Vive Le Canada

Tories must pay ex-candidate's bills
Date: Sunday, January 14 2007
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January 12, 2007

Tories must pay ex-candidate's bills

By JOAN BRYDEN

OTTAWA (CP) - The Conservative party has been ordered to pay at least $50,000 to a former candidate who agreed to step aside for a star recruit in the last election.

A judge has ruled that the party had no right to renege on agreement struck with Alan Riddell, who stepped aside as the candidate in Ottawa South so that Allan Cutler, the bureaucrat who blew the whistle on the sponsorship scandal, could carry the party banner in the riding.

The party had argued that the agreement was void because Riddell broke a confidentiality provision, telling the media the party had agreed to reimburse him for expenses he'd incurred in running for the nomination.

Ontario Superior Court Justice Denis Power found nothing in writing about keeping the agreement confidential and couldn't determine whether a verbal promise had been made.

But he ruled that even if a confidentiality provision did exist, the party must still honour the compensation agreement.

He ordered the party to pay Riddell's receipted nomination expenses and further ordered that an arbitrator be employed to determine how much, if any, of Riddell's subsequent legal costs should be reimbursed.

Riddell has estimated that his nomination expenses totalled about $50,000. His lawyer, Tom Conway, said Riddell has since run up considerable legal fees trying to compel the Conservatives to honour the original agreement.

"This has been an arduous and expensive proceeding for me," Riddell said in an interview.

http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Canada/2007/01/12/pf-3322011.html







[Proofreader's note: this article was edited for spelling and typos on January 15, 2007]

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