11 a.m., Feb. 24)
Bertschi taking legal action against Liberal Party triumvirate
By Fred Sherwin
lawyer David Bertschi is taking his fight with a trio
of Liberal Party leaders to the courtroom.
ousted Liberal nomination candidate has filed a notice
of action and claim against Liberal Party co-chairs Katie
Telford and Dan Gagnier and Liberal Party national director
Jeremy Broadhurst for defamation, however, none of the
individuals had received the actual notice as of yet.
the notice Bertschi refers to statements made in a letter
sent to him by Telford and Gagnier on Nov. 7, and later
leaked to the press, in which they invoked their discretionary
powers to revoke his nomination.
reasons given in the letter was his failure to payoff
outstanding debts from his failed Liberal leadership bid
and his failure to disclose a defamation suit against
a gossip website in the U.S.
his defence, Bertschi claims that his debt repayment was
on schedule as set out by the party's green light committee
and acknowledged by the committee chair on Nov. 4, and
the defamation suit against TheDirty.com had been dropped
before he filed his nomination papers.
to at least one published report, Bertschi contests that
the "defamatory statements and libelous publications"
made by the party co-chairs had the effect of "diminution
of his personal, professional and political reputations".
after Bertschi's candidacy was revoked, Andrew Lesie was
acclaimed as the only remaining candidate in the running
for the nomination.
a recent e-mail to his supporters, Bertschi claims that
his candidacy was withdrawn for "political reasons"
by unelected party "officials" and that the
actions of those officials circumnavigated the green light
process while preventing local party members from exercising
their democratic and Constitutional right to elect a candidate
of their choosing.
ends the e-mail with an emphatic pledge: "Democracy,
fairness and Canadian values are at stake and I will not
be bullied into submission or silence."
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