Toronto-area Liberal MP wins injunction against Tory rival
Conservative candidate's flyers 'clearly defamatory,' judge rules
A Toronto Liberal incumbent has won a court injunction against his Conservative rival ordering him and his campaign to pull a defamatory campaign flyer that alleges he has a poor attendance record.
Ontario Superior Court Justice George Strathy ruled Sunday that Conservative candidate Axel Kuhn and his staff must stop publishing and distributing a brochure that makes false claims about Borys Wrzesnewskyj.
The pamphlet claims Wrzesnewskyj skipped dozens of parliamentary committee meetings, but the Liberal incumbent for the riding of Etobicoke Centre said he's only a full-time member of one of the six committees listed in the brochure.
In his ruling, the judge wrote that the words in Kuhn's flyer are "clearly defamatory."
"They imply that the plaintiff has been derelict in his duties as a member of Parliament and that he does not deserve to be paid his salary," Strathy wrote. "Based upon the sworn evidence of the plaintiff, the words cannot be justified."
In a statement released after the ruling, Wrzesnewskyj defended his record in Parliament and called on Kuhn to withdraw his candidacy ahead of Tuesday's election.
"The Conservative candidate and the Conservative Party of Canada have made blatantly false statements about my voting record and attendance in the House of Commons and at committee meetings," Wrzesnewskyj said.
"He's dropping flyers with these statements on Thanksgiving weekend just before the election knowing that there's a virtual impossibility to respond."
In the injunction papers, Wrzesnewskyj alleges that Kuhn's campaign team distributed tens of thousands of the brochures in the riding and that the Liberal candidate only found out about it this weekend after his campaign was contacted about the claims made in the document.
The Conserative candidate's campaign was not immediately available for comment.