Former Chilliwack school trustee Barry Neufeld is seeking financial support from SOGI 123 opponents as he heads to court in Chilliwack this week.
Neufeld is the subject of a defamation lawsuit after referring to school trustee Carin Bondar as “a striptease artist,” while she was running for school board election.
The request for monetary help from Neufeld went out in early November as he prepared for the court case to be heard in Chilliwack Supreme Court starting on Nov. 14.
“She is suing me for defamation because of a remark I made on an Action4Canada broadcast,” Neufeld said, referring to the comment made about Bondar, as he talked about the various candidates vying for election to the Chilliwack school board.
“I didn’t even mention her by name,” Neufeld said. “Many of you have been sacrificially generous to me. But I need to ask again for more financial help. Using the courts to fight for the protection of our children is expensive!”
The former trustee framed the situation as being: “important that I win this case and try to obtain damages.”
Bondar put out a brief statement before the case begins:
“I welcome this issue having its day in court. My legal team and I have prepared our case with ample supporting evidence. Although it continues to take an emotional toll, it remains critically important for women in politics to stand up against smear campaigns dedicated to decreasing our desire to serve.
“The only way forward is through,” Bondar added.
The trustee first spoke about the issue in October 2022 to state she felt compelled to sue the former trustee for his dismissive remarks.
“Creating lies about one’s political opponents and using them to gain power in an election are both categorically illegal,” Bondar said at the time. “Barry Neufeld has done both, and I find myself in a position with only one possible move to make.”
The remark in question made by Neufeld was about an educational video Bondar made on the topics of evolution and natural selection in 2014, which was a parody of the Miley Cyrus’ Wrecking Ball video.
“I am not a striptease artist, nor have I ever been one,” Bondar said, adding she was a full-time instructor in the biology department at the University of the Fraser Valley. Her lawyer fired off a cease-and-desist letter to Neufeld, suggesting his remark was a deliberate attempt to damage Bondar’s reputation and hurt her chances of winning the election.