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Date for court challenge of Manitoba Tory leadership vote moved up

Click to play video: 'Date for court challenge of Manitoba Tory leadership vote moved up' Date for court challenge of Manitoba Tory leadership vote moved up
A legal challenge of the vote that made Heather Stefanson leader of the provincial Progressive Conservatives, and Manitoba’s premier, will happen sooner than expected – Nov 23, 2021

A legal challenge of the vote that made Heather Stefanson leader of the provincial Progressive Conservatives, and Manitoba’s premier, will happen sooner than expected.

Lawyers for PC leadership challenger Shelly Glover will begin presenting their case to Manitoba’s Court of Queen’s Bench on Dec. 10, a court spokesperson confirmed Tuesday.

Read more: Court challenge of Manitoba Tory leadership vote set for late December

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.

Justice James Edmond of Court of Queen’s Bench originally scheduled the hearing for Dec. 23, when he ruled last week that the court has jurisdiction to hear the case.

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Glover challenging PC leadership result – Nov 2, 2021

Cross-examination involving the affidavits filed in the case may now occur as early as next Monday or Tuesday, the court spokesperson told Global News.

In his decision, Judge Edmond called it “a matter of urgency and public interest.”

Read more: Court challenge over Manitoba PC Party leadership begins

“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,” he said.

In an affidavit, Glover, a former member of parliament, says the total number of votes counted was 501 more than the total her team had been given hours earlier. She also alleges unsealed ballot boxes were moved out of the room where votes were being counted, into an adjacent room.

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Manitoba PC Party willing to go to court over Glover challenge – Nov 15, 2021

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.

Read more: Losing candidate for Manitoba Tory leadership wants swearing-in delayed

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

—With files from Brittany Greenslade and The Canadian Press

Click to play video: 'Heather Stefanson wins Manitoba PC leadership race, to become 1st female premier of province' Heather Stefanson wins Manitoba PC leadership race, to become 1st female premier of province
Heather Stefanson wins Manitoba PC leadership race, to become 1st female premier of province – Oct 30, 2021

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