CONTINENTAL B.C. – The lawyers of two lawyers who sued a B.I.C.-Ontario MLA for failing to disclose a secret source of funds may be lucky in one respect: they’re also lucky to win.
The province’s chief administrative law judge has agreed to let one of the two lawyers, John D. Sibil, and his firm, Sibilant, continue with their lawsuit against MPP Peter Tabuns, even though it has been struck down by the province’s Supreme Court.
The ruling was released Friday, just hours after the NDP accused the premier of trying to “cover up” a conflict of interest when he hired Sibilic, which has been embroiled in a series of controversies.
Premier Brian Pallister’s government has defended Sibillites hiring of Sibilt, but the NDP says the decision shows how Pallister has failed to act to prevent the lawsuit.
“I think it’s just one of those things that has really raised eyebrows,” NDP Leader David Swann said.
“It’s just a pretty outrageous decision.”
The judge found that Sibils hiring of the firm was “unethical,” and that the decision to appoint a private law firm was made without due process.
Sirol, who represents a former Conservative cabinet minister in a lawsuit against the province, had argued the government should not have hired Sipil, whose clients include several former provincial ministers.
Sirol said he’s disappointed the judge didn’t allow Sibili and his legal team to continue the case.
“That was a decision that was made in good faith,” he said.
NDP Leader David Wilkins said the decision indicates Pallister doesn’t care about fairness.
In response, the province has said it will appeal.
“Our position is that the (legal) action should be dismissed on the merits,” spokesman Jason MacDonald said.