TORONTO - Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak is defending a high-profile Tory who's embroiled in a long-running tax dispute with the Canada Revenue Agency.

Hudak, who speaks often about defending taxpayers on the campaign trail, says he hasn't spoken to Randy Hillier since the controversy over unpaid taxes erupted.

But he says Hillier, who is running for re-election in eastern Ontario, has spoken to the party and is negotiating with the government to pay back the amount owed.

Hudak also brushed off concerns that his campaign message of defending taxpayers may be hurt by Hillier's dispute with the government.

CTV News obtained documents from the provincial land registry that shows the government placed two liens on property owned by Hillier and his wife more than a year ago.

One of the liens is $9,017 while the other is for $5,863.