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A trial involving Elections Canada and a former activist for the Conservative Party in Oshawa, who allegedly defamed federal NDP candidate Sid Ryan during the 2006 election, has begun in Oshawa today.

During the federal election, the former activist for the Conservative Party put out a flyer that was circulated in Oshawa and its Canadian Auto Workers’ (CAW) plant suggesting that Ryan had links to terrorists. Ryan filed a complaint with Elections Canada under Section 91 of the Canada Elections Act, which prohibits any individual from attempting to influence the outcome of an election by making allegations about a candidate that are known to be false.

The trial marks the first time that Elections Canada has brought charges against an individual under this section of the Act.

Opening arguments are being heard today in the trial of Alan Clarke who was listed as a 2006 federal election campaign worker in Oshawa with the Conservative Party.

  DATE:  April 1, 2008

  TIME:  Opening arguments began at 10:00 a.m.

  LOCATION: 242 King Street East
    Courtroom 3
“I am pleased that finally justice will be done and that the actions of this Conservative Party worker be held to account,” said Ryan.

Ryan has commenced an action against defamation against Mr. Clarke.

For more information, contact:

Valerie Dugale            CUPE Communications             647-225-3685
Sid Ryan                     President, CUPE Ontario          416-209-0066