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Judge’s ruling is expected today amid the challenge to the Manitoba Conservative leadership vote

A judge is due to decide this afternoon whether the Progressive Conservative Party of Manitoba should reject the results of the vote that named Heather Stefanson as its leader, making her the premier of the province.

Stefanson’s lone rival in the leadership race, former MP Shelly Glover, launched a legal challenge against the result, arguing that there had been irregularities in the vote that affected the race result.

At a hearing last week, his lawyers asked the court to declare the result invalid and order a new vote.

Queen’s Bench Judge James Edmond reserved his decision.

Lawyers for everyone involved in the case – Glover, Stefanson and the PC Party – are expected to return to court at 1 p.m. CT today to hear Edmond’s decision.

Everyone involved in the case has consented to the presence of television cameras in the courtroom, and today’s hearing will be broadcast live here. The full hearing will be posted online at a later date.

Public interest matter: judge

Edmond is not conducting a judicial review or recount of the PC leadership race, which came after Brian Pallister announced his resignation in August. Stefanson was named the winner on October 30 by a margin of just 363 votes.

Instead, the judge said he would determine whether there had been any violations of the party’s constitution or the established rules and procedures for the leadership contest.

“This is a matter of urgency and of public interest,” Edmond said in November, saying the case affects not only Glover, PCs and Stefanson, but also “the people of Manitoba, who have interest in knowing if the election of our new prime minister is imperfect. ”

However, even if he decides to order a new vote, the court does not have the power to remove Stefanson from office.

“The Premier of Manitoba is the person who can control the control of the Legislative Assembly, so the court will not order the Lieutenant Governor to take the oath of office on Mrs. Glover,” said Gerard Kennedy, assistant professor of law at the ‘University of Manitoba in an earlier interview. this month.

“Of that, I’m pretty confident. “

During last Friday’s day-long hearing, Glover’s attorney Dave Hill cited tally sheets that had not been signed by everyone at the tally table on October 30.

He also pointed to a spreadsheet with a voters list sent to both campaigns, which he argued both sides knew was inaccurate.

Hill argued the party was unable to say how the final vote was counted or demonstrate that the ballots were protected.

However, party lawyers PC and Stefanson both argued that every ballot that was cast into a ballot box had been approved by scrutineers for Glover and Stefanson’s campaigns, and said there was no no credible evidence of invalid ballots.

“The election was fundamentally fair. Ms Stefanson won, and there is no basis in law or in fact to dispute or upset this result,” said Harvey Schachter, an attorney representing the PC party.

The hearing on December 10 has been taped. Portions can be viewed here on the CBC Manitoba website.