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Appeal Filed To Block Testimony

Published: August 23, 2017 10:18 am ET

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Reports indicate an appeal has been filed regarding the ruling that would summon a total of 11 individuals -- including former Premier Dalton McGuinty and his Minister of Finance Dwight Duncan -- to court to testify in a civil claim lodged by a collective of breeders pertaining to the cancellation of the slots-at-racetracks program in Ontario.

The breeders’ lawyers issued summonses for 13 witnesses, including McGuinty, Duncan, economist Don Drummond, current Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, and Ted McMeekin, the province’s former Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. In turn, lawyers representing the Province and the OLG filed a motion to quash the summonses.

Justice Michael Emery’s ruling from early August dismissed the motions brought by the Province and the OLG, except when it came to Premier Kathleen Wynne and MPP McMeekin, whom are both currently sitting members of the legislature. When it came to the decision to exclude Premier Wynne and McMeekin from the lawsuit proceedings, Justice Emery cited ‘parliamentary privilege.’

According to The Toronto Star, the legal team representing the province and Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. have challenged Emery's ruling. A motion has been files seeking leave to appeal that decision as well as a stay of the summons calling on those 11 individuals to testify. The legal team representing the province and the OLG will contend that Emery didn't apply the proper legal test to determine whether these individuals should be called.

Emery's ruling suggested that the onus was on the province and OLG to show why the summons should be quashed, which they will content goes against that of established law.

Jonathan Lisus, part of the legal team representing the breeders, told The Star on Tuesday that Emery applied the law correctly and gave a “balanced sensible decision.”

This motion is set to be heard at Divisional Court in Toronto.

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