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Media Release: B.C. businessman launches legal action to take back federal political party name - People’s Party of Canada

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Canada

Legal action in the Federal Court of Canada to take over the name 'People's Party of Canada.

WireService.ca Media Release (02/19/2019) Vancouver, BC - Abbotsford-based businessman, free speech advocate and social activist Satinder Singh Dhillon has launched legal action in the Federal Court of Canada to take back the name 'People's Party of Canada.' Mr. Dhillon owns the copyright and has registered for a trademark on the name and filed his application with Elections Canada weeks prior to Mr. Maxime Bernier, who is currently registered as the leader of the political party which carries the same name. Mr. Dhillon first publicly discussed the party name in a 2015 media story.

Mr. Dhillon is asking the court for an injunction against the party headed by Mr. Bernier to bar it from using the name in the current byelection underway in Burnaby South and the general election coming up this October.

Mr. Dhillon, along with the party's Chief Agent Mr. Emmet Pierce of Vancouver, has also filed in Federal Court for a judicial review of the process used by Elections Canada to grant Mr. Bernier the name and a copyright and trademark infringement lawsuit against Mr. Bernier and the other People's Party of Canada,

"The byelection underway in Burnaby is the first time the other party using our name has put forward a candidate, so it was critical we file for an injunction to show Mr. Bernier and anyone in his party that we are serious," said Mr. Dhillon. "So far, they have ignored the cease-and-desist letter sent last month by our Chief Agent, Mr. Pierce. We are asking the courts to stop them from improperly using a party name which rightfully belongs to us before further damage is done in this byelection or any election."

In their request for a judicial review, the plaintiffs are asking the Federal Court to declare that the Chief Elections Officer for Elections Canada (the "CEO") was wrong when he approved Mr. Bernier's party to use the name, The People's Party of Canada. The CEO knew or should have known that Mr. Dhillon had the rights to the name, The People's Party of Canada, or at least should have investigated further to make an unbiased and reasoned decision.

"My vision for this party was that it would truly be for the people of Canada, a place for Canadians who support our core values of economic fairness, free speech, equal rights, justice for all and standing against racism and discrimination to cast a protest vote against the status quo," Mr. Dhillon said. "If Mr. Bernier and his candidates were putting forward a platform we could live with I would have perhaps considered letting them use the name, which is legally mine, but their brand of divisive populism just doesn't line up with the values held by the people of Canada and I have to speak out about this."

Mr. Dhillon is being represented in court by lawyer Dean P. Davison of Vancouver's Davison Law Group.

"We have filed a very strong case today, asking the courts for an injunction against Mr. Bernier's party using the name People's Party of Canada based on the facts," Mr. Davison said. "Allowing the other party to use the name in the current byelection or any election would cause further damage to my clients, Mr. Satinder Dhillon and Mr. Emmet Pierce, and it would make it difficult for them to use the name in the future."

Mr. Dhillon filed the party name with Elections Canada on September 25, 2018, weeks prior to Mr. Bernier. After filing a new federal political party name, Elections Canada requires at least 250 people to confirm their support in a paper form that can be returned by regular mail or in person.

Elections Canada told Mr. Dhillon those forms must be returned to their Quebec office. Many of Mr. Dhillon's supporters live in British Columbia, and their forms were delayed by last year's Canada Post strike and simultaneous provincial referendum underway in B.C.

Due to Mr. Bernier's physical proximity to Election's Canada's offices in Quebec, he was able to file that paperwork faster and was hastily awarded the name despite Mr. Dhillon holding its copyright and a Class 38 trademark over the name and filing for it first.

"In our view, Elections Canada erred by not taking into account delays caused by the Canada Post strike and Mr. Dhillon's earlier initial filing and should have awarded the party name to Mr. Dhillon. It is also significant that Mr. Bernier's very public discussion of the party name during his application period concerned some of Mr. Dhillon's supporters, who did not want to unintentionally sign up as a supporter of the other party. That further slowed Mr. Dhillon's application and damaged his interests," Mr. Davison said. "We look forward to arguing that in court."

"Currently we have over a thousand members in our party," added Mr. Pierce. "The officers of the party and our members are demanding justice be served in this case and that we are allowed to use the name that is rightfully ours. The evidence is overwhelmingly in our favor and now we can let the Federal Court of Canada decide if our members and officers will get justice in this case."

More information can be found at http://www.thepeoplespartyofcanada.org/

Plaintiffs - Background:

Satinder Dhillon is a Canadian-born businessman, freedom of speech advocate and social activist. He has business interests as broad as agriculture, mining, and real estate along with sports and entertainment management, and has won national and international awards for his work in social activism. He sits on the Board of Advisors for the Vancouver International South Asian Film Festival, has a blog on the Huffington Post and has raised funds for a variety of organizations including Greenpeace, PBS, the Anti-Defamation League, and the Red Cross.

More information about Mr. Dhillon can be found at https://www.satinderdhillon.com/

Emmet Pierce is a researcher and consultant and is the Chief Agent of the People's Party of Canada as appointed by Mr. Dhillon. Born in Canada, he has lived and pursued business opportunities around the world in places including Vietnam, Australia, and the United States.

More information about Mr. Pierce can be found at http://www.emmetpierce.ca/

For more information please contact:

Shawn Hall
Apogee Public Relations
shawn@apogeepr.ca - 604-619-7913

Dean P. Davison
Davison Law Group
ddavison@dlg-law.ca - 604.629.7808

 


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