Ont. Opposition leader says he'll ignore threats of legal action over comments

Published on September 14, 2017

TORONTO — The leader of Ontario's Opposition says he is ignoring Premier Kathleen Wynne's request that he retract comments he made about her.

Wynne's lawyers wrote a letter to Patrick Brown on Wednesday warning that he could face legal action unless he withdrew statements he made about the premier's role in a Liberal bribery trial.

The letter says the Progressive Conservative leader told reporters Tuesday that Wynne was standing trial, when in fact she is not on trial or even under investigation, but is offering voluntary testimony.

It was made public moments before the premier took the witness stand at the trial in Sudbury, Ont., where two former Liberal staffers are facing bribery charges under the Election Act.

Brown's office did not contest the remarks but pointed out that he immediately tried to clarify them when speaking to the media.

Brown himself did not comment about the matter until Thursday morning.

"Yesterday was a sad day for Ontario," he said it a statement. 

"No one, whatever their political view, wants to see the premier of our province debased and humiliated. Regrettably Kathleen Wynne compounded this sorry spectacle with baseless legal threats against me; threats that will be ignored," he said. 

"We as a province need to put this ugly chapter behind us and move on."

This is the second time in a week that the Liberal government has threatened legal action over remarks made by a Progressive Conservative member of the provincial legislature about the Sudbury trial.

Last week, Bill Walker told a local radio station Wynne was under investigation and facing charges in connection with the bribery trial. Days later, he issued a statement apologizing for the remarks.


The Canadian Press