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A dejected Rahim Jaffer gives the thumbs up after falling behind in the Edmonton-Strathcona riding at Tory headquarters on Oct. 14, 2008.

Perry Mah

Cocaine possession and drunk-driving charges against former Alberta Conservative MP Rahim Jaffer are likely be resolved through a plea-bargain in early March.

At a brief hearing last week, an Ontario Court of Justice noted that the case will be resolved the next time it is in court.

Mr. Jaffer's lawyer, Howard Rubel, said the next court date for the case is March 9. However, Mr. Rubel declined to discuss what will happen.

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The 37-year-old politician, who is married to federal Tory cabinet minister Helena Guergis, was arrested and charged on Sept. 14, 2009, at a village near Orangeville, Ont.

Mr. Jaffer represented the riding of Edmonton-Strathcona from 1997 until he was defeated in the 2008 election. The charges were particularly embarrassing to him since Mr. Jaffer had approved campaign radio ads supporting drug-free schools and getting tough with drug dealers.

Mr. Jaffer was pulled over when a general patrol officer noticed that his breath smelled of alcohol, Ontario Provincial Police release said at the time. An investigation followed and Mr. Jaffer's licence was suspended for 90 days.

In an e-mail Ms. Guergis wrote shortly after her husband was charged, she said: "I take this very seriously. I love my husband. I will wait for further information before I make any comment."

Born in Kampala, Uganda, Mr. Jaffer immigrated to Edmonton with his family as a boy to escape persecution under the repressive regime of dictator Idi Amin.

Mr. Jaffer was staying in Angus, Ont., in his wife's Southern Ontario riding of Simcoe-Grey when his vehicle was pulled over.

A gregarious MP who was a regular on the Ottawa party circuit, Mr. Jaffer married Ms. Guergus in late 2008 - one day after the federal election.

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He has recently worked for Green Power Generation Corporation, which helps bring alternative energy technologies to market.

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About the Author
Justice reporter

Born in Montreal, Aug. 3, 1954. BA (Journalism) Ryerson, 1979. Previously covered environment beat, Queen's Park. Toronto courts bureau from 1981-85. Justice beat from 1985 - present. More

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