Former Toronto Liberal Candidate Sues Justin Trudeau and David MacNaughton in Defamation

TORONTO, April 14, 2014 /CNW/ - Christine Innes, the former candidate for the Liberal nomination in the Trinity Spadina by-election in Toronto, has started a defamation lawsuit against Justin Trudeau, the leader of the Liberal Party of Canada (LPC), and David MacNaughton, the Provincial Co-Chair of the LPC.

Innes was the LPC's candidate in the riding for the 2008 and 2011 federal elections.  Most recently, she served as National Co-Chair of the 2013 LPC Leadership Selection Committee.

The lawsuit alleges that Trudeau and MacNaughton repeatedly and maliciously defamed Innes by accusing her and her team of "bullying and intimidating" young Liberals during the campaign for the Liberal candidacy in the riding.  

According to the lawsuit filed today, the defamatory comments were used as a smoke-screen to cover up a contentious decision by the LPC to intervene in the local nominations for the 2015 General Election—something Trudeau promised that he would not do as leader of the LPC. Trudeau and MacNaughton chose to attack Innes' character rather than face criticism for breaching a central promise of "open, fair and transparent" riding nominations. 

The defamatory allegations were widely publicized in the press last month and have taken a personal and professional toll on Innes, a lawyer, community leader, and long-time respected LPC activist and volunteer.

The character attack came within three days of Innes' refusal to agree to a backroom deal by the LPC to pave the way for another candidate to win the riding nomination when the riding is redistributed for the 2015 General Election.

Innes vehemently denies the allegations leveled against her and her campaign team. She has been encouraged to take action:

"Despite the party leadership's public attempts to destroy my reputation I have been encouraged by a number of people from different political stripes to fight against this unfair and undemocratic action."

Innes offered to settle the case in return for a public apology, a reversal of the LPC's decision to intervene in the riding, and the making of donations to the Bell Kids Helpline (www.kidshelpphone.ca/en) and Equal Voice (www.equalvoice.ca/). Trudeau and MacNaughton rejected her offer.

The action is in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. The statement of claim is available at: http://www.sotosllp.com/innes-statement-of-claim/

SOURCE: Sotos LLP

For further information: Innes is represented by the Toronto law firm of Sotos LLP (www.sotosllp.com). For more information on the case, contact David Sterns at dsterns@sotosllp.com (416) 977-5229.

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