11/06/2014 11:44 EST | Updated 01/06/2015 05:59 EST

Vancouver's mayoralty race now a legal fight, too, as Nov. 15 vote looms

VANCOUVER - The political battle between two mayoral candidates in Vancouver is shifting from the soapbox to the courthouse.

Mayor Gregor Robertson and incumbent Coun. Geoff Meggs have launched a defamation lawsuit against former journalist Kirk LaPointe who hopes to take the city's top job in the Nov. 15 civic election.

A news release from Vision Vancouver, the political party of Robertson and Meggs, claims LaPointe and his Non-Partisan Association have been running ads that contain false and defamatory words and they want a retraction, damages and the ads pulled from TV and radio.

LaPointe's political party responded by calling the lawsuit an attempt to stop the party's criticism of Vision's record and behaviour.

The NPA news release says the party recognizes intimidation by lawsuit as a typical tactic of Robertson and Vision and the legal action can now be added to the countless, time-consuming lawsuits involving community groups and individuals across the city.

The NPA says its legal team is reviewing the court action and LaPointe is expected to respond on Friday.