Defamation

Howard Winkler representing former Ontario PC leader in libel suit

By AdvocateDaily.com Staff

Toronto litigator and mediator Howard Winkler of Winkler Dispute Resolution is part of a team representing the former Ontario PC leader in a libel claim against CTV, reports Global News.

The libel notice specifically names CTV’s president, anchor and several reporters along with CP24 and other editors, researchers and producers of the initial reporting, the article says.

The notice claims that the allegations made in the CTV report were interpreted to mean that the politician illegally provided alcohol to a person under the age of 19, that he engaged in sexual misconduct, that the allegations against him are true and as a result he is unfit to serve in public office, Global News reports.

The notice of libel also states that the full damages suffered by the former Ontario PC leader cannot be determined and that a full apology or retraction must be published or broadcast on ctvnews.ca and on CTV National News in order to mitigate those damages, reports Global News.

He resigned abruptly on Jan. 24 hours after a CTV News report emerged in which he was accused of sexual misconduct by two anonymous women dating back to when he was a federal MP in the Barrie, Ont., area, CBC reports.

In the notice, the former Ontario PC leader — who has denied the accusations made in the CTV report from the outset — alleges CTV engaged in "false, malicious, irresponsible and defamatory" reporting on its national newscast as well as its news website, the article goes on to say.

In mid-February, it was reported that one of the women had revised some details of her story, CBC reports.

“CTV originally said she was in high school and under the legal drinking age at the time when they met at a bar on the night in question, but later said she was in fact out of high school and was of legal drinking age,” reports CBC.

Winkler tells AdvocateDaily.com that this case is significant for at least three reasons.

"First, it raises the issue of whether the CTV reporting had the effect of subverting the democratic election process in Ontario," he says.

"Second, it raises the important question of the appropriate journalistic standards to which the media should be held in circumstances such as these.

"Finally, and most importantly, this case provides an opportunity for our client to clear his name,” says Winkler.

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