reporter in the legislature during September was "total- ly without and that the CBC had been represented by an '''ex- perienced and respected member" of the legislative press gallery. In Mrs. Hobbs' column Oct. 10, she replied to the letter, saying "McGall's assertions are a fraud. Not a mis- representation of even a delicate evasion. But a lie, a pathetic lie that covers up-a pathetic local CBC news situation." Originally, Mr. McGall's suit also was directed against Pacific Press Ltd., the printing corporation which produces both the Sun and Vancouver Province, but that action was dismissed for lack of evidence. Mrs. Hobbs filed' a counterclaim against Mr. McGall but dropped it Thur- sday, she told the jury, because she was ap- prehensive that "the issue that deeply concerns me might be confused or lost in the matter of the counter- claim." The trial lasted nine days. The Sun called numerous members of the legislative press gallery to discuss their opinions of CBC legislative coverage, particularly as provided by Henry. Besier, a reporter who also was a full- time employee of Broadcast News, a subsidiary of The Canadian Press, used by the CBC to replace Mr. Snow. The press gallery members also were asked to discuss their views as to what con- stituted adequate legislative coverage and what conditions brought about conflict of interest when a reporter worked for more than one employer. In delivering his charge to the jury, Mr. Justice Aikins said it is a civil wrong for one person to defame another. He instructed the jury to accept that Mr. McGall had not been 80 Irish detainees released BELFAST (Reuter) Bri- tain ordered the release of 80 more prisoners from deten- tion in Northern Ireland today as a further gesture of response to a guerrilla ceasefire. A government announce- ment said the releases will start this week at the Maze prison camp which houses most of the 490 persons now held without trial as guerrilla suspects. defamed in his financial standings, his trade or his profession. He told the jury to read the portions of the Oct. 10 column which Mr. McGall said were libellous in the context of the entire column. "The test is what would an ordinary, right-thinking person take the words to he said. The judge indicated in his charge that he felt the defence of fair comment was appro- priate, saying he agreed that the performance of Mr. McGall is a matter of public concern or interest. Since the CBC is supported by tax money, it is logical that if the public has an interest in the performance of the corpora- tion it also must have an interest in the performance of its officers, he said. Liberal executive re-elected CALGARY (CP) The provincial executive of the Alberta Liberal party was re elected without change at the party's convention here Sun- day. Re -.elected were president Jack Picket! of Edmonton, vice president Sharon Car- stairs of Calgary, secretary Ann Mazur of Edmonton, and treasurer Agnes Macdonald of Edmonton. Brazilian police shoot hijacker BRASILIA (AP) "Every- thing was all a schoolteacher said after an eight-hour siege in a hijacked Brazilian jet airplane. one got nervous, the children cried from time to time." The ordeal ended Saturday night when four policemen stormed the jetliner at Brasilia airport and shot the gunman. A news director of the gov-. eminent radio said the hi- jacker was hit in the head and chest, but authorities refused to confirm or deny a military official's report Saturday that the gunman was dead. The air ministry identified the hijacker as Joel Siqueira, about 30, and press reports said he was a bank clerk. Authorities reported the only other casualty was a pilot, who suffered a bullet wound in the hand. The schoolteacher was one of 63 passengers and six crew members aboard the VASP airline Boeing 737 jetliner Saturday when it was com- mandeered by the bearded and long-haired gunman. Passengers said the hi- jacker had boarded the Sao Paolo to Brasilia flight at its first stop, Goiania. As the plane lifted off from Goiania, the schoolteacher said, the sky pirate put a gun to the head of a stewardess and said he was taking control. She said that during most of the flight to Brasilia, the gun- man was in the cockpit where he could be seen through the open door. At Brasilia airport, the hi- jacker demanded million, parachutes and arms, the re- lease of two political prisoners and that the jet be refuelled for a flight to an un- known destination. He also sought to have a message broadcast over the national radio. A government spokesman said the .message had "no political meaning in it." "He talked a lot about the works of Leonardo da don't know about Jesus Christ." HOUSEWIVES AND MOTHERS SHOULD DE WHY NOT? Any woman who is a housewife and a mother has what is possibly the most demanding career in the world. Think about it. It's exhausting and rewarding. It's satisfying and frustrating, stimulating and boring. It's lonely, it's frantic, it's physical and mental. Think about all the specialized jobs we perform every day of our lives. Jobs which, outside the home, command a lot of respect. Nurse, teacher, psychologist, chef, accoun- tant, interior designer, chauffeur, electrician and plumber. We are all these and more. In addition to being home- makers, we are often partners to our husbands working on the family farm, at the fish dock, in the store or service station. And, in many instances, we work at a second full- time career outside the home. To most of the five million women in Canada who choose homemaking as a career, it's a rich and rewarding one. Right now the great push to equality leaves many of us wondering where we fit into today's society. The answer is front and centre. Sure there is a move towards greater We are much more our vote can help change the laws; our pur- chases as consumers can affect the economy; our voice on school boards can improve our children's education; our concern for the community can change for the bet- ter the quality of all our lives. This is the year for housewives to take their rightful place in society. If you'd like more information on International Women's Year and the status of women in Canada, all you have to do is write us or fill in and mail the coupon below. If you'd like a "WHY button, and a set of posters, just check the appropriate squares. We're here to help. individual freedom. A movement to free bothwomenandmenfromstereotyped roles. Freedom of choice and opportunity. Freedom to pursue lifestyles of equality. This is how it should be. And the most equal person in the world should be the homemaker. The whole social structure of the home and community revolves around us. We are the pivot of society. The next time someone says "only a challenge that remark. ONT., K1A D Please send me your information on IWY and the status of women in Canada. I D Please send me a "WHY NQTI" button. I D Please send me a set of posters. (Available in March.) i NAME _ _ I ADDRESS CITY I PROVINCE _ POSTAL CODE _ WHY NOT! Minister Responsible for the Status of Women International Women's Year ;