On Dec. 11, 2014, the same day that Andrew Olivier found out that Glenn Thibeault would be the Liberal candidate in the Sudbury byelection, Thibeault wrote an email to his new "trusted" Liberal contact.

It was Liberal Party CEO and campaign director Pat Sorbara.

He wrote that "at some point I'd like to go over the commitments that were made" and "shake on it."

Thibeault told the court those commitments were promises about a "fully-funded" campaign, that his signs and brochures be made in Sudbury and that he and two of his staffers get paid during the campaign.

The now Sudbury MPP and energy minister testified that Sorbara assured him it wouldn't be a problem.

Thibeault said he was worried about how his decision to quit as NDP MP and run for the Ontario Liberals would affect his NDP staffers Brian Band and Darrell Marsh.

He testified he was "concerned about their livelihood" so thought "it would be great" to get them paid jobs.

During his cross examination, Sorbara lawyer Brian Greenspan suggested that Sorbara was only referring to the commitments made to Thibeault by the premier at their Nov. 30, 2014 meeting, regarding skipping a nomination race and strong support from the party.

Greenspan also argued that "no promises were made" regarding any of the other requests from Thibeault, which Sorbara had described as "do-able."

Crown prosecutor Rick Visca then argued that Thibeault "materially changed" his answer during the cross-examination and wanted to ask further questions about this point, which the defence objected to.

At the end of a long day, Judge Howard Borenstein adjourned until 9 a.m. Wednesday, saying he need time to consider the arguments. 

Brian and Glenn

Sudbury MPP Glenn Thibeault with his former staffer Brian Band. (Twitter)

Marsh was paid $2,000 and Band $2,800 for their work on the byelection campaign, although both testified earlier in the trial that they started as volunteers and never asked to be paid. 

Another of Thibeault's requests was to get "income replacement" for the two months he was campaigning, which came in late January in the form of a cheque for $3,500.

"Mortage payment was coming close at that time," Thibeault told the court.

It is the jobs for Marsh and Band that Crown prosecutors and Ontario Provincial Police investigators allege constitutes a bribe that Sorbara offered Thibeault.

Sorbara and prominent Sudbury businessman Gerry Lougheed are also charged with offering jobs or appointments to former Liberal candidate Andrew Olivier to step aside so Thibeault could run.

Gerry Lougheed

Gerry Lougheed walks to Sudbury court on the 9th day of his trial for bribery under the Election Act. (Yvon Theriault/Radio-Canada)

A few days after the bombshell announcement by newly elected New Democrat MPP Joe Cimino that he was walking away from politics, Glenn Thibeault met Gerry Lougheed for breakfast.

"I always had time for Gerry," Thibeault testified in court Tuesday, smiling at Lougheed from across the courtroom.

Thibeault was then the New Democrat MP for Sudbury and Gerry Lougheed, a prominent businessman and philanthropist, but also a well-known Liberal.

But Thibeault said they had a friendly relationship and he suspected that Lougheed wanted to talk about the Cimino vacancy when they sat down at Tutti Frutti that morning.

"My wife and I were seriously talking about me getting out of politics," Thibeault recalled, given his unhappiness with the federal NDP at the time.

Sudbury Byelection

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and Liberal Glenn Thibeault celebrate their byelection win in Sudbury on Feb. 5, 2014. (The Canadian Press)

Thibeault testified that Lougheed had urged him to "switch teams" for years and that morning, Thibeault told him he was 30-70 on running for the Ontario Liberals, meaning he was 70 per cent against it.

But since it "wasn't my unusual no," Thibeault says Lougheed offered to set up a phone call with Premier Kathleen Wynne.

Thibeault says when he met with the premier at her home on the morning of Nov. 30, 2014, he was still leaning against becoming a Liberal.

"I said to my wife before hand and said 'Don't worry sweetie, I'm still 30-70," Thibeault testified in court Tuesday.

