‘Get be­hind doug’

Af­ter ‘se­ri­ous ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties’ in the Pc lead­er­ship vote, chris­tine El­liott con­cedes to doug Ford

Metro Canada (Toronto) - - Front Page -

His party calls him the “defini­tive” win­ner of the On­tario PC lead­er­ship race — and now his clos­est com­peti­tor agrees.

While Chris­tine El­liott had re­fused to con­cede de­feat Satur­day night af­ter the vot­ing re­sults came in — later say­ing “se­ri­ous ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties” marred the process — and hun­kered down with lawyers Sun­day, by din­ner­time she had met with Ford.

“The pace of this On­tario PC lead­er­ship race has been rapid and there have been a number of un­ex­pected turns along the way. That is why our team took the last 24 hours to review the re­sults of an elec­tion that was in­cred­i­bly close,” El­liott said in a state­ment re­leased just be­fore 8 p.m. on Sun­day.

“Af­ter com­plet­ing my review, I am con­fi­dent in the re­sults. I ex­tend my con­grat­u­la­tions to Doug Ford on a hard­fought cam­paign.”

The tus­sle over the elec­tion re­sults arose af­ter El­liott won both the pop­u­lar vote as well as

64 rid­ings, com­pared to Ford’s

60 on the third bal­lot — yet still lost the race.

“Our scru­ti­neers iden­ti­fied en­tire towns vot­ing in the wrong rid­ing. In a race this close, largely de­ter­mined by ge­og­ra­phy, some­one needs to stand up for these mem­bers,” El­liott said.

But the On­tario PC Party’s lead­er­ship com­mit­tee called the re­sults “defini­tive” and said they “pro­vide a clear man­date to Doug Ford.”

For­mer Tory MPP Janet Ecker — who served as ed­u­ca­tion minister in Mike Har­ris’ govern­ment — said ear­lier in the day that “if there are le­git­i­mate grounds for a chal­lenge, you can un­der­stand why Chris­tine would be do­ing it.

How­ever, she said with so lit­tle time be­fore the gen­eral elec­tion, “we have to get on with the job” of run­ning the cam­paign.

“The party has spo­ken,” she said. “And it’s time for every­body to get be­hind Doug.”

Rick Madonik/torstar news SER­VICE

newly minted on­tario Pc Leader doug Ford in the St. Pa­trick’s day Pa­rade, waves to folks sit­ting on the side­walk on Bloor Street West on Sun­day.

News Ser­vice

Chris­tine El­liott said Sun­day that she is now “con­fi­dent in the re­sults” of the lead­er­ship vote.torstar

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