Premier Wynne suing Hudak, MacLeod for $2M
Premier Kathleen Wynne at Queen's Park in Toronto April 1, 2014. (Dave Thomas/Toronto Sun)
Premier Kathleen Wynne is seeking $2 million in damages in her libel suit against PC Leader Tim Hudak and PC MPP Lisa MacLeod.
Wynne is demanding that the two Progressive Conservatives publicly apologize and retract statements that she may have been involved in the illegal destruction of documents.
“Following the premier’s open letter, a lawyer’s letter and the notice of libel – Mr. Hudak, Ms. MacLeod, and the Ontario PC Party had the opportunity to admit they went too far, retract their false statements, and apologize,” Zita Astravas, a spokesman for Wynne, said in an e-mail Tuesday. “They chose not to, and as a result, the statement of claim was delivered today.
“Mr. Hudak, Ms. MacLeod, and the PC Party still have an opportunity to do the right thing — apologize and retract their comments. If they do, this action will not be pursued further and damages will not be sought.”
If successful in her legal action, the premier will turn the money over to charity, Astravas said.
MacLeod said Wynne is trying to stop her from doing her job as her party’s energy critic with a “frivolous” lawsuit.
“I think they would do anything at this point in time to have the Progressive Conservative caucus, including my leader and myself, stop talking about the $1.1-billion cancelled gas plants as well as the alleged coverup the OPP ITO (information to obtain) has demonstrated and which is the focus of the gas plant committee probe,” MacLeod said, referring to a police search warrant application that alleges that computer hard drives in the office of former premier Dalton McGuinty were illegally wiped during the hand-off to the party’s new leader, Wynne.
At the time, a government committee was seeking all records that would explain why the Ontario Liberals cancelled two gas plants in Oakville and Mississauga.
Wynne said the alleged incidents did not occur in her office or with her knowledge.
Finance Minister Charles Sousa said the premier is trying to protect her character.
“She’s being attacked unfairly and unduly by the opposition members without facts,” Sousa said.
The statement of claim says Hudak and MacLeod accused Wynne of overseeing and possibly ordering the criminal destruction of documents to cover up the gas plant scandal.
MacLeod said she’d rather be judged in the court of public opinion in an election.
“Why would I say sorry for doing my job,” MacLeod said.
Is the premier right to sue Hudak and MacLeod over their comments?