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Media release, Sunday, April 25, 2004

PC-CA merger case goes to Ontario Court of Appeal

Following the March 23, 2004 ruling by Justice Russell Juriansz, wherein the judge rejected the new Conservative party's claim for a $200,000.00 costs award against David Orchard and the 22 other applicants, the Progressive Conservative loyalists are set to take their case to keep the PC Party alive to the Ontario Court of Appeal.

On December 5, 2004, the Ontario Superior Court ruled that the merger between the Canadian Alliance and the Progressive Conservative Party could go ahead, because it satisfied sections 400 to 403 in the Canada Elections Act which regulate the mergers of registered political parties. The judge wrote that, "Upon the regulatory requirements being satisfied, the statute makes the merger effective. In these cases, common law principles regarding unregulated voluntary associations upon which the applicants rely would not apply."

The appeal will argue that letting the Ontario Superior Court judgment stand "is to permit a legal void -- an absence of rules for political parties. Canadians join political parties in order to develop, express and promote their aspirations for their country… If such an important activity takes place in a disorderly and lawless environment, then the contributions of citizens will be severely prejudiced. If members of political parties are promised things by a party's Constitution, but find that the Constitution is ignored, then surely participation in party politics will be discouraged. The result will be stifled policy debate and general disdain for the process by which democratic decisions are made."

Paul Bigioni, legal counsel for the applicants, adds: "This case calls into question the legitimacy of the merger itself. The Court of Appeal will decide whether Progressive Conservative party members can rely on their own party constitution as being enforceable."

The Court of Appeal will hear the case:

Tuesday, April 27, 2004
10:30 a.m.
Court Room 1
Ontario Court of Appeal
130 Queen Street West (old Osgoode Hall)
Toronto, ON

For a complete file of all legal documents in the case please go to Legal Documents

For more information please contact Paul Bigioni, legal counsel for the applicants,
tel (905) 294-5222,
e-mail: bigionibarristers@on.aibn.com

To arrange an interview with David Orchard or other applicants, please contact Rose-Marie Larsson at tel (604) 215-5580,
e-mail: rlarsson@telus.net

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