Monday, March 03, 2008

Stephen Harper sues Stephane Dion, Michael Ignatieff and Ralph Goodale over Cadman bribery allegations

From CTV
Harper files notice of libel over Cadman allegations

Updated Mon. Mar. 3 2008 9:46 AM ET News Staff

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has filed a notice of libel against Liberal Leader Stephane Dion and other top Liberals over allegations they've made about him in the Chuck Cadman affair.

Robert Fife, CTV's Ottawa bureau chief, told Newsnet that Dion was served this morning at his Stornoway residence in Ottawa.

"The prime minister is not only suing the Liberal leader, he's suing the deputy leader, Michael Ignatieff; Ralph Goodale, who is the House leader; and the Liberal Party of Canada," he said.

"Mr. Harper's notice of libel says they've accused him of knowing about Conservative bribery in the Cadman affair," he said.

Harper said the allegations, made outside the House of Commons and on the Liberal party's website, are false and misleading. He is asking for an immediate retraction, Fife said.

The notice asks for two allegedly defamatory articles to be removed from the website and provides wording for an apology to be read out by Dion in the House of Commons. The notice requests the apology be given in English and French.

If the Liberals don't provide an apology, the Conservatives want the Liberals to preserve all records and e-mail traffic, Fife said.

Last week, a new book made the claim that former Conservative MP Chuck Cadman was essentially offered financial inducements by Conservative party officials to vote down the Liberal government's 2005 budget.

Cadman ultimately voted to support the budget.

Dona Cadman said her husband, who was sitting as an Independent MP and was terminally ill with cancer, was offered a $1 million life insurance policy to vote against the budget. Her daughter Jodi has also said her late father told her about the offer.

According to a interview with Tom Zytaruk, the book's author, Harper -- then the opposition leader -- said in 2005, "The offer to Chuck was that it was only to replace financial considerations he might lose due to an election."

The Conservatives have said there is no truth to the life insurance allegation.

The Liberals are pushing for the RCMP to investigate the matter.

- CTV: Harper files notice of libel over Cadman allegations
- CBC: PM suing Liberals over Cadman allegations
- Globe and Mail: Harper threatens to sue Dion, key Liberals
- Getting it Right: Harper's ordering of Cadman bribery is a criminal offence
- All of my Cadman bribery posts


leftdog said...

Here is a case of our 'bully-boy" Prime Minister trying to quiet his critics via lawsuit! What a joke!

The Conservative Party and their leader are completely lacking in ethics! This lawsuit actually makes Harper look more desperate!

Erik said...

This lawsuit actually makes Harper look more desperate!

I agree, it show that the Cons don't have anything else left to debunk the claims of a bribery, which was confirmed by Harper himself in the Zytaruk recording mp3).

Anonymous said...

It's curious that Harper doesn't include the Cadman family or the journalist in the lawsuit. This doesn't seem to be very logical to me if you think that you're being slandered. Of course, if Harper did include the family it would look bad politically. Which leads me to conclude that the reason this is happening is so that the Liberals are hobbled in just what they can say outside the House. And, of course, to undermine their credibility on this issue.
I can hardly wait until the Conservative government is a distant memory.

rufous said...

What choice does Harper have but to attempt to sue for libel? The Libs set a trap for him and he's taken the bait. Now it's for sure not going to just go away. Awww

Erik said...

It's curious that Harper doesn't include the Cadman family or the journalist in the lawsuit. This doesn't seem to be very logical

Good point. Most likely SOME offer WAS made, but perhaps not exactly a one million dollar insurance policy. This is probably the only reason why the Liberal Party could be sued.

In any circumstance, ANY financial offer would have been a crime (under the current Criminal Code of Canada, section 119) commonly known as bribery.

What choice does Harper have but to attempt to sue for libel?

Exactly, there's not much left for the Conservatives; they've pretty much tried everything else...

northwestern_lad said...

Anon... I was wondering the same thing, why Mr. Harper isn't suing the family and the author, nor is he suing any media outlets who have been broadcasting this news, just Mr. Dion and some Liberals. Come on now, how many people actually read the Liberals website everyday. If he was really worried about clearing his name, he'd be suing the CTV Globemedia, Sun Media, CBC and every other media outlet in the country. This screams of a politically motivated legal move, especially given as how he was recorded on tape giving this story it's strength.

I've been arguing for the longest time that Dion and the Liberals have allowed themselves to be bullied by the Conservatives, and that has just emboldened the Conservatives to continue to bully. I can't help but think that if the Liberals had shown some cojones before this instead of abstaining for the past 6 months and showed Mr Harper that they can't be pushed around, you wouldn't see Mr. Harper going to a tactic like this now. The only way to stop a bully is to stand up to him, which is something that the Liberals haven't done.

leftdog said...

If Harper sued members of the Cadman family, there would be a firestorm of objection both in and out of the Conservative party. This 'intent' to sue is pure politics ... with the distinct reek of desperation!

rufous said...

From Kady O'Malley's blog:

"...the prime minister -- through his lawyers -- claims that the Liberals went beyond the bounds of parliamentary privilege by publishing statements that were originally made in the House of Commons - and, as such, protected - on the party's website. "The articles in issue are not a fair and accurate report of proceedings in the House of Commons and are not privileged," according to the notice. "Further, the statements complained of were made maliciously and with a reckless disregard for the truth destroying any privilege that may have existed."

Desperation, thy name is Stephen Harper.

Erik said...

Desperation, thy name is Stephen Harper.

I agree.

How else can any Prime Minister start suing members of an opposition for libel when this same Prime Minister is caught on tape, admitting he took part in bribing a member of parliament?

Harper owes us an explanation.

Anonymous said...

Time for Harper to STEP UP by STEPPING DOWN until this Treasonous allegation, carrying 14 years in prison has been concluded.

Anonymous said...

It's time for Prime Minister Harper to STEP UP and.........
STEP DOWN until these treasonous allegations of BRIBERY which carries 14 years in prison are dealt with...

Erik said...

Time for Harper to STEP UP by STEPPING DOWN until this Treasonous allegation, carrying 14 years in prison has been concluded.

Good point; nobody should be governing any country when at this point it is clip and clear he's been involved in a bribery scandal; he admitted this himself on tape!

He should step down until the air is cleared or until he's been prosecuted. The maximum of fourteen years (according to section 119 of the Criminal Code of Canada) for Stephen, I don't think I would loose much sleep over it.

Anonymous said...

It's a brilliant way for Harper to avoid answering questions because it's now "a legal matter." I agree with a previous commentor's question about why the Cadman family and the writer were not named. Harper's cheering section aught to think about this one. I guess next they'll sue journalists who dare write editorials, bloggers, and those of us who respond.

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