Court to hear Manitoba Tory leadership challenge on Friday

Manitoba’s Court of Queen’s Bench is set to hear the merits of a legal challenge launched by Shelly Glover looking to unseat Heather Stefanson as premier and leader of the Progressive Conservative Party.

The one-day hearing is scheduled to begin on Friday morning in Manitoba’s Court of Queen’s Bench.

The hearing comes more than a month after Shelly Glover lost a leadership vote to Heather Stefanson. Both were vying to become the next Premier of Manitoba after then-premier Brian Pallister stepped down in September.

Stefanson was declared the winner in the Progressive Conservative Party of Manitoba leadership vote on Oct. 30, by a margin of 363 votes. She was sworn in as Manitoba’s first female premier on Nov. 2.

Days after the vote, Glover filed documents in court, arguing Stefanson’s win was invalid. Glover is seeking an order of the Court of Queen’s Bench declaring the election results are invalid and requiring a new vote. Glover’s legal challenge claims “substantial irregularities” in the leadership vote.

Lawyers for the PC Party have denied any unfairness, and said in a statement that the leadership vote ballots were under the control of an independent security firm or independent auditors.

Glover’s lawyer Dave Hill argued the court does have jurisdiction to hear the legal challenge, pointing to a similar incident in Ontario during the leadership race for the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario in 2018.

READ MORE: Lawyer for Shelly Glover argues court has jurisdiction to hear leadership race challenge

In a brief filed in mid-November, the PC Party said it would allow the court system to determine if the results of the leadership race were valid. Premier Heather Stefanson also got involved.

Documents filed in court by her lawyer Jonathan Kroft said she would be intervening in the case, saying she has, “a direct and substantial interest in the subject matter of this proceeding.”

On Nov. 19, Manitoba Queen’s Bench Justice James Edmond granted an expedited one-day hearing which was later moved up to be heard Dec. 10, 2021.

He ruled the court has jurisdiction to hear the case and that Premier Heather Stefanson can be involved.

The court has granted a motion filed by CTV News along with other local broadcasters to have cameras in the courtroom.

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