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New Democrat Statement of Defence

New Democrat Statement of Defence

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Published by Charles Rusnell

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Published by: Charles Rusnell on Jun 09, 2012
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06/09/2012

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ENTERED
stamp:
COURT
FILE NUMBER:COURTJUDICIAL CENTRE:
PLAINTIFF(S):
DEFEND
ANT(S):DOCUMENT
1203
03498COURT
OF
QUEEN'S
BEN
EDMONTONMATTHEW
MEIER,
RACKNINE
INC.
NEW DEMOCRATIC
PARTY,
PATRICK
MARTIN,
also known as PAT MARTIN
STATEMENTOFDEFENCE OF
THE NEW
.DEMQCRAIS:.ASSOCIAIION-O^CANADA.
PARTY FILING THIS DOCUMENT
ADDRESS
FOR
SERVICE
AND
CONTACT
INFORMATION
OF
PARTY
FILING
THIS DOCUMENT
(INCORRECTLY NAMED
NEW
DEMOCRATIC PARTY)
Lawyers
for the
DefendantBERSENASJACOBSEN CHOUESTTHOMSON BLACKBURN
LLPBarristers,
Solicitors
33
Yonge StreetSuite
201
Toronto. Ontario M5E 1G4PETERJACOBSEN
LSUC#:
17803P
IOANABALA
LSUC#:
53919FTel: 416-982-3800
Fax:416-982-3801
Address
for
Sendee
in
Edmonton
REYNOLDS,
MIRTH,
RICHARDS
&
FARMERc/oFred Kozak, Partner3200
Manulife
Place
10180-101
StreetEdmonton. Alberta T5J 3W8
Statement
of
facts
relied
on
1,
The
Defendant incorrectly
identified
as the New
Democratic
Party,
corporatename
New
Democrats' Association
ofCanada,
herein
after
"the
NDAC",
has no
 
-2-
knowledge of the facts pleaded at paras, 1. 2, 5. 6 and 7 of the AmendedStatement of
Claim,
except as otherwise indicated herein.2. TheNDAC deniesthefacts pleadedatparas.
8-35
of theAmended StatementofClaim, except
as
otherwise indicated
herein.
3. TheNDAC admits paras.3 and 4 of theAmended StatementofClaim.
4.
The NDAC is a corporate organization. The NDAC is headed by the Leader of the
Part}
7
.
There
are six
officers
for the
party:
the
Leader, President, Vice
President,
Vice President
Labour,
TreasurerandNational Director.TheNDACis
governed
by a Council. The
Council
is
comprised
of the
Officers,
the
Executive
and
various
representatives from the provinces and territories,
national labour
organizations,
Caucus,
and Women Commission and Youth representatives. The Executive iscomprised of: ten regional representatives; one representative of the Northern
Caucus;
two
representatives
from
Labour Affiliates
and the
Chairs
of 6
Committees.
It
also includes
one
representative
from
the
Federal caucus.
5. The New
Democratic
Pactv_is_one_o£-Canadals-.lotig-staading-and-established-
political
parties. NDP Members of Parliament (NDP Caucus members) currently
constitute
the
Official
Opposition
in Canada's
federal House
of
Commons.
NDP
MPs collectively received 30.6%
of the
popular vote
in the
last federal election
ofMay
2011.
The
NDP currently has approximately
131,000
members.6. The NDAC as a corporate entity undertakes the
following
main
'tasks:
a.
administering
party Conventions
b.
setting general party policy
at
party Conventions
c.
administering federal elections
d.
administering the
finances
of the partye. managing and promoting party membership
f.
managing
fundraising for the party
g.
sending
out
party communications
h.
providing support
to riding
associations7. NDP MPs are part of the NDP Caucus in the federal House of Commons. They
are not
part
of the
corporate structure
of the
NDAC.
The NDP
Caucus
is a
group
constituted
of all NDP MPs in the House of Commons. Issues and positions aredebated within
the
NDP Caucus, independently of the NDAC.
8.
NDP MPsoperate independentlyof theNDAC.
hi
particular:
a. NDP MPs are
remunerated
by the
House
of
Commons;
b. the
NDAC
cannot
and
does
not
control
or
regulate,
inter alia:
i.
the positions that an NDP MP takes in the House of Commons or
otherwise;
 
-3-
ii. how an NDPMP
votes
on
motions
and bills in the
House
of
Commons;iii.thestatements thatan NDP MPmakesin theHouseofCommons
or
outside of the House, at any time, with respect to any
social,
political,
economic or any other
issues.
9. In
this
case,
the
NDAC absolutely denies requesting, authorizing, encouraging
or
otherwise suggesting directly or indirectly that the co-defendant Patrick Martin
should
speak on behalf of the party with respect to the
"robo-call"
issue and theElections Canada investigation, and particularly to make the statementscomplained
of in the
Statement
of
Claim,
and
puts
the
Plaintiff
to the
strict
proof
thereof.
In
fact, Martin
spoke
and was requested to
speak
as a
representative
of
the NDP Caucus. The NDAC did not have any
control
over the positions andstatements that Martin took or made with respect to the
"robo-call"
issue, northose of the NDP Caucus.
10. The
NDAC admits posting
statements on its website
quoted
at
paragraphs
13, 14,
15
and
18
("the words complained
of).
The NDAC intends to rely on the entirety
of
the postings
_as__made_Ihe
these words
are
defamatory
of the
Plaintiffs
or
defamatory
at
all.
11.The NDP
pleads
that
it
posted
these
statements
in parallel toMartin's
statements.
As
one of
Canada's
main
political
parties, the NDAC is
entitled
to and indeed has
a duty to comment upon issues of public interest, as
further,
described below.12, Prior to the NDAC posting the words complained
of,
the
"robo-call"
issue had
received widespread media
attention
in late February
2012.
In particular, the
following facts
were
widely
known
by the
public
at
that time:
a.
Elections Canada
was
conducting
an
investigation into allegations
from
individuals
whowere known supportersofpolitical parties other thantheConservative Party
of
Canada that they received misleading automatedphone
calls
on
election
day in May
2011,
infer
alia,
directing
them
to
attend
at the
wrong polling
station;
b.
Following
the2011
Canadian
federal
election,
the
Plaintiff RackNine Inc.
("RackNine")
was contacted by Elections Canada in regards to allegationsthat
a customer of
RackNine
may
have
used
automated
dialingservicesprovided
by RackNine in a
manner that contravened
the
Elections Act;
c.
RackNine was a compan)' operating out of Edmonton
Alberta,
andproviding services for placing automated phone calls to large numbers ofpeople, particularly
aspartofpolitical
campaigns;
d.
RackNine was served
with
a
Production
Order on November
23,
2011
byan investigator of Elections Canada;

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