Supreme Court Legitimizes Opitz’s Election Victory

The Supreme Court of Canada has issued a final ruling on Thursday allowing Conservative MP, Ted Opitz to continue his office and legitimized his seat won after a very close contest in Toronto riding. Opitz was able to convince a majority of the seven justices on the panel, who endorsed Opitz’ appeal of an earlier Ontario court ruling that decided to overturn the result of the election and asked for byelections.

A reporter informed from the court that “the ruling is that Ted Opitz will remain the MP for Etobicoke Centre” and “he has successfully won his case in front of the Supreme Court and basically the justices were split, it was a 4-3 split. Four were in favour of Opitz remaining, not overturning the election result, and three were dissenting from that including the Chief Supreme Court Justice, Beverley McLachlin.”

The seat of Etobicoke Centre riding was won by Opitz in May 2011 with a lead of only 26 votes, defeating the candidate of Liberal Party, Boris Wrzesnewskyj. Wrzesnewskyj took the decision to court and posted many abnormalities during the election-day paperwork, which resulted in 79 ballots being labeled ineligible by Ontario Superior Court Justice, Thomas Lederer.

As a result, Opitz took the decision to the Supreme Court, which announced on Thursday that 59 of the votes considered eligible were actually valid and shall be counted. It was reported that “they’re saying there isn’t proof that some of these people shouldn’t have voted, that they were somehow not qualified, and it’s very serious when you start playing around with somebody’s right to vote.” And “so you have to prove that people who should not have voted, did vote, and they said Boris Wrzesnewskyj did not successfully prove that fact, that it was too circumstantial.”

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