Helena Guergis files lawsuit against Stephen Harper, others

Andy Radia
·Politics Reporter

Several news outlets are reporting that former federal cabinet minister Helena Guergis is suing Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the Conservative party, and two MPs for $1.3 million over her 2010 ejection from the Tory caucus.

In a statement of claim, obtained by CBC News, Guergis alleges that in 2010, the defendants entered into a conspiracy with each other or with some of the other co-defendants, to "engage in unlawful acts in order to remove" or justify her removal from the Conservative caucus.

She is suing for general damages of $800,000 plus punitive damages of $250,000 and aggravated damages of $250,000.

Guergis was formerly in Harper's cabinet as minister of state for the status of women. 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 was forwarding to the RCMP and Ethics Commissioner.

Those unproven allegations related to drug use, fraud, extortion and association with prostitutes.

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

Named in the lawsuit are: (Source: PostMedia News)

  • Harper.

  • Raymond Novak, the prime minister's principal secretary, largely regarded as the second-most powerful man in Ottawa;

  • Guy Giorno, the former lawyer who served as Harper's chief of staff from July 2008 to January 2011;

  • Arthur Hamilton, a Toronto lawyer who has served as counsel for the Conservative party numerous times over the years;

  • Derrick Snowdy, the Toronto private investigator who shot into the national spotlight following his allegations against Guergis;

  • Shelly Glover, the Conservative MP for Winnipeg's Saint Boniface riding and currently parliamentary secretary to the finance minister;

  • Lisa Raitt, who served as natural resources minister from October 2008 to January 2010 and is now the labour minister;

  • Axelle Pellerin, former chief of staff to Guergis before becoming Raitt's senior policy adviser.

  • The Conservative Party of Canada and Hamilton's law firm, Cassels Brock and Blackwell.