Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Brad Trost Seeking to Take Tories to Court over Alleged Leak of Party List

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Brad Trost Seeking to Take Tories to Court over Alleged Leak of Party List

Article excerpt

Trost takes Tories to court over list leak

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OTTAWA - Failed Conservative leadership candidate Brad Trost is seeking an Ontario court's opinion on whether his campaign ought to have been fined for leaking the party's membership list.

Trost filed a request for judicial review Tuesday, asking a judge to compel the party to return his campaign's $50,000 fine, or -- failing that -- to require that the issue be reviewed by an impartial decision maker.

The Conservative party's leadership organizing committee levied the fine in June after concluding Trost's campaign was to blame for the membership list ending up in the hands of the National Firearms Association, a breach of the rules.

Several party members complained about getting correspondence from the group once the leadership contest was over, and insisted the list was the only way the NFA could have obtained their contact information.

After those concerns were made public, the party said a perpetrator had been identified, and that disciplinary action would be taken.

That, alleges Trost in the documents filed Tuesday, is where the problem began, kick-starting a fundamentally biased process that deprived him of basic procedural fairness and tarnished his reputation.

The party's statement on the issue was made before Trost's campaign was told they were being investigated, Trost notes in the documents. The campaign responded by saying they could find no source for the leak and demanded proof of the allegations.

The party responded with a letter accusing Trost's campaign of breaking the rules by leaking the list, and said it would lose the $50,000 compliance deposit it paid at the start of the race.

Both the fine and the purported inquiry "were a sham designed to justify a decision that had already been reached by (party) officials, namely to blame the Trost campaign for the leak," Trost alleges. …

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