OTTAWA – Counsel for the public affairs executive accused by a Freedom Convoy lawyer of carrying a Nazi flag during the Ottawa protests has strenuously denied the claim, saying he hasn’t been in Ottawa in years, and has threatened to sue for libel if the statements are not contracted.
In a letter sent Tuesday, counsel for public affairs firm Enterprise Canada denied claims by Freedom Corp lawyer Brendan Miller that Enterprise executive Brian Fox was carrying the flag at the Freedom Convoy protest as part of a false-flag effort to discredit the protestors and help the Liberal government, which opposed the protest.
It said that Fox is in fact a longtime Conservative supporter who has not been in Ottawa since 2019.
The letter said Fox would sue for libel if Miller did not retract statements he had publicly made at the Emergency Act inquiry.
“We demand you cease and desist immediately and correct your false statements,” reads the letter by Blakes lawyer Jeff Galway.
Miller responded by saying that to ask him to retract something he said in front of a public inquiry is “contemptuous.” He has said that, as a lawyer at the inquiry, his accusations are protected by privilege.
“Please advise that you retract threatening to sue me over how I conduct my case,” Miller wrote in an email. He also repeated his request that Fox come testify at the Public Order Emergency Commission.
At issue are surprise assertions by Miller during hearings Monday and repeated on Tuesday that Enterprise senior executive Fox was the man seen walking around Ottawa with a Nazi flag during Freedom Convoy protests in a photo that was widely circulated online at the time.
Miller has suggested that the man he claims is Fox was part of a covert effort by the federal Liberals to paint the protest as Nazis and extremists and ultimately justify harsh enforcement action against participants.
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Enterprise has denounced the claim as “absurd,” “despicable” and “highly defamatory.”
Brian Fox is not a Liberal Party member, supporter or collaborator. He is a longstanding member of and contributor to the Conservative Party of Canada, and participated in the recent leadership process to support Mr. (Pierre) Poilievre,” reads the letter.
“Your implication that Mr. Fox colluded with the incumbent government to discredit protesters has absolutely no basis in fact, and is reckless,” it continues, also noting that Fox’s last visit to Ottawa was in 2019. Freedom Convoy protests occurred in January and February 2022.
Galway’s letter also says Miller’s accusation caused Enterprise and Fox to be “attacked” by individuals and groups online.
Enterprise President Jason Lietaer also told reporters that Fox began receiving death threats nearly immediately after Miller’s statements on Monday.
Miller repeated his claims on Tuesday. He also engaged in a heated exchange with Emergency Act inquiry commissioner Paul Rouleau that resulted in him being temporarily ejected from proceedings.
Miller said he based his claim that Fox was the flag-bearer on two things. The first is a comparison with publicly available pictures of Fox from the internet with distant pictures of the Nazi flag-bearer’s face, which bears few identifiable marks and is almost entirely covered by a shadow and sunglasses.
The second is an affidavit by convoy protester Shawn Folkes, who swears he spoke to the flag bearer personally in January and says he recognized Fox when Miller showed his picture to the inquiry Monday.
“I can confirm that Brian Fox is the man I met with the Nazi Flag on January 29, 2022,” reads the affidavit obtained by the National Post.
In a witness statement by Folkes that Miller is trying to have tabled the inquiry, the former said he was at the Freedom Convoy protest in Ottawa on Jan. 29 when he chased after the man with the Nazi flag to speak to him.
When I got within five feet of him, he pulled down the flag and stuffed it into his coat. I heard him say that this is what our future flag would be if the government continued on its path,” reads the statement. “He was indeed white, but definitely not a supremacist.”