Exclusive News Story: Pass Herald being sued

Pass Herald being sued

Lindsay Goss is a reporter for the Pass Herald. Some people may remember her as the young woman who broke the mould story at our hospital that garnered provincial, national and even international attention and acclaim.

I had a long conversation with Lindsay today in which she told me an ugly story filled with political intrigue, intimidation, fear, harassment and personal vendettas. No, I’m not talking about some movie. I’m talking about first hand experience of a local young female reporter and her recent encounters with representatives of our local municipal government.

At last Tuesday’s council meeting immediately following its conclusion Director of Protective and Community Services Albert Headrick summoned Lindsay Goss to his office for a private closed door meeting. According to Lindsay, Albert was very terse, condescending, and scolding with her. He lectured her with respect to a recent story she did about the fire that took place in Coleman on 17th Ave. that he took exception to. The manner in which he conducted himself made her feel berated and threatened, she said.

Further to this meeting Albert invited Lindsay to attend a special meeting for Thursday (today) that he was setting up between the two sisters of the lady whose house burnt down in Coleman, the fire chief, CAO, media and other interested parties (this meeting subsequently got cancelled at the last minute?). When Lindsay stated she would be bringing her boss to this meeting she was specifically told not to do so as she (her boss) “lacked credibility” and accused her of being on a “personal vendetta” against the municipality and their representatives.

Unbeknownst to Albert, and even Lindsay at the time, this conversation was recorded as Lindsay said she hadn’t had the presence of mind or time to turn off her tape recorder from the council meeting she had just attended.

Afterwards, when she reported the events of what took place to her employer at the Pass Herald, Lisa Sygutek as Publisher, took it upon herself after hearing the tape to make copies and send them by way of email to Mayor, members of council and our CAO Myron Thompson.

Myron Thompson from what I understand at the conclusion of a telephone conversation he initiated with Lisa informed her that the municipality would be suing reporter Lindsay Goss and the Pass Herald.

The above, to the best of my understanding, was what was told to me in a one-on-one conversation with Lindsay Goss. I leave it to my readers and the public to decide for themselves the good, bad and ugly of this story.


Politics is the skilled use of blunt objects.

from John Prince
This entry was posted in CNP Politics, Newspapers-Media and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

65 Responses to Exclusive News Story: Pass Herald being sued

  1. Chloe says:

    John, when will the ugliness of thought and spirit leave the CNP? The Municipal bullies must go, can’t come soon enough. Take care.

  2. Peter Rosner says:

    Looks like they want to take away our freedom of speech. “Then there was no one left to speak for me”

  3. Anonymous says:

    These people are involved in so much legal work that we need our own legal department and a train load of new taxpayers to pay for all of this. This type of BULLY effort may work in a school yard or a school division, but not in the Crowsnest Pass.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Talk about damage control! Shouldn’t they hire someone to manage this new department?

  5. Anonymous says:

    I went back and read the story and unless you are not allowed to use anonymous sources in a newspaper then I do not see what they could be sueing for.
    What is wrong with these people on council and in administration?Do they not have any morals or standards, I am so sick of these guys.They are pure bullies with egos so large it is unbelievable.
    Shame on anybody involved.

  6. Anonymous says:

    On what grounds could they persue a law suit? I was at Tuesday’s council meeting in which Albert was defensive,almost to the point of explosive with regards to the newspaper article. He glared directly at the news staff table when he was defending his response times to that fire.
    In a room full of people I could feel his wrath. Poor Lindsey being young and caught in a room alone with this guy.
    Maybe the law suit should go the other way? Are there bullying laws?
    When will this deplorable behaviour from this administration STOP?

  7. Anonymous says:

    The following was found on the municipal website under UNAPPROVED COUNCIL MINUTES FOR NOV.06/12

    Ms. Tina Delisle was in attendance and questioned the response times provided in a media release regarding a house fire in Coleman on October 29, 2012.

    Ms. Sari Carriere was in attendance and requested clarification on the source of the information provided in a newspaper article regarding response times for the house fire in Coleman on October 29, 2012.

    Mr. Albert Headrick, Director of Protective and Community Services advised the report on response times was received from Regional 911 Dispatch. Mr. Headrick advised that he and Steve Munshaw, Fire Chief, would make themselves available to meet with Ms. Delisle and Ms. Carrier to review the Regional 911 Dispatch report on response times.

  8. Anonymous says:

    How can the individual councilors be so cowed into silence? Who is telling them not to discuss anything in public? Who is running this show? Unprecedented.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Just unbelievable this conduct…from section two of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms; 2(b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication.
    Lindsay; you are completely within you rights as you niether libeled nor slandered in your article. Please carry on.

