Advertisement

Court challenge of Manitoba Tory leadership vote set for late December

Click to play video: 'Court challenge of Manitoba Tory leadership vote set for late December'
Court challenge of Manitoba Tory leadership vote set for late December
A Manitoba judge has agreed to hear a court challenge of the vote that saw Heather Stefanson become leader of the provincial Progressive Conservatives and, with that, premier – Nov 19, 2021

A Manitoba judge has agreed to hear a court challenge of the vote that saw Heather Stefanson become leader of the provincial Progressive Conservatives and, with that, premier.

Justice James Edmond of Court of Queen’s Bench ruled Friday the court has jurisdiction to hear the case. He scheduled a hearing for Dec. 23.

Read more: Court challenge over Manitoba PC Party leadership begins

Read next: Ottawa directing DND to drop appeal of sexual misconduct class action extension

“I agree with the submissions of all the parties. This is a matter of urgency and public interest,” Edmond told court.

“This application not only affects the parties and the intervener, but also affects the people of Manitoba, who have an interest in knowing whether the election of our new premier was flawed.”

Click to play video: 'Glover challenging PC leadership result'
Glover challenging PC leadership result

Shelly Glover, who came up short in the two-candidate race with 49 per cent of the vote, alleges there were irregularities when the ballots were counted Oct. 30.

Story continues below advertisement

In an affidavit, the former member of Parliament says the total number of votes counted was 501 more that the total her team had been told hours earlier. She also alleges that, at one point, unsealed ballot boxes were moved out of the room where votes were being counted and into an adjacent room.

The Progressive Conservative party has not yet filed a response with the court, but has denied any unfairness.

In a written statement earlier this month, it said ballots were at all times under the control of an independent security firm or independent auditors, and each campaign had scrutineers on hand.

Click to play video: 'Manitoba PC Party willing to go to court over Glover challenge'
Manitoba PC Party willing to go to court over Glover challenge

While courts sometimes avoid intervening in internal party matters, all sides in this case agreed the court has jurisdiction. Edmond cited a 2020 Ontario Superior Court ruling that said the Ontario Tories did not follow proper procedure when they disqualified a leadership candidate.

Story continues below advertisement

“In this case, the relief sought by the applicant is based upon an alleged breach by the respondent of the applicant’s contractual right to an election conducted in accordance with the rules and procedures and the (party’s) constitution,” Edmond said.

Read more: Manitoba PC Party willing to go to court over Glover challenge

Read next: Alberta Premier Danielle Smith opposes assisted dying expansion as Ottawa eyes delay

“In my view, the court has the jurisdiction to interpret the contract documents and determine (whether) the rights of the applicant and the respondent’s members were breached or not.”

Stefanson, who was sworn in as premier three days after the vote, has been granted intervener status in the case.

 

Sponsored content