The infamous, neo-liberal government of the province of British Columbia, Canada, which was elected by a landslide a year ago after demise by hostile media reporting, scandal and mismanagement by the previous mildly-left NDP, exceeded its election campaign promises by massive corporate tax cuts, closing of hospitals and court houses, slashing of public services, thereby engendering increasing militant protest all over this province. Explicit statements were made that hydro would not be privatized!
Now, these victorious Liberals under former real estate businessman, Gordon Campbell, are in the process of selling the control/purchase/management of the parts or all of British Columbia Hydro, the flagship enterprise owned by the people of the province, as part of their ideological privatization agenda. This despite the record of power deregulation and privatization in California and other places.
BC Hydro, contrary to the enemies of public involvement in any economic operation, has been a consistently efficient and profitable to the public coffers for many years. This was made possible by massive amounts of the people’s money invested in its infrastructure in the early 1960’s. In other words, critics allege, there is no rational motive for privatizing it at all.
Those critics of the BC Hydro secret sell-off negotiations received a letter within the last week from a McCarthyTetrault, Vancouver-based legal counsel to Accenture, advising that statements on their websites are defamatory and libelous, must be removed, and an apology sent. McCarty Tetrault is very much in the forefront of serving globalizing corporate clients. (See: http://www.mccarthy.ca/en/
Here are excerpts from the letter to BC Policy Probe, one of these threatened:
"Articles and materials published by you at
"globalproblemaqtique.net/bcpolicyprobe", a website set up or caused to be set up by you contain statements which are defamatory to our client. The published material makes allegations and innuendoes that falsely characterize Accenture's business practices, motives and business relationships"
"Your publication of these allegations at a popular website which is readily accessible to users of the Internet constitutes a very serious libel, one which has caused and continues to cause considerable damage to
the business reputation of our client"
"In the circumstances, our client demands that you immediately take steps to remove the defamatory articles and material from your website and any affiliated sites that have published these allegations. Our client also
demands that you immediately publish an unequivocal retraction and apology in terms to be approved by us, and provide an undertaking not to repeat any of these defamatory allegations.
We look forward to hearing from you without delay
McCarthy Tetrault LLP"
Signed by Robert Cooper
Two of the recipients were: http://www.unofficialopposition.com/ http://www.bcpolitics.ca/
For the issue from British Columbia, see: http://vancouver.indymedia.org/news/2002/11/21066.php
For divergent views of Accenture and SLAPPs see: http://comments.fuckedcompany.com/fc/phparchives/search.php?search=accenture