  10. Terry Megli says:

    John, thank you for your post. I agree that we should have called for the removal of the entire council. I also agree with Billy Kovach, to give council an awareness that we are serious about stopping their recless abandonment with reguards to the financial situation here by first trying to get answers from the municipal board in Edmonton.We have to do things with due process, invite them to come halfway with us. Let us know without a doubt what the master plan really is. If they won’t be forthcoming with us then we have no choice but to get serious with the uncerenoneous removal of these people. We can not afford the spending friensey they are currently desplaying. Further if Mr. Decoux wants to put my name on his to be watchede list here it is.

  11. Anonymous says:

    When a reporter is doing a story it should be based on facts not heresay like Lindsey was reporting.

  12. I would advise anybody following this post to go back and read the post of mine from March.
    It appears that the municipality is running things a certain way. After reading the following and putting it in the context of what you see here,the tell me if their “dealing with the media policy” is becoming clear.

    Dean Ward


  13. Anonymous says:

    “When a reporter is doing a story it should be based on facts not heresay like Lindsey was reporting.”

    She was interviewing people close to the story and this is part of investigative journalism. That is what her training has tought her. She included interviews with individuals whose opinions may, or may not, agree yours, and none of her own. If you do have the facts, then post. I am sure that John will allow you the freedom on this forum to present them.

    Please remember that one of our greatest rights as Canadians is freedom of the Press. If it wasn’t, you wouldn’t be readng this… think about it.

  14. The Doomsayer says:

    Muzzling the press, are we surprised? The mayor seems to have his war departments well oiled & working. Nothing like having the Gestapo & SS at your beck & call, do we have to salute him in the streets now, screaming “Heil, der Fuhrer Bruce”?

    Peter said it well, responding to my post: “Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak for me.”
    November 7, 2012 5:58 PM

    Yes, Peter, there is someone to speak for you, it is Lindsay Goss & the Herald. We know, right or wrong, the Herald has never backed away from a fight, it seems the have found an excellent reporter in Lindsay. Until the jackboots come to drag you away in the dark of the night, keep up the fight Lisa & Lindsay! Welcome to the resistance…, & the watchlist.

    Marketing studies have shown that the actions or words of only one person directly or indirectly affect the actions of 88 other people. Tomorrow or as soon as possible, go out, talk to as many people as you can, spread the word: “Stop the Mayor & his Henchmen”! It’s going to be very hard to every resident in the Pass on the “Persons of interest” watchlist.

    “Too frequent rewards indicate that the general is at the end of his resources; too frequent punishments that he is in acute distress”
    Sun Tzu – The Art of War

  15. Anonymous says:

    Brian says on his blog:
    “I am always ready to sit down with those who disagree and talk about their concerns so that we can all try and work together to make Crowsnest Pass a better community for the future.”

    I think some people have “concerns” about this. Shall I post a question on his blog asking for a time and place he would like to sit down with us?

  16. Anonymous says:

    Anon 10:00 PM
    “When a reporter is doing a story it should be based on facts not heresay like Lindsey was reporting.”

    The media report Bruce’s tales about hotels and factories. That is also “hearsay”.

    Or did you mean “heresy”?


  17. RJ Pisko says:

    To Anonymous – why don’t you learn to spell before posting?

  18. Anonymous says:

    Read the story carefully, then ask yourselves, Does this warrant a lawsuit? For me it is right up there with sueing Mcdonalds for serving hot coffee and then spilling it on yourself.
    11 months is a long time, and Gallant has already come out and said that he knows he will not be reelected so he will do as he pleases.Going to be a rough ride.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Maybe she should have added at the end of the story “take it with a grain of salt” then everything would of been ok.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Sounds to me like Mr Headrick needs anger management

  21. Jose says:

    Councillor Gallant has stated in his blog reply that ” I will not abide with bullying tactics”. From what I see, the Administration is doing just that, with this house fire and other instances.

    So……. Mr Gallant, when are YOU going to challenge your fellow associates, handlers and Lord to stop the bullying of ordinary citizens, or is it “loyal” subjects or serfs?

    Where there is smoke, there is fire. When there is fire, things get REAL hot. Seems like a few nerves have been touched.


  22. Jose says:

    Oops! In my previous note, I misquoted Mr Gallant. It should be: ” I will not abide by bullying tactics” and not ” I will not abide with bullying tactics”.

    I thought I best correct this, lest I be the subject of another law suit.


