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Gavin J.

TIghc*
Direct Line; 416-865-6664
GARDINER Direct Fax: 4I6-865-6636
RO B E RT S gjtighe@grllp.com

•Certified by the Law Society of Ontario as


a Specialist in Civil Litigation

April 12, 2019

VIA PERSONAL SERVICE and E-MAIL

Mr. Randy Hillier, MPP Mr. Randy Hillier, MPP


Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston
Ontario Legislative Assembly 105 Dufferin Street, Unit 1
Queen's Park Office Perth, ON K7H 3A5
Room 436 - Main Legislative Building
111 Wellesley St. W.
Toronto, ON M7A 1A8

Dear Mr. Hillier

Re: Notice of Libel

We are the lawyers for the Intended Plaintiff, Dean French, Chief of Staff of Premier Doug Ford. On his
behalf and pursuant to section 5 of the Libel and Slander Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. L-12, as amended, and as
may be applicable, WE HEREBY GIVE NOTICE that the Intended Plaintiff complains of the
following matters which were published by you on April 11, 2019 on your Twitter account
@randyhillier. The use of the hashtag "onpoli" was intended to give your Tweets wide distribution to
Twitter account holders who follow Ontario politics.

In two Tweets posted on Twitter, which are attached, you have accused Mr. French of using his email
server to cast fraudulent votes in the UCP leadership race and to have ulawfully ordered the destruction
of ballots in the Ontario PC Party leadership in March 2018.

Knowledge of these Tweets came to the attention of Mr. French on April 11, 2019.

The Intended Plaintiffcomplains that the contents of both Tweets are false and defamatory and that they
have been published by you on Twitter with malice.

Content of the impugned Tweets

In your first Tweet, you expressly state "Dean French's email server involved: Fraudulent emails used to
cast votes in UCP leadership race..." This statement is defamatory of the Intended Plaintiff. A
reasonable ordinary reader of your statement would understand your Tweet to mean that either directly
or by way of innuendo you, as a Member of Provincial Parliament and duly elected official, have
accused Mr. French, Chief of Staff of Premier Ford, of having participated in fraudulent and criminal
activity by improperly interfering in the UCP leadership race.

GARDINER ROBERTS LLP


Bay Adelaide Centre - East Tower
22 Adelaide Street West, Suite 3600 Global
A ance
Toronto, Ontario M5H 4E3
Tel: 416.865.6600 Fax: 416.865.6636 www.grllp.com
GARDINER
ROBERTS

In your second Tweet, you aggravate the defamatory statement made in your first Tweet by stating that
during the Ontario PC Party leadership race there were significant voter irregularities and discrepancies
in the PC leadership contest in March 2018 and that ballots were ordered destroyed by Mr. French. A
reasonable ordinary reader of your statement would understand it to mean that either directly or by way
of innuendo you, as a Member of Provincial Parliament and duly elected official, have accused Mr.
French, Chief of Staff of Premier Ford, of having participated in fraudulent and criminal activity during
the PC leadership contest and illegally and criminally destroying ballots to cover up such fraudulent and
criminal activity. As a Member of Parliament and member of the Ontario PC Party at the time of the PC
leadership contest, your statement is knowingly false and recklessly made.

Falsehoods of your Tweets

In connection with your first Tweet, a careful review of the CBC article attached thereto makes
reference to the use of the following identified server: "Mail.deanfrench.ca".

Mr. French does not have a personal internet domain of deanfrench.ca nor does he have any connection
to such domain name.

Mr. French does have a personal internet domain which is Deanfrench.cow.

As a former PC caucus member you would know or should know that Mr. French's internet domain is a
".com" address, not a ".ca" address. You accordingly know, or with the slightest reasonable diligence
could easily have determined, that the domain reported by CBC is not "Dean French's email server" as
you falsely stated in your tweet.

Your defamatory allegations against Mr. French indicates your malicious intent to deliberately harm the
character and reputation of Mr. French.

In connection with your second Tweet, (which it is clear that you fully intended must also be read in
light of the first Tweet given that it was made only three minutes before the posting of your second
Tweet), you link the apparent fraud in the UCP leadership contest with the Ontario PC leadership
contest and then boldly state that Mr. French ordered the destruction of ballots in that contest. As you
are aware or ought to have been aware as a Member of PC caucus at the time of the leadership contest,
Mr. French worked for Doug Ford's campaign and was not a party official who controlled how ballots
were cast in the leadership contest. Further, he neither drafted the leadership rules, nor had any authority
whatsoever to order the destruction of ballots.

As you are clearly aware, the March 2018 Ontario PC leadership contest was governed by the 2018
Leadership Election Rules adopted by the PC Party of Ontario Executive on January 31, 2018, and was
administered by the Leadership Election Organizing Committee ("LEOC"). Pursuant to s. 2.1.2 of the
rules, LEOC had overall responsibility for the leadership election. Mr. French was not a member of
LEOC.

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GARDINER
ROBERTS

All matters relating to ballots including their custody and control were subject to guidelines issued by
LEOC. LEOC's power included "governing any matter that the LEOC deems necessary to the fair,
orderly and successful administration of the leadership election." Accordingly, the destruction of any
information and ballots were exclusively done subject to LEOC's authority and guidelines. To your
knowledge, Mr. French had no role in the LEOC nor did he at any time have any power or control over
the destruction of any ballots either before, during or after now Premier Ford's wholly lawful and
democratic victory in such contest.

The Tweets mentioned above were written in an unfair, irresponsible, reckless and malicious manner
and have caused damage to Mr. French.

Demands of Mr. French

The Intended Plaintiffdemands that you immediately cease and desist in falsely accusing him of having
committed election fraud and/or criminal activity in the UCP leadership election contest and having
committed election fraud and/or criminal activity and deliberately covering up same in the March 2018
Ontario PC Leadership election contest; that you issue forthwith an unreserved and full apology to the
Intended Plaintiff; and that you publish in the same conspicuous places as your Tweets a retraction of
your patently false accusations and innuendo that the Intended Plaintiff committed election fraud and
criminal activity in connection with both the UCP leadership election and the Ontario leadership
election.

The Intended Plaintiff further demands that the Intended Defendant immediately remove from his
Twitter account the defamatory Tweets mentioned above and all comments in connection with same,
and that the Intended Defendant immediately cease and desist in the further publication of defamatory
statements concerning the Intended Plaintiff.

As part of this proposed defamation claim for the irresponsible, reckless and malicious manner in which
the Intended Defendant has maliciously sought to destroy the reputation of Mr. French, Chief of Staff of
the Premier of Ontario and the highest-ranking staff member of Premier Ford, take notice that should
you persist in your tortious and unlawful conduct the Intended Plaintiff will be seeking general and
punitive damages, plus interest and costs in accordance with the Courts ofJustice Act.

Yours truly,

GARDINER ROBERTS LLP

Gavin J. Tighe
Partner

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