John, then Minister of Children and Families in the B.C. provincial government,
filed a lawsuit April 19. He claimed defamation and slander against The
Radical newspaper and its editor and six other individuals. D&D's
west coast correspondent Eva Lyman was one of those named in the suit,
although she has yet to be legally served. (She says her only transgression
was to write a letter to the premier asking for an investigation into
the allegations against Ed John.)
Radical editor Arthur Topham has been carrying articles on Ed John since 1999 when he first heard of allegations made against Ed John during a U.N.-sponsored tribunal into residential school abuse held in Vancouver in June 1998.
Sworn testimony by survivors allegedly linked John to a number of criminal activities, including fraud, drug running and connections with a pedophile ring said to be operating in the province, among other things. John was issued a summons to appear before the tribunal at the time but he refused to appear.
At the time of the tribunal, Ujjal Dosanjh was B.C. Attorney General. The tribunal asked Dosanjh for an investigation of the allegations against Chief Ed John. He, too, did not respond to their request and no investigation was seen to have been done.
Then Dosanjh became premier of B.C., naming Ed John to head the sensitive Ministry of Children and Families. A red flag went up for a number of people.
Just four days after the lawsuit was filed in April, Ed John applied to the Supreme Court of B.C. for an interlocutory injunction against the "Radical Seven" -- as Topham has labelled the group. This was, as Topham says, "a gag order on anyone who has been, is, or may wish to in the future, ask for the appropriate authorities to investigate these allegations in order that their nature be ascertained as either true or false." He notes the convenience of the timing, effectively ensuring the allegations were squelched while John and Dosanjh were trying to get re-elected.
The election is now past, and the incumbents have been defeated. There has been no further word about the legal steps instituted by Ed John. However, Topham and his Radical Seven have not rolled over. They plan to fight this issue "to the bitter end".