  23. Anonymous says:

    At first they had problems with Joni and the promoter. Threats were made. Now they are having problems with the Herald. Threats made. The story was well written. It gave two sides of the story. Directly interviewing the neighbors and reporting what they say is not “hearsay.” look up the word in a dictionary before you use it. If it was not for the “fact” that my tax dollars will have to pay for it, I would say go ahead and sue the Herald. This will make a good story for next week papers. Hopefully there are some cooler heads on council who can reflect on this a bit.

  24. Anonymous says:

    I’m guessing the lawsuit is not about the story, it’s about acting as a journalist and not disclosing that you are recording someone.

    The story itself was garbage. I’m sorry, but a journalist’s job is not to simply relay wild accusations about people/businesses/government. That is for twitter and blogs (not a jab at you, John).

    It is their job to present factual information to the public so they can make an informed decision. If she would have got the 911 call records and then checked the stated arrival times from the different parties, then maybe she’d have something. Right now, it’s a bunch of useless quotes that anyone with any sort of ability to critically think would immediately dismiss until some hard numbers can be presented and maybe, until she get’s Albert’s/Steve’s take on the response time. I’m not sure whether she’s lazy or is taking cues from sensationalists on the cable news channels, creating stories when there aren’t any. The mold non-story would have me believe the latter.

    The previous comments on this post have me scared for the future of the Crowsnest Pass.

    And to the anonymous source in the story: next time, pick up your garden hose if that’s all it takes. You just told us you watched your neighbours house burn down because you were too lazy.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Anon; 9:30 I couldn’t have said it better.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Yup, she definitely needs some training. She’s making news in Alberta and here, not for the best reasons.

  27. Anonymous says:

    They had a problem with Joni because she essentially did the same thing as this story, although I can’t remember what it was now. anyway, as an example: when someone is quoted at a ratepayers meeting saying that the think the directors of the ratepayers association should take over if council is thrown out, it would be the journalist’s job to indicate in the story that the situation describe cannot happen based on the rules and regulations in the MGA. they should also probably mention what will happen if council should be removed. the hiring of another consultant, at the taxpayers expense, and a gov’t official put in place to make all decisions without question.

    simply quoting what other people say does not a journalist make.

  28. Anonymous says:

    it’s sounds like the anonymous man with the garden hose would be a welcome addition to the fire department. sign him up..oh ya, we don’t know who he is.

  29. Anonymous says:

    The story was well written, not garbage. Only someone with a chip on their shoulder could say something like this. She did not say the neighbors were right, she just reported what they said. The fact that the story got such big reaction, speaks well about the story. Lucky is a reporter, anywhere, who gets such a response to a story. As for the recording, she had it in the council chamber recording a public meeting, she did not deliberately accost Albert. What was he thinking when he was speaking to a reporter? What is wrong with these people?

  30. Anonymous says:

    Anon 9:30, I do not disagree with what you are saying. But I still do not see a lawsuit there.

  31. John Prince says:

    Below is a link to a story that has some relevance here with respct to how our small town paper stands behind their reporter in defiance of ‘big brother’ while another reporter loses her job because her employer caves to threats and intimidation from government.

    Manitoba reporter fired from her job for “biased” reporting on federal politics speaks out


  32. Anonymous says:

    She reported witnesses accounts of what happened at the fire. That’s not hearsay, that’s fact according to the person telling the story. Witnesses are a reliable source everywhere else but in the Pass apparently. She did a fine job, reporting it without bias. She gave both sides to the story and the readers could make of it what they will.

  33. John Prince says:

    Can people send me the Facebook links to this story. Would appreciate it. Thanks!


    p.s. johnprince@shaw.ca or you can post them by way of comment.

  34. Terry Megli says:

    This is directed at 9:27. I don’t know which gutless councillor wrote that crap, but I guess you have learned to deflect critacism from yourselves by slaming someone else. It sounds like you are the same councillor who cornered this reporter and verbally beat her up. If you don’t have the courage to identafy yourself keep your fingers off the keyboard. I said it before and here it is again. If you have to hide behind anonamous your opinions are nothing more than trash.

  35. Anonymous says:

    Is anyone on council asking any hard questions? They think that all this trouble is caused by people spreading rumors on the internet and by the newspapers not reporting “facts.” They also appear to think that 2500 local dopes signed a petition because they did not understand what they were signing. They seem to have a nutty idea that they are going to “fix the Pass once and for all.” Of course change is hard; this is why it is not done the way they are doing it.

