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Wynne threatens Brown with libel action over his Sudbury comments

Wynne threatens Brown with libel action over his Sudbury comments
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Premier Kathleen Wynne will testify at the Election Act trial of her former deputy chief of staff, Patricia Sorbara. Wynne is threatening to sue PC Leader Patrick Brown for libel for saying she s on trial.  (Star wire services)  

Queen s Park Bureau Chief

Wed., Sept. 13, 2017

Premier Kathleen Wynne is threatening to sue Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown for libel after he mistakenly said she is on “trial” in Sudbury.

Fifteen minutes before Wynne took the stand as a prosecution witness in the byelection bribery case on Wednesday, her lawyer fired off a letter to Brown demanding an apology.

“You have made a statement about the premier of Ontario that is false and defamatory,” wrote lawyer Jack Siegel of Blaney McMurtry LLP.

“Contrary to your statement, Premier Wynne is not standing trial. Your statement is false and misleading and appears to have been made with the intention to harm the reputation of Ms. Wynne,” continued Siegel.

“As you should well know by now, especially in light of the notice letter sent to your colleague Bill Walker just last week , the premier is not subject to any charges and will not stand trial for anything,” he said, referring to the Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound Tory MPP forced to apologize for comments he made about Wynne on Toronto’s AM640.

“The premier has cooperated as a witness in this matter from the outset. She has gone so far as to waive her parliamentary privilege and will voluntarily appear as a witness at the trial.”

Siegel is demanding that Brown, who is a lawyer, “publish a full retraction of the defamatory statements, to be published by every media outlet that has republished them, and distributed to every media outlet that had a representative in attendance, as listed above.”

“We’ve got a sitting premier sitting in trial and answering questions about allegations of bribery,” Brown told the assembled press throng outside the House.

“I hope that the premier will give us answers. We’re not getting them, in the Legislature. Maybe when she stands trial,” he continued.

The statements in question were only broadcast on CHCH.

Her lawyer also wants Brown to “refrain from making any further defamatory statements whatsoever about Premier Wynne.”

“Please be advised that if our demand is not satisfactorily met by 5 p.m. on Thursday … our client will take whatever steps are necessary and appropriate to vindicate her reputation and to enforce her legal rights to the full extent of the law.”

Wynne’s lawyer reminded Brown that she took similar legal action against former PC leader Tim Hudak before the 2014 election.

“You are likely aware of the action previously taken against your predecessor as leader of your party, and the arduous and expensive road that this took toward resolution.”
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