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Regional District of Nanaimo director ignores ICF's 'intimidation'

RDN director Julian Fell said he "simply disregarded" a demand made by the Island Corridor Foundation to apologize and retract comments he made in a memo to mayors, MLAs and First Nations last July.

Despite ICF's threat to take Fell to the Supreme Court of B.C. upon non compliance with the demand, made clear through a Sept. 24 letter written by Duncan-based lawyer Andrew Lacroix, Fell said no legal action has since transpired.

Fell said the letter was "intended to intimidate me by sounding authoritarian, serious and menacing."

But upon critical review, Fell said he found the letter to be "bluff and bluster."

ICF allege Fell made "defamatory statements" alluding to the non-profit organization executive's secrecy and personal interest, according Lacroix's letter.

The letter goes on to claim that Fell advanced a "conspiracy theory, inferred "some kind of inside job" and perpetuated falsehoods in his memorandum.

But Fell stands by his word.

"Since everything I said was true, or considered true based on the wording by the ICF, I concluded their letter was for intimidation purposes," said Fell, adding that he has received a great deal of support from directors and councillors of the other regional districts.

None of the allegations in Lacroix's letter have been proven in a court of law.

"Some other parties also told me they too had been threatened with defamation action if they revealed information about the ICF," said Fell. "I (find) myself in good company.

Lacroix's letter called Fell's memorandum "grave" and said that distributing it widely to people magnified the seriousness of the matter.

The letter also claimed Fell has "a tenuous grasp on the functioning of the organization."

However, Fell said it was his "extensive experience with non-profit organizations" that caused him to identify events that did not conform with conventional procedures."

"The ICF has lost the confidence of its owners as the ICF's regular press releases contradict each other and those of us with more detailed knowledge believe they are intended to be deceptive," said Fell. "Shall we say there is a credibility gap approaching grand canyon proportions and leave it at that."

Lacroix did not respond to a request for comment by press time.

—With files from John Harding

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