Thursday, March 13, 2008

Harper Follows Through On Libel Suit

Harper will sue the Liberals for two and a half times the money he and his cronies "allegedly" offered Cadman:
Prime Minister Stephen Harper is following through on his threat to sue the federal Liberals for $2.5 million because of accusations, posted on the Liberal party's website, that he knew of "Conservative bribery."

The lawsuit — a statement of claim was served today — is a response to the "defamatory" statements made by the Liberals, Harper spokesperson Sandra Buckler said.

"He's doing what any other person with integrity would do to defend himself and his family," she said.

Actually Sandra "I misspoke" Buckler, people with integrity answer basic questions, people that are telling the truth don't dodge and weave, stonewall and use the legal route to try and kill a story.

Harper sets a horrible precedent here, but hardly a surprising one. The good news, Canadians overwhelming disapprove of this tactic, it actually furthers the notion that Harper is a mean-spirited bully. Will he win or not? Who knows, but one thing for certain, none of us will know for years.


Steve V said...

In QP, Harper is responding to every question with reference to legal threats (he seems quite proud of himself). Not sure about Cadman, but Harper is definitely a Cad.

Steve V said...

Apparently, Harper has dropped the suit against Dion, Iggy and Goodale, just the website:

"The three MPs have been dropped from the libel suit. This is only a libel suit against the Liberal party based solely on what was on the Liberal party website and a lot of lawyers feel what was on that website was libelous," Bob Fife

Seems strange, given the site used quotes from the three MP's. If media can quote statements, why is a website any different?

Oxford County Liberals said...

Have you seen what his claim says? Apparently he's contending the tape that everyone's been hearing of him was "edited and incomplete".

So apparently, he;s going to claim the Liberals or the author of this book pulled a Grewal.

Anonymous said...

He sues for libel and hasn't even bothered to explain to Canadians what he meant on tape in 2005. I'm hoping the Liberals run a positive campaign -- if we ever have an election ;-) , but it is tempting to think of running that tape if Harper still hasn't explained it.

Steve V said...

Harper mentioned the tape today in QP, said the Liberals would have to answer why they sat on an edited tape for 3 years. That's fine if he wants to keep floating the doctored tape nonsense, nobody buys that, in fact it makes him look ridiculous.

Gayle said...

I think Dion should ask him how the tape was edited. Surely Harper knows what he really said then.

In any event, Harper can allege it was doctored in the HofC and that the liberals had it for 3 years, but as soon as he repeats it on his website Dion should sue! :)

This whole mess allows him to say "no comment" on the campaign trail.

Steve V said...

Dion and Iggy are both on public record, saying they first knew of the tape after the news report. If Harper really wants everyone to focus on the tape, let him, it's the worst part of this whole thing- edited or not, those quotes were clear.

Calgary Junkie said...

I dunno, Ignatieff looked kind of worried when he stood up in the House and asked Harper to produce the unedited tape.

Moore answered with something like "all documents and materials will be produced in court".

A great game of poker being played out here !

And btw, there is also this

If he's successful, any financial award would go toward payingthelegal costs of the suit, now being financed by the Conservative Party.

Any money left over would be donated to charity, Buckler said.

Demosthenes said...

This incredibly bad PR, dwarfing anything the Liberals have done. It's quite spectacular, really. Unless it's a way of bleeding cash from the Liberals, but it's not like there's a shortage of lawyers in the Liberal party ranks, I imagine.

Anonymous said...

I like the whole charity aspect, thats like the icing on the cake.

If you want to add a cherry on top, you get some liberals involved on decided which charities it should go to....................and the LBC does not count as a charitable cause.

Then Harper would truly have his cherry icing cake, and eat it too!!!

RuralSandi said...

If they had such documents they could produce them now and clear Harper's name right away.

And, what about the integrity of Cadman and his family Mr. Harper?

Anonymous said...

I sure hope this gets to trial, civil or any otherwise. Prime Minister Stephen Harper will crumple like a cheap suit.

The real reason for the suit is to validate "No comment, this matter is before the court."

Mark Dowling said...

Harper's not setting precedent - he's following it. Strange how this seems to be missing from the Liberal talking points:

Globe And Mail -
Posted on 08/03/07
Sponsorship fallout: Dion suing Duceppe

OTTAWA -- Lawyers representing Stéphane Dion are demanding to see the bank records of Bloc Québécois Leader Gilles Duceppe as part of a $400,000 lawsuit Mr. Dion launched before he became Liberal Party Leader in December.

Montreal Gazette:
JACK AUBRY, CanWest News Service
Published: Tuesday, May 08 2007

Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles Duceppe will publicly apologize to Stephane Dion as part of an out-of-court settlement over a $400,000 lawsuit after the Bloc published a pamphlet in 2005 linking the Liberal leader to the sponsorship scandal.

Gayle said...

Really Mark? That is kind of cool.

When this lawsuit finally gets around to being settled, probably a year or so after the liberals take office, it too will as big a news as this story was.

burlivespipe said...

Guess Duceppe didn't have a tape where Dion said 'is this for publication?' and admitted that 'financial considerations' were being offered to a dying MP who also had a valuable vote in the House.
That Harper knew of this tiny morsel of an accusation -- and must have remembered talking to a member of the media regarding it -- makes it strange that he never brought up this troubling accusation to the police, eh? Guess he had to wait to appoint the head of the RCMP to feel comfortable, right?

Lord Kitchener's Own said...


Sure Dion sued Duceppe, but Dion wasn't even Liberal leader at the time. It's not unprecedented for one Member of Parliament to sue another. That's not the "precedent" people are talking about.

Harper's precedent is being the first sitting Prime Minister to sue the Official Opposition. And I'm sure he's very proud of his trend setting ways.

Mark Richard Francis said...

Harper was told about the bribery allegation back in 2005 by Dona Cadman, and he did what about it?

Apparently, nothing!

Real credible...