Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Catching up with: Brent Tyler.

Remember Brent Tyler, the former president of Alliance Quebec? Yes, the loose-cannon one.

Well, it turns out that, since resigning as president last month, Tyler spends his days surfing the internet, where he came across these comments I made about him: "Brent Tyler is an agressive narcissist who marginalized and then destroyed Alliance Quebec and the legitimate work it used to do... In other words, he was the OLF's best friend. They should thank him for his dedicated service..."

Tyler dropped me a line on Monday in response:
Got this comment from Andrew Coyne's site. I'll have to add "agressive (sic) narcissist" to my collection. What do you base yourself on to come up with this?
To which I responded:
I base it on pretty much every media interview with you I've read, plus what I've heard from others' first-hand encounters with you. Alliance Quebec self-destructed. You were in charge. You should take some responsibility for that.
Tyler, true to his reputation, came out fighting in return:
Every media interview you've read? Name one. Others' first-hand encounters? Name one.
Interesting segue from "agressive (sic) narcissist" to your assertion that AQ has self-destructed.
I can't tell you how flattered I am that you mentioned me. Is there someway I can return the favour and say something about you?
Is there somewhere I can find out more about you? Media interviews? Others' encounters?
It was at this point I realised the guy really was a nutbar like I had read and heard. Still, I responded. Why? Because I'm childish. And he sicced me!
Do you get this angry at everyone who posts anything about you in the comment section of a blog? Gee whiz. I would have thought you would have developed a thick skin by now. You should really adopt the Trudeau line: "I've been called worse things by better people."
Media interviews: I'm thinking mainly here of the ones I read in the Gazette and the Hour over the past couple of years. There was a good one by Martin Patriquin. Sue Montgomery did at least one with you, though I think you stopped returning her phone calls. I didn't keep the clippings.
First-hand encounters: I don't think I'll betray anyone by naming them, especially given your aggressive attitude.
Cheers and good day,
I could have also mentioned the time he was convicted of assault [SEE CORRECTION/CLARIFICATION AT END OF POST] after being "involved in a physical confrontation with a pedestrian who smacked the side of his car." Or the time he was charged with assaulting a McGill Law student. I think those fairly substantiate the "aggressive" allegation I made.
As for being a narcissist, the next e-mail I got from Tyler seems like a good clue:
Angry? Not angry. Curious about how someone gets off calling people names. People they've never met and know nothing about.
Great sources. Montgomery was suspended by The Gazette for incompetence and the best gig that Patriquin can get is a job with a Montreal weekly with almost no circulation.

This is what I wrote about one Montgomery hatchet job on January 16, 2003 in The Gazette.:

"As for the unnamed sources in Montgomery's column, this is the stuff of yellow journalism, dwelling on innuendo, gossip and the obsessions of a few malcontents, rather than reporting on the substantive issues."

I have been called worse things by better people. I wrote to you in the perhaps vain hope that you would think twice before you make gratutiously insults in the future. It only makes you appear like a pathetic self-important little twerp. Instead of getting the attention you so desperately seek, you will only inspire pity.
These, ladies and gentlemen, are the words of the man who purported to speak for English-speaking Quebecers. Man am I glad the federal government cut the AQ's subsidy...
This is where, I suppose, I should have let it die. But, as previously mentioned, I'm childish:
You're clearly deluded. Sue Montgomery, a fine journalist, has been back on the job for a while now and has been praised, particularly for her coverage of the crisis in Haiti. As for Patriquin, he was recently hired as a news reporter by the National Post.
If you didn't want Montreal anglophones like me forming opinions about you, you should have never entered the public eye. There was nothing gratuitous about my comments: I think you severely screwed up Alliance Quebec. And a lot of people think that too.
As for, "Curious about how someone gets off calling people names. People they've never met and know nothing about." Uh, dude, you just called me "a pathetic self-important little twerp." Little did you know, however, that I am rubber and you are glue and whatever you say bounces off of me and sticks to you.
So take that, Tyler!

Next week: Perhaps I shall begin an angry exchange with Howard Galganov?


As for Alliance Quebec, things aren't really looking up since Tyler's departure. Today, Rev. Darryl Gray was elected to the leadership and sore loser Giuliano D'Andrea has already promised to launch a court challenge to the results.

Then, of course, there's the whole business of the fact that Gray is to be in court next month to face charges of assault for allegedly slapping his wife in the face.

Sigh. Let's just kill AQ and be over with it, please?

April 6, 2005: Correction and Clarification

Dear On the Fence Readers,

On June 1, 2004, in a blog post about lawyer Brent Tyler, I wrote: "I could have also mentioned the time he was convicted of assault after being 'involved in a physical confrontation with a pedestrian who smacked the side of his car.' Or the time he was charged with assaulting a McGill Law student. I think those fairly substantiate the 'aggressive' allegation I made."

In fact, Mr. Tyler has not been convicted of assault, as he informed me in an e-mail I received April 6, 2005: "I was not convicted of assault. I was given a conditional discharge. If you had read the article in The Mirror that is linked to your Site, you could have avoided making this inaccurate and libelous comment."

According to the 1997 Montreal Mirror article in question, Mr. Tyler was "found guilty of assault and was given a conditional discharge pending a $500 donation to charity." I did not understand the distinction between this and a conviction at the time and apologize to Mr. Brent for the error. I withdraw the comment.

In addition, though the blog post was accurate in June, the charges relating to the McGill Law student have since been withdrawn. Mr. Brent forwards along a Montreal Gazette article dated October 8, 2004:
Brent Tyler, a high-profile Montreal lawyer and past-president of Alliance Quebec, has been cleared of assaulting two young political opponents two years ago. Crown prosecutor Francis Paradis yesterday withdrew the charges before Municipal Court Judge Jean-Pierre Bessette. "We weren't surprised," defence lawyer Daniel Lighter said. "The evidence was weak." Lighter suggested Paradis realized "the political motivation behind the trial." The incident took place during an April 2002 meeting of Alliance Quebec, where the head of the English rights group's youth wing and his brother claim
they were assaulted by Tyler.


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