April 18, 2024
What this means is that, as a non-entity, legally speaking, the Alberta NDP could hypothetically commit fraud, defame its enemies and breach contracts willy-nilly, leaving behind a trail of victims with no recourse in the courts. Dario has accordingly given the party 30 days to provide Ford’s team with the name of a person or entity to act as a defendant on its behalf.

The Alberta NDP might not legally exist, posing a problem for Naheed Nenshi

The idea of cutting ties with the federal NDP has run into a few snags

CALGARY — With the Alberta NDP leadership race now in full swing, the idea of “cutting ties” with the federal NDP has, once again, become a topic of conversation within party circles — and an especially popular idea among backers of “post-partisan” front-runner Naheed Nenshi.

But new developments in a five-year-long defamation dispute involving ex-United Conservative party candidate Caylan Ford call into question whether the “Alberta NDP” even exists, in a legal sense.

Ford, who claims she was falsely tarred as a white supremacist by the Alberta NDP during the 2019 provincial election campaign, forcing her to step down as the UCP candidate for Calgary-Mountain View and subsequently rendering her unemployable, has spent much of the past half decade trying to figure out who to sue for damages — a question that’s led her down a Kafkaesque rabbit hole with no clear resolution.

Per its own constitution, the Alberta NDP is a “section of the New Democratic Party of Canada” with a mandate to spread the gospel of “democratic socialism” to Wild Rose Country. Ford and her lawyer, Richard E. Harrison, claim that the party’s registration is based on an invalid 1977 trust deed with a non-existent trustee, indicating the party doesn’t legally exist.

“The evidence before me is that the Alberta NDP is the beneficiary of a trust established in 1977 pursuant to a Trust Deed,” wrote Judge Corina Dario in an interlocutory decision published last week.

“The difficulty with this, however, is that the Alberta New Democratic Party Foundation (the trustee named in the deed) appears to itself be an unincorporated association and therefore, like the Alberta NDP, does not have the legal capacity to sue or be sued.”

This suggests that the Alberta NDP is real enough to hold government for a four-year term and assassinate the character of a promising young UCP candidate — acting independently from the federal NDP — but not quite real enough to be held legally accountable for its actions.

Dario, who noted in her judgment that neither the Alberta NDP nor the federal NDP refutes Ford’s assertions about the party’s legal standing, called the current state of affairs “both curious and potentially troubling.”

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See Also:

Rivals for Alberta NDP leadership torn on federal party ties

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