PC Leader Patrick Brown has been served with a notice of libel after he wrongly said that Ontario’s Liberal premier was on “trial” in the Sudbury by-election bribery case.
On Friday, Oct. 20, 2017, thestar.com reports that Premier Kathleen Wynne has served Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown with a libel notice for claiming she’s on “trial” in the Sudbury by-election bribery case.
The premier’s lawyers served the Tory leader with the libel notice at his Orillia riding office after having given him the requisite six weeks to apologize for his statement on Sept. 12th.
“You have refused to retract or apologize for those defamatory statements and have made further defamatory statements about Premier Wynne,” lawyers Jack Siegel and Sheldon Inkol of Blaney McMurtry LLP said in a four-page letter.
A notice of libel is the next step toward a defamation suit being filed in court.
Thestar says that it stems from Brown telling a Queen’s Park media scrum that Ontario had “a sitting premier sitting in trial” and that Wynne “stands trial” in Sudbury.
His comment was made the day before the premier testified as a Crown witness in a Sudbury courtroom where Patricia Sorbara, her former deputy chief of staff, and Liberal activist Gerry Lougheed are on trial for alleged Election Act violations, which they deny.
“Your statements above are false and defamatory. The express meaning of these statements is that Premier Wynne was on trial for bribery, which was not the case,” wrote Siegel and Inkol, adding Brown had the “intention of further harming Premier Wynne’s reputation.”
“A further implied meaning of these statements is that Premier Wynne is unethical and was under investigation by the police for a criminal act.”
An unrepentant Brown accused the premier of using the libel notice “to deflect from the news that 180 pages of emails and documents were released to the public yesterday during one (of) the two trials. She did never have anything to hide and the six weeks of requisite time for Mr Brown to apologise has gone by without him recanting. Now he will have to deal with his bad behaviour and defamations.
Speaking to reporters in Windsor, where she was co-hosting the Conference of Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers with Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, Wynne urged Brown to recant.
“An acceptable outcome for me is to have a debate about the truth — whatever the subject we’re talking about — to talk about the facts and to talk about the substance of the issues,” she said.
NDP Leader Andrea Horwath has called on Brown to “absolutely” say sorry to Wynne.
“People are human beings. You make a mistake, you apologize. There’s not enough of that in politics,” Horwath said last month.
Dan Matten – Liberal (Haldimand-Norflok)