Glover files final court brief, wants PC leadership vote declared invalid and premier’s chair deemed vacant

Shelly Glover’s legal team has filed their final arguments in her bid to overturn the Progressive Conservative leadership vote that ended with Heather Stefanson becoming premier of Manitoba.

CBC News was given a copy of the document, in which Glover lays out all of the irregularities she alleges occurred when ballots were counted in late October.

She lost to Stefanson by a small number of votes on Oct. 30 and wants a Court of Queen’s Bench judge to order a new vote.

The final ballots totalled 16,546. Stefanson won with 51 per cent of the votes and replaced Brian Pallister as both leader of the Manitoba Tories and premier.

Glover, her scrutineer and two other supporters have filed affidavits to back her claim.

In the brief, Glover, a former member of Parliament and police officer, alleges that the Progressive Conservative party did not know how many ballots were counted and did not protect the integrity of the ballot-counting process.

The argument also notes there was no way of reconciling the number of ballots received with the number of votes ultimately counted.

“The result of the election was affected in a material way by the many irregularities in the respondent’s conduct of the election,” says the brief.

Tom Wiebe, president of the Manitoba Progressive Conservatives, is defending the vote and Stefanson’s position as premier.

Glover claims Wiebe’s conduct was contrary to section 160(1) — the returning officer must complete a final tally of the votes as soon as possible after all the ballot boxes are received from the voting officers — and 160(2) — the returning officer must give candidates notice of the time and place of the final tally, and must conduct it in the presence of the candidates or their scrutineers, or two voters if no candidates or scrutineers are present — of The Elections Act.

Glover’s case is slated to be argued before a judge on Dec. 10.

Pursuant to section 191(1) of The Elections Act, a judge hearing an application to challenge an election has four options: declare the elected candidate is qualified to hold office; declared the elected candidate is unqualified to hold office and the office is vacant; declare the election is valid; or declare the election is invalid and the office is vacant.

Glover is requesting a judge choose the latter option in order to maintain public confidence in the electoral process.

The brief notes the election of a new leader of the Progressive Conservative party had “serious consequences” not only for the party, “but for all Manitobans.”

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