Ex-PMO spokesman admits he wrongly suggested Muslim group had terrorist ties
Prime Minister Stephen Harper's director of communications Jason MacDonald speaks during an interview with CTV's Question Period that aired on Sunday, November 24, 2013.
The Canadian Press
Published Monday, March 20, 2017 5:47PM EDT
OTTAWA - Former prime minister Stephen Harper's one-time communications director admits he was inaccurate when he suggested a Canadian Muslim group had ties to a terrorist organization.
Jason MacDonald makes the admission as part of a settlement in a libel suit launched two years ago by the National Council of Canadian Muslims.
The lawsuit was prompted by comments MacDonald made to the now-defunct Sun News Network after the council complained about a controversial rabbi who accompanied Harper on an official trip to the Middle East.
MacDonald dismissed the council's concerns on behalf of the Harper government, and accused the organization of having links to terrorism.
The council sought a public retraction, damages of up to $100,000 and a permanent injunction preventing MacDonald's words from being republished.
In a joint statement released Monday announcing settlement of the lawsuit, MacDonald accepts that his statement to Sun News "does not accurately reflect the activities" of the council.