  36. Anonymous says:

    All this drama just boosts newspaper sales

  37. Anonymous says:

    This is why we have two newspapers. We create a lot of news. No place like it. Great place to live.

  38. Anonymous says:

    Anon; 9:30 Thank you. You nailed it. We are tired of the tabloid style reporting with their lack of substance and inaccuracies.

  39. Anonymous says:

    Anon 9:30 said:
    I’m guessing the lawsuit is not about the story, it’s about acting as a journalist and not disclosing that you are recording someone.

    I looked that up. It seems in Canada we have a “one party consent” law – you can record your conversation with someone else without their knowledge.

    It’s an offence to record a conversation between others without their knowledge.

  40. Anonymous says:

    I trust that Lisa and the Herald have learned a valuable lesson from the last two years of deplorable leadership emanating from Town Hall. The current mayor and his puppets are there as a direct result of the newspaper. Perhaps next election, residents will conduct several candidate forums etc. and the media will shut the hell up allowing a clear choice by voters using their own minds to cast their vote.

  41. Anonymous says:

    Bullies! Albert had no business intimidating that girl like that. They have used Lindsay as the scapegoat to shut Lisa and her paper up but guess what Albert…Myron is going to use you yet and you’ll be like wtf. Karma its coming for you!

  42. Anonymous says:

    O boy, if they think this is going to make Lisa go away, they are in for a surprise. There is nothing better for selling papers than have Albert on the witness stand answering questions from a lawyer.

  43. Anonymous says:

    Municipal Media Release – Response time for fire in Coleman

  44. Press release my CNP MD today:
    Media Release

    The information released in the Pass Herald and CTV media for the structure fire that occurred on October 29, 2012 provided incorrect and misleading information including a response time of 26 minutes.

    The call in question was received by 911 at 12:29 am.
    Regional 911 dispatched within 90 seconds as per National Fire Protection Association Standard 1221. The call was acknowledged at 12:30 am by station personnel.

    Fire engines from Stations 25 Coleman and 24 Blairmore arrived on scene at 12:40 am within 10 minutes of being paged. Additional apparatus and personnel arrived shortly after from the remaining stations.

    Industry best practice is National Fire Protection Association Standard 1710 which means arriving within 10 minutes of being dispatched with 10 fire fighters 80 % of the time.

    We are proud of the actions our members and their dedication to our Community.

    Media Contact:

    Manager of Protective Services/Fire Chief
    Steve Munshaw

  45. Anonymous says:

    So why beat up on the reporter, just put the media release in the paper. She did not say that their initial statements were wrong. Obviously the neighbours have a different interpretation of the time lines.

  46. Anonymous says:

    I think that they are bringing a lawsuit so that the recorded tape can not be released to the public.I would love to hear that tape. Come on Lisa, post it or print it in your next paper.

  47. Anonymous says:

    I would really like to disagree with the response time that Steve Munshaw
    posted on the municipal website,but I can’t. I also have a scanner and the information according to what I heard is accurate! He should email a copy of the 911 tapes to the local papers. This is the only way that I can see it being resolved. The people in the Crowsnest Pass need confirmation of the response time from someone other than Steve Munshaw.

  48. Anonymous says:

    Ya! I want the “No waterstate” tapes to be released. :)

  49. Anonymous says:

    How many men actually responded in each truck? When did they have water on the fire? Did their radios work? did they leave any other stations on standby in the event of another fire or emergency?

  50. Anonymous says:

    The person who made the call would have to request it (personal information according to FOIP).

  51. Anonymous says:

    Trust our town office to make a story from a non-story. By taking verbal issue with a reporter who is just doing her job the official has needlessly created a new story. This culture of bulling seems to trickle down right from the top. Are these the changes that we have been promised?

  52. Anonymous says:

    Many years ago there was a communist party here. Are they back?

  53. Anonymous says:

    They are not communist here, they’re fascists.

  54. Anonymous says:

    This is better than reality tv

  55. Anonymous says:

    To the Pass Herald “BRICKS”
    When the community is in turmoil over the current Firemen situation, publishing inflammatory opinion in a “news article” is irresponsible journalism and brings more instability to our community. At a time like this, putting the extra effort to research and report facts…what ever they are would be helpful to the present situation. Of coarse this is not the history or the culture of the Pass Herald.

    On the issue of the Directors conduct toward the reporter it does not sound very good to me at this point. I hope his conduct is reviewed and if it turns out the reported story is true, decisive discipline action needs to be taken. After all it would not be fair to hold the former Fire Chief accountable for his conduct then let his boss’s inappropriate actions slide by.

