Tory nomination for HWAD riding challenged
A third Progressive Conservative nomination is now being formally challenged by party activists.
Supporters of Vikram Singh, who lost the May 7 Conservative nomination in Hamilton WestAncaster-Dundas, have served senior PC officials with a notice of appeal.
According to legal documents being filed with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Singh’s campaign alleges “gross irregularities and voter fraud” at the marathon sixhour nomination meeting.
The allegations have not been proven in court and party president Rick Dykstra has declared that Ben Levitt won the four-contestant nomination fairly and will be the party’s candidate in the June 7, 2018, election.
But the documents, which were served to party officials last Wednesday, allege there were problems at the nomination meeting’s credentials desk that hurt Singh’s candidacy.
Named in the action are Dykstra, PC executive director Bob Stanley, and staffer Logan Bugeja.
It’s the latest problem to jolt the Tories, whose popularity in public opinion polls has led to surge of interest in running for the party next year. As first disclosed by the Toronto Star, PC activists in the ridings of Newmarket-Aurora and Ottawa West-Nepean are also challenging the results of their recent nominations.
To prevent any future problems and curb the growing pains, Conservative Leader Patrick Brown has hired private-sector auditors PwC to oversee nominations going forward.
“We’ve never seen so many memberships being sold. There is this massive appetite for change in Ontario, and, because of that, we’ve never had so many candidates, so many contested nominations,” Brown said Monday.
“For me, given the fact that we’re seeing nominations that are more energized than ever before, I thought engaging PwC would help let anyone know that there’s a neutral arbiter there,” he said, referring to the firm that is also known as PricewaterhouseCoopers.
“We had three nominations (last weekend), heard no complaints. Ultimately, I have to sign the nominations and I’ve told the party that I want PwC to sign off on the best practices.”