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Vander Zalm ordered to pay damages in libel case
Ladner resident and former B.C. premier, Bill Vander Zalm has been ordered to pay $60,000 in damages in a libel case involving an autobiography published in 2008.
The matter centered on statements Vander Zalm made about former conflict of interest commissioner Ted Hughes.
The 645-page work titled Bill Vander Zalm For the People, Hughes alleged Vander Zalm's statements were libellous.
Hughes was B.C.'s conflict-of-interest commissioner in 1991 and examined allegations Vander Zalm used his political influence to help sell his Fantasy Gardens property in Richmond to Taiwanese businessman Tan Yu.
Hughes ultimately ruled Vander Zalm had breached the government's conflict of interest guidelines which prompted him to resign.
At issue was Vander Zalm's view in the book that Hughes based his decision in part to be in line with the opposition NDP.
"I'm very gratified with the attention and the care that the jury gave to the matter," said Hughes, reached by phone Friday morning at his Victoria home by the Victoria News, the Leader's sister paper. "I've been in the justice system for over 60 years. This is the first experience that I've had seeing it operate from the other side and I'm obviously very pleased and satisfied with the outcome."
Net proceeds of the book—which was priced at $39.95—were earmarked for charity, including the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.