The “Scud Stud” Arthur Kent has fired a couple of missiles of his own after an unflattering piece by National Post columnist Don Martin that Kent claims derailed his bid for provincial office in Alberta in 2008.
And one of the targets in his crosshairs is Kristine Robidoux, his former election agent and legal counsel during his failed run at the Alberta legislature under the Progressive Conservative banner.
Kent, a former NBC journalist famous for his reports during 1991’s first Gulf War, and brother of federal Conservative MP Peter Kent, launched the lawsuit against Martin, the National Post, and Canwest (as it was then) within months of losing to the Liberal incumbent in the Calgary-Currie riding. A further suit against the Post’s new owners Postmedia Network Inc. followed after it republished the story, “Alberta's Scud Stud a 'dud' on campaign trail” on its Web site.
But earlier this year, Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Dallas Miller allowed Kent to add Robidoux, a partner in the Calgary office of Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP, as a defendant in the $8-million suit, after Martin revealed during discoveries that she was the main source of the Feb. 13, 2008 story.
Miller also granted Kent permission to report Robidoux to the Law Soicety of Alberta based on the information garnered from Martin under examination, finding that it met the “public interest of greater weight” test for an exception to the implied undertaking rule.
“It is clear that Robidoux acted as Arthur Kent’s lawyer during his election campaign. The evidence reveals that she virtually begged to be on his campaign team and readily agreed to be his counsel and official agent,” Miller wrote.
“There is a price that needs to be paid in order for a higher public interest to be protected. In this case there is no prejudice to the original defendants. Robidoux may very well face some sanction for her actions, but so does every lawyer if they are found to breach solicitor-client privilege.”
Kent has an application pending to join the Postmedia and Canwest actions together, and last week, Justice William Tilleman denied Postmendia President Paul Godfrey’s bid to have himself removed as a defendant. Godfrey claimed he had no personal involvement in the publication of the story, but Tilleman said it was not “plain and obvious” that the claims against him could not succeed.
Kent is providing updates on the action on his web site.