Calgary

Former UCP nomination candidate files defamation suit against NDP

Cyndy Morin is suing the NDP for $650,000 for a news release that accused her of accepting illegal corporate donations for her campaign and implicated her law firm. 

Cyndy Morin, who sought nomination in Calgary-Fish Creek, seeking $650,000 in damages over news release

A UCP nomination candidate who dropped out of the race is suing the NDP for a news release she blames for her withdrawal. (Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press)

A former United Conservative Party nomination candidate in Calgary is suing the provincial NDP for $650,000 for what she alleges is defamation. 

The legal fight stems from an August 2018 news release that accused Cyndy Morin of accepting illegal corporate donations for her campaign and implicated her law firm. 

Morin, who was running to be the candidate in Calgary-Fish Creek, dropped out of the race shortly after. Her statement of claim says her withdrawal was in order to fight the allegations in the news release. 

"They expressly stated that Morin, known by the NDP to be a lawyer, had committed illegal acts and offences contrary to statute, thereby impugning Morin's honesty, integrity, trustworthiness and character both as an individual and as a lawyer," reads the statement of claim. 

Cleared in investigation

Morin's statement says she received a "significant number of denigrating messages" on social media in the days after the release, many attacking her character and questioning the trustworthiness of her law firm. 

The election commissioner also started an investigation as a result of the NDP complaint against Morin, and in her statement of claim she says she was interviewed by an investigator. 

An October 2018 letter from that office, which Morin posted on her Facebook page, cleared her of any wrongdoing.

In addition to the $650,000 sought for damages, Morin is asking for punitive damages as determined by the court as well as the costs of the legal action. 

A statement of defence has not yet been filed by the NDP. 

CBC News reached out to the NDP but had not heard back by publication time.

About the Author

Drew Anderson is a web journalist at CBC Calgary. Like almost every journalist working today, he's won a few awards. He's also a third-generation Calgarian. You can follow him on Twitter @drewpanderson. Contact him in confidence at drew.anderson@cbc.ca.

With files from Sarah Rieger