Former MP Helena Guergis ordered to pay $118,000 in legal fees for 2012 defamation suit

Helena GuergisHere is a blast from the relatively-recent past: former Conservative cabinet minister Helena Guergis is back in the news.

According to CBC News, Guergis has been ordered to pay $118,000 in legal fees incurred by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and seven others with regard to a defamation lawsuit she filed against them in 2012.

In the $1.3 million lawsuit heard in the Ontario Superior Court, Guergis had alleged that, in 2010, Harper and his co-defendants entered into a conspiracy to "engage in unlawful acts in order to remove" or justify her removal from the Conservative caucus.

In August, Justice Charles Hackland dismissed the suit claiming that it was beyond the court's jurisdiction to review who the prime minister can appoint or dismiss.

[ Related: Helena Guergis loses bid to sue PM, aides over alleged ‘conspiracy’ but plans appeal ]

Guergis was considered a rising star in the Harper cabinet but that ended suddenly in April of 2010 when Harper announced that his office had become aware of "serious allegations" regarding her conduct which he forwarded to the RCMP and Ethics Commissioner.

Those unproven allegations included her husband, former MP Rahim Jaffer, and were related to drug use, fraud, extortion and association with prostitutes.

Guergis ran as an independent in Simcoe in the May 2011 federal election but failed to retain her seat.

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Meanwhile, according to Simcoe.com, Guergis now lives in Edmonton and is studying law at the University of Alberta:

“I am enjoying the challenge. My student colleagues are the best and the brightest, as are the faculty members,” Guergis said in an email interview with The Connection.

Guergis said she is trying balance school and family. Her son Zavier, recently turned two.

“I love being a mother and look forward to summer as I will be able to spend more time with him,” she said.

Guergis said she plans to practice law when she graduates and doesn’t see politics in her future.

Guergis has 30 days to pay the $118,000.

(Photo courtesy of Reuters)

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