BMO Harris Bank and BMO Nesbitt Burns have filed a class action lawsuit against the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF), accusing it of trying to “slander and defame” the firm and its employees, claiming that the group has engaged in “seditious, criminal, unethical and malicious acts” in the past.
The complaint, filed in Ontario Superior Court in Toronto on Monday, alleges that the CTF “intended to cause a disruption to the commercial, financial and residential markets in Canada” by “unfairly and maliciously” “misleading, mischaracterizing, misappropriating and falsely portraying” the law firm.
“The CTF’s false and defamatory claims and conduct has caused harm to BMO and to the thousands of Canadians who rely on BMO to provide legal services,” the complaint reads.
BMO’s legal team argues that the lawsuit should be dismissed, saying that “the CTF has not shown it has been harmed by BMO since its inception.”
BMO has not responded to a request for comment from the CBC News Group.
The CTF is not a Crown corporation, but rather an umbrella group of tax law firms and law societies, and is charged with helping Canadian businesses and individuals prepare their tax returns.
The group’s main goal is to ensure that taxpayers pay their fair share of taxes.
“CTF has a longstanding policy of helping Canadian taxpayers, and its clients, reduce their taxes,” the group said in a statement on Monday.
“However, as a Crown agency, CTF does not have the legal capacity to pursue any legal action or initiate litigation.”
“As a Crown organization, CTW cannot take any action on behalf of individuals or businesses in the absence of a Crown order,” the statement added.
“Furthermore, BMO is a Crown entity that cannot take action to protect its reputation.”
The CTB also said it is not aware of any legal actions pending against the firm, and declined to comment further.
The CBC has approached the CTB for comment.