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Leonard Asper, Former CEO of Canwest Global, Declares Moral Bankruptcy

By Anton Hout

I just wanted to share with you that I have been threatened by Leonard Asper, former CEO of Canwest Global. Actually, not directly by him but at his behest by his corporate security goon, Richard Landry. Yes, I have been told in no uncertain terms that I will be charged with criminal harassment unless I... STFU. I've seen online that this is Richard's modus operandi—a bully-for-hire that attempts to threaten and intimidate victims of scum like Leonard. If these two weren't so pathetic they really would be quite funny.

After the mobbing I endured for many years at the Calgary Herald, my health was ruined, my family and I lost our home, our savings, our retirement plan – everything. We even lost our dog, Levi (an Australian Shepherd) when we no longer had any place to live ourselves.

I contacted Leonard Asper at the time as he was the CEO of Canwest Global (which owned the Calgary Herald). He even admitted responsibility if something like this was going on under his watch. Riiiiiiight.

I also told him about another lady who had contacted me after I was terminated who told me the same thing (the thing she remembered me calling "mobbing") was now happening to her; the same bully, the same managers, the same hyenas were at it again. Her fate was also sealed as there was no moral leadership to be found at any level of the Calgary Herald or Canwest management (and certainly none from Leonard Asper himself).

With a simple phone call Leonard Asper could have intervened. He could easily have done something—anything. Instead my career and life were destroyed and my family put through a hell that went on for years and could only be described as torture in the years of horror to come. But he looked the other way and let it happen – while he knew it was happening.

He stalled, did nothing and finally a Human Rights Commission complaint had to be filed. It was, of course, a farce. But the agent who investigated the case was horrified by the conduct of Calgary Herald management. She was literally in tears as she described to me the conduct of Herald management that she had uncovered. I knew what they had done, but it was still shocking to hear how truly evil these people are and what they had knowingly and purposely done to bring permanent harm to me and my family.

But what was it that poor, poor, poor Leonard had to endure? What horrible thing had I done that Leonard would now have to threaten me with harassment charges?...

I emailed Leonard. Yes, horror of horrors, I finally emailed Leonard Asper again to find out what he intended to do to make it up to my family and me. Of course, after not getting any response I had to send another email. Again no response. So I wasn't sure if they were getting through or if I even had the right address. I'd wait a few weeks and then try again.

Finally he did deign to provide a reply, denying all knowledge and responsibility. That makes him a liar on two counts. It was basically, a declaration of moral bankruptcy. Long story short, his security goon Richard Landry said I would be charged with harassment if I dared to contact the high and mighty Leonard Asper again.

If receiving a few emails from your victims is "harassment" then what the hell do you call what was done to me and my family? And if Leonard's best security mind thinks threatening someone who has been violated, had their life destroyed, and watched their family tortured is wise, then it might be time for Leonard to start looking for competent security advice.

Really guys, the best thing you could come up with was to try to bully me into silence? Really?

I was not naive enough to believe that Leonard Asper would have the integrity and honor to do something about mobbing when it was brought to his attention, but I at least wanted to give him the opportunity to do the right thing—to be a mensch.

Sadly, Leonard was not able to overcome his contempt for the human dignity of a mere employee. I can't help but wonder if this attitude contributed to his bankrupting of Canwest Global within a few short years after his father's death; a company his father, Isreal Asper, had spent a lifetime building.

You want me silenced Leonard? You'll have to do better than sending a low-life like Richard Landry to intimidate me. I'm sorry to hear that a reasonable and peaceful resolution to the injustice and nightmare visited upon me and my family will not be tolerated. I tried, but when those with the authority and responsibility to act are spineless and morally bankrupt positive outcomes are made impossible. Understand, however, that this matter will be over when I say it is over, when restitution—to my satisfaction—has been made, not when your pathetic goon tells me to shut up. If you want to shut me up you'll have to finish the job started by the other scum at the Calgary Herald and have me killed.

In the meantime, I have, apparently, been given no option by Richard Landry but to resolve this matter unilaterally in the time, place and manner of my choosing. Don't tempt me Richard. After all, turnabout is fair play.

Of course, if I did to Leonard and his wife and family what was done to me and mine by the scum at the Calgary Herald, with his full support, I'm sure he would squeal like a stuck pig. When the lives of his employees are destroyed, it is his divine right. When those employees complain about it—it is harassment of the delicate flower Leonard.

The problem with the Leonard Aspers of the world is that they live their lives not by what is right and wrong, moral or immoral, decent or indecent—no, the Leonard Aspers of the world live their lives by what they think they can get away with. If consideration is given to ethics it is only to laugh it off as a quaint notion that applies only to the little people. Leonard thinks that because he has the money, power and lawyers to hide behind—that allow him to spit in the faces of decent people—it makes it okay. It doesn't Leonard.

I hope that business leaders begin to comprehend the damage that mobbing has on the lives of employees (human beings) and if they can't bring themselves to stop workplace bullying as a moral stand that they will at least stop it for purely selfish reasons—to prevent the devastation on the organization and the bottom line.

In the meantime, I can't recommend that anyone work in any organization run by the Aspers or anyone like them. We all deserve better.

Anton Hout



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