  56. Anonymous says:

    Anon 6:26 said:
    “Trust our town office to make a story from a non-story. By taking verbal issue with a reporter who is just doing her job the official has needlessly created a new story.”

    In most places (muni, prov, fed) political leaders try to give the impression they are in control – a public employee who pulled a stunt that created political fallout would be in deep doo.

  57. Anonymous says:

    Our leaders are not politicly astute. We would not be where we are today if there was even a little of political awareness at the top.

  58. Jose says:

    Don’t know much about fire but here is what the Chief said: “Industry best practice is National Fire Protection Association Standard 1710 which means arriving within 10 minutes of being dispatched with 10 fire fighters 80 % of the time.”

    Seems to me that a call at midnight and the response time of 10 minutes appears very reasonable. However, what happened after the firemen arrived is not covered in the Chief’s release. Comments were made concerning “How many firemen were in the first response”, and “When did the first water hit the fire?”

    This situation shows that the poison sown since the new Regime has taken over is so widespread, that nearly every event and action breeds discontent from one side or the other. This cannot and should not continue.

    It is time for LEADERSHIP, and it is time for the Mayor to step in and show some. Otherwise we will continue down the slippery slope to the point where the divisivness will not be healed for many many years.


  59. Anonymous says:

    Jose, you are asking the architect to tamper with the tower he designed from scratch. Not happening.

  60. Anonymous says:

    This is a scary sick place.

  61. Anonymous says:

    The bus leaves 1 am every night.

  62. Anonymous says:

    Copied this from the Herald, what was that previous Herald girl saying:………only in CNP, yup right.

    A Rocky View County councillor says he regrets comments he made on his blog that rankled council members, alarmed residents and brought the RCMP to his doorstep Thursday.

    Bearspaw councillor Al Sa-cuta said “(the) county would run much smoother if I were given three things: a backhoe, a gun, (and) permission to use them,” in a blog post dated Nov. 7.

    Check out the original blog post at ourbearspaw.ca

    The councillor apologized for the comments Friday on his blog, but not before alarmed Rocky View residents complained to police.

    The comments come just days after a hearing that saw hundreds of Rocky View residents pack into council chambers to voice their displeasure over a contentious commercial complex proposed for Springbank.

    The 61-hectare Bingham Crossing would see a retail centre, seniors’ residence and office space constructed along the Trans-Canada Highway, kitty-corner to Calaway Park.

    Some residents and almost half of council, Sacuta included, have raised concerns about the project’s scope, infrastructure and impact on the area.

    Sacuta said Friday that his blog comments were actually in reference to ongoing flooding issues in Bearspaw, but Reeve Rolly Ashdown said he’s not buying it.

    “I don’t know how anybody could have possibly have thought it was a description of flooding issues,” said Ashdown. “We haven’t been speaking about flooding issues for quite some time and if you read further in his blog, he’s been dwelling on Bingham.”

    Ashdown said he became aware of Sacuta’s comments after some residents e-mailed him.

    “I don’t like that type of thing. I don’t like that type of thing when anybody says it but when a councillor says it, I don’t like it even more.”

    RCMP members took a statement from Sacuta on Friday, but wouldn’t offer details about the complaints.

    Sacuta said he regrets posting the blog in the first place.

    “It was just stupid on my part. I didn’t realize what was going to happen,” Sacuta said. “I’m really sorry that it freaked people out.”

    Springbank resident Craig Forsberg said he saw the blog and agrees that Sacuta’s words were “ill chosen” – but added that he believes the councillor was voicing a reasonable frustration with council.

    “Al is not the kind of guy who is going to do anything like that. It was just some words that were ill-chosen and put in the wrong forum,” said Forsberg, who attended the Oct. 30 hearing that saw residents complaining before council about the project until 2: 30 in the morning.

    “We’re all frustrated, and I think Al is saying what his constituents and everyone else who lives in that area are thinking.”


    Read more: http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/alberta/Rocky+View+councillor+regrets+stupid+blog+post/7529669/story.html#ixzz2BraxZxtR

  63. Chloe says:

    John, I have read the article a couple of times. I am baffled that a lawsuit may be brought over the contents. Why? Take care.

  64. John Prince says:

    Chloe, I believe the lawsuit is over the recording. But have it on good authority that as one of my commentators here has already pointed out, it is ‘not’ illegal to record a one-on-one meeting. Becomes illegal, only when third parties are involved.


  65. Chloe says:

    Thanks John ;) How sad that CNP is becoming more like the Theatre of Absurd each day. The need for absolute control by the mucky mucks is really scarry. Stay warm;)

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