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Ontario PCs drop legal battle against former member as party strives to present united front

Interim Ontario PC Party Leader Vic Fedeli says he has instructed the party's lawyers to end a legal battle against Jim Karahalios.
Interim Ontario PC Party Leader Vic Fedeli says he has instructed the party's lawyers to end a legal battle against Jim Karahalios. FILE

TORONTO – Ontario’s Progressive Conservatives are dropping their legal battle against a former party member as they strive to present a united front following weeks of unparalleled chaos within their ranks.

The Tories’ interim leader, Vic Fedeli, says the party should not have sued Jim Karahalios and has decided to abandon its appeal of a court’s decision to dismiss the lawsuit, which was launched under former leader Patrick Brown.

Fedeli says the appeal would have been costly and unsuccessful, and donations made to party should not be spent on “hopeless lawsuits against loyal conservatives.”

READ MORE: Ontario PC Party to hold 2 new nomination contests amid alleged voting irregularities

The Tories sued Karahalios, alleging he was misusing the party’s membership list to advocate against Brown’s decisions and the carbon tax that formed the bedrock of the Tory platform.

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An Ontario court threw out the lawsuit last year, calling it an attempt to quash dissent and limit expression on a matter of public interest.

Karahalios had also clashed with Brown over the party’s nominations process. Since Brown’s departure in January, the party has reopened two contested nominations.