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This article was published 8/9/2010 (3556 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
COMMUNITY activist Sel Burrows said he won't stop his crime-fighting efforts after he and the CBC were hit with a defamation suit by two local business people.
Burrows and the CBC are being sued for defamation by businesswomen Sandra Guiboche and Amanda Rouse for a television news report that aired in June about a Winnipeg police raid on a drug house in Point Douglas.
In a statement of claim filed at Queen's Bench at the end of August, Guiboche and Rouse said they were defamed when the news report linked them to the house and to gang crime in Point Douglas.
The house on Lorne Avenue is a duplex owned by Guiboche. At the time, she was renting one of the units to her nephew.
The local CBC television crew covered the drug raid and interviewed Burrows, who is alleged to have linked Guiboche to the illegal activity allegedly carried out by her nephew and other members of her family.
The statement of claim states that the CBC portrayed Guiboche as "involved in the trafficking of illegal drugs and that she was an active member of an organized crime family that was the scourge of the neighbourhood in Point Douglas."
The statement of claim states that Burrows' comments were malicious and made for personal and political gain and that the report defamed the two women, who own a home renovation firm in the 900-block of Main Street.
The allegations in the statement of claim have not been proven in court and no statements of defence have been filed by the CBC and Burrows.
CBC spokesman Jeff Keay said the network would not comment on the lawsuit.
Burrows said the legal action is an attempt to stop his crime-fighting efforts.
Burrows founded a crime call-line for the Point Douglas area, where local residents can anonymously report illegal activity, which is then forwarded to police. The phone line has been hailed as an effective neighbourhood crime fighting tool and mayoral candidate Judy Wasylycia-Leis said it should be duplicated across the city.
The June 11 news report, which is the subject of the legal action, could not be found on the CBC web site.
The statement of claim states that Guiboche and Rouse have suffered damages in their personal and business lives, and distress, annoyance and embarrassment in their social lives.
No dollar amount was stated in the statement of claim, but Guiboche and Rouse are seeking a declaration from the court that they were defamed, that their privacy was violated, an injunction preventing the CBC from rebroadcasting the original June 11 news report, and general, special and punitive damages.