The strategic communications firm Enterprise Canada has served lawyer Brendan Miller with a defamation notice in response to claims Miller made this week about one of the firm's employees.
Miller is the legal counsel for a group of convoy protest organizers before the Public Order Emergency Commission, which is investigating the government's decision to declare an emergency on Feb. 14 to clear anti-public health measure protests in Ottawa and deter border blockades.
During the hearings on Monday, Miller suggested — citing no evidence — that Brian Fox, a partner at Enterprise, carried a Nazi flag in the thick of the protest crowd in Ottawa last winter so that photos would be taken and the protesters would be discredited.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Miller said he was served with a notice of defamation for making those claims. He shrugged it off as an "intimidation tactic."
"It doesn't mean anything," Miller said outside the hearings in Ottawa.
Miller filed an application with the commission this week to compel witnesses, including Fox, to testify about who brought Nazi and Confederate flags to the protests.
But Commissioner Paul Rouleau denied Miller's request saying he had raised "serious allegations … with little foundation in evidence."
Enterprise president Jason Lietaer also confirmed Miller had been served.
Lietaer told CBC News Network's Power & Politics on Tuesday that Fox is getting death threats due to Miller's "unhinged allegation."
"It's absolutely ridiculous," Lietaer told guest host David Cochrane. "It's having real impacts, I mean the threats … it's got to stop."
But Miller continued his line of questioning about Fox throughout this week's inquiry hearings and has at certain points attempted to tie Enterprise and Fox to the Liberal Party.
WATCH | Miller's remarks 'highly defamatory,' Lietaer says:
In a letter addressed to Miller Tuesday, Enterprise's counsel Jeff Galway said Fox was not in Ottawa during the protests earlier this year, and that he recalled last visiting the city in 2019.
The letter also says that Fox is a longstanding member of the Conservative Party.
Lietaer said the firm has proof — in the form of receipts and eyewitnesses — that Fox was in Toronto during the protests.
"You can't fall for this kind of a hoax. It is patently false and we've got to fight back on this kind of stuff," he said.
On Thursday evening, Miller mistook an observer who was leaving commission for Fox. Miller chased after the man and asked him if he wanted to testify.
"Well, that was fun," Miller said, laughing after the encounter. "There's a hole in my case."
Miller apologized to the individual.