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Conservative MP Michael Cooper threatens to sue former classmates over allegations

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Michael Cooper stands among fellow Conservative MPs. Photo: Andrew Scheer/Flickr

The CBC reported yesterday that Conservative Michael Cooper was threatening to sue two of his former law school classmates for publicly alleging the St. Albert-Edmonton MP once made disparaging comments about immigrants from places insufficiently steeped in Judeo-Christian values.

But first the CBC reported the two other lawyers' allegations at length, a story you can read for yourselves here. The lawyers quoted by the CBC said they decided to go public after reading of Cooper's behaviour before the House of Commons justice committee on May 28.

Cooper told the CBC he recalled the class discussion 11 years ago, but denied making the comments. "I have instructed my counsel to take all necessary legal measures," he warned.

Politically alert residents of Cooper's riding are advised to keep an eye on how the threatened legal action unfolds. Threatening to sue for defamation can be a tricky strategy for politicians, as Justin Trudeau discovered recently when he said he planned to sue Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer for comments he made during the days of the SNC-Lavalin brouhaha was bedevilling the prime minister.

Scheer, of course, was the understanding boss who gently tapped Cooper on the wrist in late May for his offensive performance before the Justice Committee, in which he read into the record the anti-Muslim screed of the terrorist who murdered 51 people in March as they prayed in their mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Meanwhile, in New Zealand yesterday, a judge sentenced a Christchurch white supremacist to 21 months in prison for sharing a banned video of the terrorist attack. New Zealand has also banned the publication of the terrorist's rambling manifesto, the one Cooper read to the committee.

David Climenhaga, author of the Alberta Diary blog, is a journalist, author, journalism teacher, poet and trade union communicator who has worked in senior writing and editing positions with The Globe and Mail and the Calgary Herald. This post also appears on David Climenhaga's blog, AlbertaPolitics.ca

Photo: Andrew Scheer/Flickr

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