Justin Trudeau defends blocking Christine Innes from running in byelection

Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau speaks to guests at a Greater Kingston Chamber of Commerce...

Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau speaks to guests at a Greater Kingston Chamber of Commerce lunch Tuesday March 18, 2014 in Kingston, Ont.. (Elliot Ferguson/QMI Agency)

Jessica Hume, National Bureau

, Last Updated: 3:45 PM ET

OTTAWA — Justin Trudeau is continuing to defend his decision to block a candidate from running as the Liberal MP in Toronto's Trinity-Spadina riding.

The Liberal leader told reporters Wednesday he wants the party to move "toward an open and inclusive politics — no more backroom dealing." The riding association says his blocking of Christine Innes from running runs contrary to his statements on openness and clean, positive politics.

Innes ran in the riding twice before but lost to Olivia Chow — whose resignation from federal politics prompted the upcoming byelection in her former riding.

The lawyer and long-time Liberal received a letter from the Liberal election readiness committee about two weeks ago saying the behaviour of her campaign team disallowed her from seeking the nomination.

The behaviour in question was apparently "intimidation and bullying" by Innes' husband Tony Ianno, another long-time Liberal who isn't universally loved within the party.

"Warnings were not heeded," Trudeau said, referring to Ianno's alleged behaviour.


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