Prime Minister Stephen Harper officially launched his unprecedented libel lawsuit last week against the Liberal Party and Liberal officials. Mr. Harper is the first known Prime Minister of Canada to sue the official opposition party. The lawsuit is creating a racket in the House Chamber. Originally, the Prime Minister launched a libel notice against Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion, deputy leader Michael Ignatieff, and House Leader Ralph Goodale, but dropped the three defendants from the statement of claim filed on March 13 in Ontario Superior Court. The defamation suit claims the Liberal Party libelled the Prime Minister in allegations published on the Liberal Party’s of Canada’s website alleging the Prime Minister was aware of a $1-million life insurance policy allegedly offered to Independent MP Chuck Cadman in 2005 in exchange for his support on a crucial confidence vote. The Prime Minister’s suit is claiming $2.5-million in damages for Mr. Harper, including $1-million in general damages, $1-million in aggravated damages, and $500,000 in punitive damages along with legal costs. Mr. Harper has hired Richard Dearden, a high-profile libel lawyer.
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