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Vancouver Pride settles lawsuit with former Pride Guide publisher

VPS won’t disclose terms of settlement with WE

The cover of the Vancouver Pride Society’s 2012 Pride Guide. Credit: vancouverpride.ca

The Vancouver Pride Society (VPS) has reached an out-of-court settlement in a lawsuit it filed against WE Vancouver (formerly known as the Westender).

“The dispute between the Vancouver Pride Society and WE has been resolved, and we are happy to have them return as a partner for 2013,” says VPS manager Ray Lam.

The case against WE, filed in small claims court by the VPS in July 2012, alleged that WE misrepresented itself to potential advertisers as the publisher of the VPS’s official 2012 Pride Guide

In its statement of claim, filed by Lam, the VPS accused WE  of acting “with great malice aforethought causing us to suffer significant financial losses in the form of advertising sales for the legitimate ‘Official Vancouver Pride Guide.’”

The VPS sought $25,000 in damages.

The VPS had contracted WE to publish eight editions of its Pride Guide between 2004 and 2011. The VPS decided not to renew the contract in December 2011, claiming WE failed “to pay out revenue shares in a reasonable or timely fashion,” and put the contract to tender. The VPS subsequently awarded the contract to Blueline Printing, which does business as Minuteman Press.

The VPS further alleged that WE’s 2012 Pride guide contained “several elements” which were “intended to mimic the official” Pride Guide, including layout elements, font, style and graphics used in earlier editions of the VPS Pride Guide.

In its statement of defence, filed by Shaun Ramdin of Heenan Blaikie LLP, WE alleged that the VPS awarded the contract to print the guide to another printer “without explanation or timely notice.”

Once it found out the guide would be printed elsewhere, WE claimed it took “all reasonable steps” to dissociate itself from the VPS’s Pride Guide.

While the VPS did not disclose the terms of the settlement, it now lists WE, which is published by Black Press, as a “Media Partner” on its website.

WE publisher Anne Devereaux did not respond to Xtra's requests for comment.