Like a rock: Liberal candidate refusing to back down in face of lawsuit threat

In the face of accusations of slander and liable, the Red Deer-Lacombe Liberal candidate is standing by statements the MP should return money raised during a visit from Mike Duffy.

In the face of accusations of slander and liable, the Red Deer-Lacombe Liberal candidate is standing by statements the MP should return money raised during a visit from Mike Duffy.

Last week, Liberal candidate Jeffrey Rock received a cease-and-desist letter from lawyer Craig Paterson, of Ponoka, on behalf of Blaine Calkins, the Conservative candidate for the Red Deer-Lacombe riding. The letter demands Rock to retract statements in a Sept. 12 press release.

The letter goes on to threaten legal action if the statements are not retracted.

“It’s intended to silence me and to bully me,” said Rock. “I will not allow either to happen.

“I haven’t said anything that’s not public record and isn’t true.”

In the Sept. 12 press release, Rock called on Calkins to return $4,185 to Canadian taxpayers or donate the money to charity. The money was raised at an Oct. 13, 2009, Conservative riding association fundraiser, which included embattled Conservative senator Mike Duffy.

The letter from Paterson calls the accusation that the fundraising done by Duffy for Calkins “was somehow wrong and as such Calkins engaged in inappropriate behaviour by allowing Mr. Duffy’s [sic] to fundraise on his behalf slander and liablass [sic].”

The statement from Rock points to Duffy’s diary, entered as evidence at his trial, showing he often collected a Senate per diem while attending more than 45 fundraising events.

“This is a blatant attempt to tie Calkins to Duffy’s legal issues where not [sic] such connection exists and in the process slander Calkins and his constituently [sic] association.”

“I’ve asked him to return to money to taxpayers or donate it to charity,” said Rock. “I asked him to do that two weeks ago and instead he decided to send me a cease and desist letter.”

Mike Duffy headlined a Oct. 13, 2009, Wetaskiwin Conservative Association fundraising dinner held at the Lacombe Memorial Centre. Tickets to the event were $75 in advance or $100 at the door.

Calkins has been the MP of the Wetaskiwin riding for about nine years. Ridings in Central Alberta changed for the 2015 federal election, with the northern half of Red Deer and a significant portion of the former Wetaskiwin riding combined into a new district.

mcrawford@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Lyn Radford, 2019 Canada Winter Games board chair, was named 2020 Sport Event Volunteer of the Year at the Prestige Awards. (File photo by Advocate staff)
WATCH: Lyn Radford wins award for volunteer efforts

The board chair of the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer… Continue reading

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Red Deer dips below 300 active COVID-19 cases

The number of active COVID-19 cases in Red Deer continued to drop… Continue reading

A candlelight vigil will be held in Red Deer on Thursday to honour the 350-plus people killed in the Easter bombing attack in Sri Lanka. Contributed photo
Candlelight vigil planned for deaths linked to Olymel COVID-19 outbreak

A candlelight vigil is being planned for those who died due to… Continue reading

Red Deer Rebels forward Jaxsen Wiebe battles Calgary Hitmen forward Cael Zimmerman for a loose puck when the two teams squared off in February last season. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Calgary Hitmen shutout Red Deer Rebels

Rebels name centre Jayden Grubbe team captain ahead of Friday’s game

Bryson, six, and Mara, eight, play with puppies from Dogs With Wings Saturday. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
WATCH: Dogs With Wings introduces Red Deer program

A program that trains puppies to be certified service, autism, facility and… Continue reading

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, January 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Funeral for Walter Gretzky to be held Saturday in home town of Brantford, Ont.

The funeral for hockey legend Wayne Gretzky’s father Walter will take place… Continue reading

A sign for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service building is shown in Ottawa on May 14, 2013. A newly released audit report shows that difficulties with the judicial warrant process at Canada's spy agency — an issue that made headlines last summer — stretch back at least nine years. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Spy warrant shortcomings stretch back almost a decade, newly released audit shows

OTTAWA — A newly released audit report shows that difficulties with the… Continue reading

In this file photo, a lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018. (By THE CANADIAN PRESS)
No winning ticket for Friday night’s Lotto Max jackpot

TORONTO — No winning ticket was sold for the estimated $29 million… Continue reading

A trial countdown sign marks the days at George Floyd Square, March 4, 2021, in Minneapolis. Ten months after police officers brushed off George Floyd's moans for help on the street outside a south Minneapolis grocery, the square remains a makeshift memorial for Floyd who died at the hand of police making an arrest. The trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin will begin with jury selection on March 8. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Officer’s trial could reopen intersection where Floyd died

MINNEAPOLIS — During a group’s recent meeting at the now-vacant Speedway gas… Continue reading

FILE - In this Aug. 30, 2020 file photo Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell calls for an end to violence in the city during a news conference a day after a demonstrator was shot and killed in downtown Portland. Amid protests following the police killing of George Floyd last year Portland dissolved a special police unit designed to focus on gun violence. Critics say the squad unfairly targeted Black people, but gun violence and homicides have since spiked in Oregon's largest city, and some say disbanding the 35-officer unit was a mistake. (Sean Meagher/The Oregonian via AP, File)
As violence surges, some question Portland axing police unit

PORTLAND, Ore. — Elmer Yarborough got a terrifying call from his sister:… Continue reading

Harley Hay
Harley Hay: Just don’t call it cod liver oil

Many people swear that a daily dose of various vitamins is an… Continue reading

Email editor@auburn-reporter.com
Letter: Preserving green spaces in Red Deer

The Advocate published an article Feb. 11 about Sunnybrook residents concerned about… Continue reading

Former Toronto Argonauts lineman Chris Schultz remembered as a gentle giant

Former Toronto Argonauts lineman Chris Schultz remembered as a gentle giant

Most Read