Salmon Arm businesswoman and publisher Eileen Pressler yesterday completed a three-city speaking tour of Ontario to publicize her battle with David Lethbridge, whom she is suing for libel. Pressler. alongtime populist activist, heads the Council on Public Affairs. She is suing Lethbridge over comments made alleging that her home is a paramilitary compound. Pressler said her talks were an effort to “share the interesting and bizarre details” of her five year conflict with David Lethbridge. Pressler was invited to Ontario by the Canadian Association for Free Expression which calls her a victim of press vilification for her populist views.

Lethbridge, now a candidate for the Communist Party of Canada, has a long history of attacking people he perceives to be on the right. His past efforts have included trying to get rightists fired and trying to get meeting halls to cancel populist meetings. Pressler amazed her Ontario audiences when she revealed that, despite his communist affiliations, Lethbridge “advised B.C.’s NDP government on racism at a closed meeting last autumn.” Pressler’s speaking tour took her to Toronto, Kitchener, and Ottawa.While in Ontario, she met with supporters from the German Heritage Association of Eastern Europe, an association of ethnic Germans expelled from Poland, Czechoslovakia and East Prussian from 1945 to 1948.

There were 15-million such expellees. In Ottawa, her last stop on the tour, Pressler was presented with a cheque representing money collected by supporters. Presenting the cheque, Steve Dumas, a CAFE representative in Ottawa, hailed her as “the First Lady of the Majority movement in Canada” and “an inspiration to me.” He called her one of the “neo-heretics before the new Canadian inquisition.”