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 today (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In addition, though the blog post was accurate in June, the charges relating to the McGill Law student have since been withdrawn.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 claimIn addition to posting this "Correction and Clarification" today, I have added it to the original post in question.
they were assaulted by Tyler.
Also, today is my 24th birthday! That it coincides with my first formal demand to remove something from my blog is just a happy bit of synchronicity…