The progressing legal battle between Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and the Progressive Conservatives has almost reached its climax after the Tories formally filed a notice of intend to defend the $2 million defamation suit. Making a challenging statement on Thursday, Conservative MPP Lisa MacLeod announced that “we’re prepared to fight it out” while suggesting Wynne to drop the suit and “stop playing little games behind the scenes with lawyers.”
Wynne has filed a legal suit against MacLeod, PC Leader Tim Hudak, and the party for remarks they made linking her to an OPP investigation of the premier’s office regarding the deletion of government documents in the $1.1 billion scandal over gas-fired power plants cancelled before the 2011 election. In her remarks, MacLeod dared Wynne to call an election to even out the disparities between the two and reach a decision through the ballot box. According to a letter to Wynne by lawyer Mark Freiman of Lerners LLP, the Conservatives mentioned that “the statements about which your client complains are clearly within the recognized privileges protecting freedom of speech, particularly where it concerns matters of importance within a necessary and vital public debate.”
Acting on behalf of the Conservatives, lawyer Robert Rueter charges the Liberals “intensified” media coverage of the remarks made by MacLeod and Hudak by repeating them in an open letter signed by the premier on March 30. It was highlighted that “our clients are not responsible for any republication of the purportedly defamatory statements as a result of the release to the public by your client of her open letter.”
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