Dismissed: Judge deems lawsuit against Mayor over HootSuite favouritism "without foundation"

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Mayor Gregor Robertson

The lawsuit brought against Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson by a rival party alleging favouritism towards social media megaplayer HootSuite has been dismissed, and the judge did not mince words about the suit’s lack of merit.

Kevin Quinlan, the Mayor’s Director of Policy and Communications live-tweeted the judge’s ruling Monday morning:

 

The lawsuit filed against Robertson by Glenn Chernan of the Cedar Party alleged that the City of Vancouver gave a sweetheart deal to HootSuite. In 2013, the popular social media company relocated to a City-owned building at 5 East 8th Avenue, and Chernen speculates an alleged conflict of interest was involved given HootSuite’s “assistance” to run Vision Vancouver’s 2011 election campaign.

It was a remark made by Quinlan that provided Chernen’s only kernel of support; the suit “cited a blog interview Quinlan gave to a website associated to HootSuite’s owner,” according to The Province. In that interview Quinlan said the HootSuite team invited the Robertson campaign to hold a “town hall” forum in their office.

Earlier this year, in his response to the filing, Robertson said the suit was full of false statements, and derided the case’s “obvious lack of legal merit.” In May, Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson heard arguments from both sides to determine if the case could proceed, but opted to reserve judgment for a later date.

While the case was tossed out and considered legally baseless, the judge did note that it did not appear the suit was filed with malice, as noted by Vancouver Metro journalist Emily Jackson in her live-tweets:

 

Robertson and Chernen have yet to comment publicly on the dismissal.

Featured image: Nima Zadrafi / The Glass Eye

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Lindsay William-Ross Lindsay is a Senior Editor at Vancity Buzz, and currently runs the site's Food section. A fourth generation Vancouverite, she spent the last two decades in Los Angeles, where she was EIC of the city's top blog, earned her MA, attended culinary school, and was an English professor (among other things). Lindsay's first published piece was December 1980 in The Province; it was her letter to Santa. E-mail: lindsay@vancitybuzz.com
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