Ontario Liberal bribery trial to hear more from man at centre of allegations

By on September 8, 2017


SUDBURY, Ont. —  A man at the centre of allegations against two Ontario Liberals accused of bribery under the Election Act is set to testify for a second day today.

The trial began Thursday in Sudbury, Ont., for Pat Sorbara, the Ontario Liberal Party CEO at the time of the allegations, and Gerry Lougheed, a local Liberal fundraiser.

They’re accused of offering would-be candidate Andrew Olivier a job or appointment to get him to step aside for Premier Kathleen Wynne’s preferred candidate in a 2015 byelection in Sudbury.

Both have pleaded not guilty.

Olivier was the first witness called Thursday and is set to be cross-examined today.

That preferred candidate of Wynne’s was Glenn Thibeault —  at the time an NDP MP, now the Ontario energy minister —  who she ultimately appointed as the candidate and who went on to win the byelection.

Court heard Thursday that one of the two charges Sorbara faces relates to an allegation that Thibeault asked for paid jobs on his byelection campaign for two constituency office staffers, and that Sorbara granted that request.

Thibeault has previously denied he sought anything that would be seen as a bribe in exchange for running and is not charged with any offences.

The premier herself is set to testify on Wednesday.