Judge expected to rule today on application to toss case against 2 Ont. Liberals

By on October 24, 2017


FILE: Flag of Ontario (Photo by Public Domain)
Flag of Ontario (Photo by Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain)

SUDBURY, Ont. — A judge is expected to rule today on an application for a directed verdict in the trial of two Ontario Liberals facing bribery charges under the Election Act.

Lawyers for Pat Sorbara, who was Premier Kathleen Wynne’s deputy chief of staff and Liberal campaign director, and local Liberal fundraiser Gerry Lougheed argued earlier this month in a Sudbury, Ont., court for the case to be tossed.

Their directed verdict application calls on the judge to dismiss the charges before the defence has even called any witnesses, arguing the Crown hasn’t proven its case.

Sorbara and Lougheed, who have pleaded not guilty, are accused of offering would-be candidate Andrew Olivier a job or appointment to step aside for Wynne’s preferred candidate in a 2015 byelection in Sudbury, Ont.

Sorbara also faces a second charge, alleging that she bribed Glenn Thibeault — then the NDP MP and now the energy minister — to become the candidate by arranging for paid jobs on the byelection campaign for two of his constituency staff.

The Crown argued that Olivier could still have become the candidate if Thibeault refused or changed his mind, and that Sorbara was trying to identify what would really induce Thibeault to run.