A former Ontario PC candidate who says he was falsely accused of sending a threatening email just days before the provincial election has launched a $2.45 million libel and defamation lawsuit against Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath, his former employer Toronto Police Services and others, according to his statement of claim.
Roshan Nallaratnam’s bombshell lawsuit accuses Horwath, the NDP and others of engaging in a dirty tricks, “politically-motivated hit job” to turn voters against him in the hotly-contested Scarborough-Guildwood riding.
Just three days before the June 7 vote, the NDP issued a release accusing Nallaratnam, who was then a police officer, of sending an “ominous” email threat in response to “concerns from a voter about why he was avoiding debates.”
The email, made public by the New Democrats, stated “don’t do nasty campaign against me. I will teach the lesson after election” and despite Nallaratnam’s immediate denunciation of it as a fake, the allegation was widely publicized in media and on social media.
“Will Doug Ford denounce this unacceptable behaviour from his candidate, and demand Nallaratnam apologize for his abusive language and threat?” the NDP release asked.
Horwath, speaking at a campaign rally in Sarnia, said the allegation a police officer sent the email is “disturbing” and is “yet another example of a candidate of Mr. Ford’s whose behaviour…is questionable,” the lawsuit states.
Nallaratnam says despite his denial, within hours his campaign fell apart as volunteers questioned whether they should work for him and opponents distributed carefully clipped newspaper stories at voters’ doors.
Toronto police also publicly announced a professional standards investigation would be launched into the email threat, though that never happened according to the statement of claim. Nallaratnam subsequently lost the riding of Scarborough-Guildwood narrowly by just 74 votes to Liberal MPP Mitzie Hunter.
“Myself and my campaign team, we felt like you know what this is gone, this is taken, this is pretty much stolen from us,” Nallaratnam said. “This is a totally…