Conservatives threaten Liberals
Politics Watch ® News Services
October 25, 2007, updated 5:50 p.m.
|The Liberal party has been warned to stop
making "defamatory" allegations against former
Conservative party candidates who now work in Ottawa.
OTTAWA (PoliticsWatch.com) —
A lawyer representing six Conservative party officials and
ministerial staffers has sent a letter to Liberal party headquarters
accusing the party and an MP of making "defamatory"
The letter addressed to Liberal party president Marie
Poulin and executive director Greg Fergus came in
response to a press release the Liberals put out this week.
In the press release, the Liberals alleged that a number of Tory
staffers who were candidates for the Conservative party in the last
election may have participated in the so-called "in and
out" campaign financing controversy.
"This letter is therefore intended to serve as notice that it
is defamatory to suggest or imply that these individuals engaged in
illegal conduct," wrote lawyer Paul Lepsoe.
"In particular, it is defamatory to suggest or imply that the
positions that these individuals have or have had on ministers'
staffs are 'rewards' for having engaged in illegal conduct."
The letter specifically mentioned Liberal MP Dominc Leblanc
as someone the Conservatives could take "appropriate"
"Govern yourself accordingly. Kindly bring this letter to the
attention of Mr. Leblanc," the letter concludes.
"It's a chill letter," Leblanc told reporters after
"It's in fact rather a weakly worded chill letter. . . We don't intend to be intimidated by this kind of stuff and we intend to continue asking questions until such a time as we're satisfied that there's some answers."
The Conservatives are embroiled in a court challenge against
Elections Canada, which is refusing to reimburse a number of
Conservative candidates for election spending on advertising.
The party transferred over a million dollars to local candidates who
then used the money to purchase advertising. The Conservatives say
the money was for local advertising, but Elections Canada argues the
money was spent on ads for the national campaign and thus cannot be
considered a local campaign expense.
Since Parliament reconvened, the Liberals have focused much of their
question period time on the Conservatives' legal battle with
On Thursday, Government House Leader Peter Van Loan
downplayed the seriousness of the scandal given that the Liberal
leader Stephane Dion did not vote against the government's
throne speech on Wednesday evening.
"If he really believed his wild accusations, he would have voted yesterday in a fashion consistent with that and we would be in an
election," Van Loan said in question period.
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