Sudbury MPP Glenn Thibeault insisted that two of his office staff be given paid jobs in return for his defection to the Ontario Liberal Party, lawyers for the Crown argued on the first day of the Sudbury byelection trial.

Brian Greenspan, lawyer for former Liberal Deputy Chief of Staff Pat Sorbara, took the unusual step of responding to the Crown's opening statement. He argued any demands from Thibeault are all internal dealings within the Liberal party and the Election Act should not apply.

The Crown expects to call 17 witnesses during the trial, including Premier Kathleen Wynne, who is scheduled to appear next Wednesday.

Other witnesses include former Sudbury MPP Rick Bartolucci, former mayor Marianne Matichuk, and former Laurentian University president Dominic Giroux.

The first, Andrew Olivier, was the catalyst for these charges when he publicly claimed he was bribed by Sorbara and Sudbury fundraiser Gerry Lougheed to step aside in the 2015 provincial byelection.

Olivier then released tapes he recorded during conversations with Lougheed and Sorbara.