He recalled that this was just a little more than a month after the shooting on Parliament Hill, which Thibeault described as "traumatising" for families of MPs.

Thibeault said he wanted to make sure his wife Yolanda was on board, knowing the byelection campaign "would be a rocky road."

He testified that after meeting with Premier Wynne, he was now 50-50 on running for the Liberals.

Thibeault says that as he formed his decision over the next week or so, he frequently spoke with Lougheed.

"He was someone I was going to if I was wavering to feel confident that this was the right thing to do," Thibeault testified.

Thibeault told the court than while in Ottawa that December, then Liberal leader Justin Trudeau said to him "have a good weekend and good luck with your decision" making him worried that word he of his possible defection was leaking out.

The Energy Minister, who waived his parliamentary privilege to testify, said he made up his mind on Dec. 11, 2014 that he'd run and one of the first calls he made was to Lougheed.

"Hey Gerry, I'm becoming a Liberal," Thibeault testified.

Pat Sorbara

Former Liberal Party CEO and campaign director Pat Sorbara walks to her bribery trial in Sudbury on the ninth day of testimony. (Yvon Theriault/Radio-Canada )

Later on Dec. 11, 2014, Lougheed and Premier Kathleen Wynne both spoke with Olivier.

Two days later, Thibeault meet him at Olivier's office, answering a lot of Olivier's questions about "why I'm doing this."

"We parted ways, I thought on a positive note," Thibeault testified, adding he was hopeful Olivier would play "some kind of role" in his campaign.

"We all felt the conversations were going well. [Although] he was having a hard time understanding he wasn't going to be the candidate."

Thibeault was expecting Olivier to contact him on Monday Dec. 15, 2014. Instead, Olivier held a press conference announcing he was being pushed aside for a star candidate.

He told the court he texted Olivier once or twice after that, "but I never got a response."

Who's who in the byelection bribery trial

The accused:

Pat Sorbara, former Liberal Party CEO, campaign director and deputy chief-of-staff to the premier.
Gerry Lougheed Jr., Liberal organizer and a Sudbury businessman.

Judge: Howard Borenstein, from Toronto.

Prosecutors: David McKercher, Vern Brewer and Rick Visca.

Defence lawyers: Michael Lacy for Lougheed, Brian Greenspan and Erin Dann for Sorbara.

Witnesses to be called by the Crown (in anticipated order):

  • Andrew Olivier: 2014 Ontario Liberal candidate, who accused the party of bribing him to stand aside in the 2015 byelection for star candidate and now Sudbury MPP and Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault.
  • Simon Tunstall, chief executive officer of the Ontario Liberal party 2012 to 2015.
  • Aaron St. Pierre, Olivier's campaign manager.
  • Rick Bartolucci, former Sudbury MPP and cabinet minister. (subpoenaed but not called to testify) 
  • Kathleen Wynne, premier of Ontario.
  • William Nurmi, then president of the Sudbury provincial Liberal riding association.
  • Dominic Giroux, then president of Laurentian University, incoming president of Health Sciences North.
  • Siloni Waraich, past president of Liberal Party of Ontario.
  • Andre Bisson, then vice-president of Sudbury provincial Liberal riding association.
  • Darrell Marsh, who worked in Thibeault's NDP MP constituency office, then moved to Liberals with him.
  • Brian Band, who worked in Thibeault's NDP MP constituency office, then moved to Liberals with him.
  • Marianne Matichuk, former Greater Sudbury mayor, who was interested in running for Ontario Liberals.
  • Vince Borg, past president of the Ontario Liberal Party.
  • Kim Donaldson, nomination commissioner for Ontario Liberal Party.
  • Azam Ishmael, former executive director of the Liberal Caucus Service Bureau of Ontario
  • Neil Downs, director of the public appointments secretariat for government of Ontario.
  • Shelley Potter, deputy chief of staff to premier of Ontario.
  • Glenn Thibeault, former NDP MP for Sudbury, now Sudbury Liberal MPP and energy minister.