Former Tory MPP accuses Ford's chief of staff of 'personal vendetta' - 2019-06-13
Maverick MPP Randy Hillier says a $100,000 defamation lawsuit filed against him by Premier Doug Ford's chief of staff is the act of a "mercurial" man waging a "personal vendetta" against a critic. Firing back at a statement of claim from Dean French, Hillier's latest legal filing defending a series of Twitter posts he made on April 11 calls the action "frivolous and vexatious."
French's lawsuit alleges Hillier made "blatantly false" tweets accusing him of illegally destroying ballots in the party's 2018 leadership race and using his own email server to cast "fraudulent" ballots in the leadership race of Alberta's United Conservative Party the year before. His case against Hillier — who sits as an Independent MPP after being ejected from the Progressive Conservative caucus — has not been tested in court. The lawsuit "has been commenced with the intent of stopping Mr. Hillier from commenting publicly on matters of public interest and to insulate high-ranking government officials in the province of Ontario from criticism," said the statement of defence filed Thursday in Superior Court of Justice by lawyer Asher Honickman.
"Mr. Hillier therefore pleads that this is a strategic lawsuit intended to interfere with Mr. Hillier's rights." Read more: Ford's chief of staff sues Independent MPP Randy Hillier for $100,000