Tory nom­i­na­tion for HWAD rid­ing chal­lenged

The Hamilton Spectator - - LOCAL - ROBERT BENZIE

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.”

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