A prominent Calgary development family is suing the publication CANADALAND over what it calls “wildly inaccurate” reporting about an alleged political plot against former Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi.
In a statement posted online, Shane Wenzel said his family has initiated legal action against the publication.
“The accusations made about our family in the CANADALAND article are wildly inaccurate, and on the advice of our legal team we have commenced legal action to clear our name,” the statement reads.
“At no time were we involved in the alleged plot against former mayor Naheed Nenshi. We join the former Mayor in his call for a police investigation.”
The Wenzels are known locally for their philanthropic charity to the University of Calgary and other organizations. Cal Wenzel founded Shane Homes Ltd and several other companies.
On Oct. 31, CANADALAND published an article outlining a plot by so-called political fixer David Wallace to entrap Nenshi in a scandal over Russian money.
The article alleges that the Wenzels were heavily involved in a Hollywood-style conspiracy against the former mayor. Specifically, the allegations say the Wenzels were approached to provide funding for evidence gathering to prove that Nenshi accepted dark money from Russia.
CANADALAND alleges that co-owner of Shane Homes, Edith Wenzel, communicated with political fundraiser Prem Singh about the plot and that money was exchanged.
“Prem Singh confirms that she did take money for ‘Operation Peacock’ from the Wenzels and gave it to David Wallace. But she says it was entirely Wallace’s plan, and that she was not informed about what was really going on — only acting to connect the two parties,” wrote CANADALAND founder Jesse Brown and reporter Cherise Secharan.
Following CANADALAND’s report, the Calgary police announced it was launching an investigation into the alleged entrapment plot. Nenshi has also called for the RCMP to get involved.
CANADALAND did not respond to a request for a comment.
The family is not new to defamation suits. They sued Nenshi in the past for defamation which forced the Nenshi was forced to retract and apologize for comments he made about the family to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation after the Wenzel’s sued for defamation.