Vikram Singh's bid to run in HWAD rejected by Ontario PC nominations committee

After an expensive, months-long fight for a new nomination race, Vikram Singh won't be a candidate in the new Ontario PC party contest after all. The party has rejected his candidacy.
Former party president Rick Dykstra said Vikram Singh "inspired mistrust" and didn't fit the right demographic. (vsingh.ca)

After an expensive, months-long fight for a new nomination contest, Vikram Singh won't be a candidate in the new Ontario PC party contest after all. The party has rejected his candidacy.

The provincial nominations committee rejected the Dundas lawyer's candidacy last week, CBC News has learned.

Singh wanted to take another run at the Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas (HWAD) nomination after he says party brass botched his attempt last May. The party will have a new nomination meeting April 15, but when Singh tried to run, he was rejected.

The party didn't give a reason Monday, saying it doesn't comment on internal processes.

Singh says he's grateful to his supporters who "dedicated their time and energy for the better of our society."

"We gave it our best shot," he said, "and I look forward to continuing volunteer work in the community."

It appears to be the last chapter in a saga filled with twists and turns for Singh.

It began in December 2016, when Singh held a Tory fundraiser at his parents' home. At that meeting, he and then-leader Patrick Brown cut a cake. Brown told him he would make "a wonderful candidate," Singh said in court documents.

He ran for the HWAD nomination against Ben Levitt, Jeff Peller and Jobson Easow. Both Singh and Peller claim the meeting was disorganized and at times hostile. Singh won the combined total of the majority of the voting tables, he said in a court document. The results of the table where party staff double-checked credentials, he said, put Levitt in first place.

Police are now investigating potential criminal activity at the meeting.

Singh and Peller appealed to the party for a review of the nomination. Brown declined. Peller and Singh asked the court for a judicial review. Then-party president Rick Dykstra responded by saying it could pick whatever candidate it wanted, regardless of who wins at a nomination meeting.

He also said Singh "inspired mistrust" and didn't fit the right demographic.

Peller dropped his case. Singh kept going, trying to introduce a recorded conversation between himself and party insiders, which the party fought to keep under wraps. Singh ultimately dropped his challenge too after the court ordered he pay the party about $180,000 in legal costs.

Meanwhile, Brown was pressured to step down as leader following allegations of sexual misconduct (which he has denied). Interim leader Vic Fedeli announced new contests in some Ontario ridings, and Levitt asked that the HWAD one be redone.

Doug Ford ultimately won the party leadership. Vincent Samuel, co-ordinator of Ford's local leadership campaign, will face off against Levitt now.

Asked by CBC News if he'd run again, Peller said, "Only if I was acclaimed."

About the Author

Samantha Craggs

Reporter

Samantha Craggs is a CBC News reporter based in Hamilton, Ont. She has a particular interest in politics and social justice stories, and tweets live from Hamilton city hall. Follow her on Twitter at @SamCraggsCBC, or email her at samantha.craggs@cbc.ca

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