Hamilton police consider handing off investigation into alleged fixing of PC nomination battle

Hamilton police are considering investigating a Progressive Conservative nomination meeting marred by allegations of ballot box stuffing after receiving a complaint about what happened.
Patrick Brown cuts a cake alongside Vikram Singh at a fundraising dinner held by Singh's family on Dec. 28. (Patrick Brown/Twitter)

Hamilton police are investigating a complaint about a Progressive Conservative nomination meeting marred by allegations of ballot box stuffing.

But while the service says it is looking into information received about the meeting, it is also weighing whether the issue would be better handled by a different agency. 

Ben Levitt won the Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas nomination meeting in May, but it was challenged by two would-be candidates — Vikram Singh and Jeff Peller. Both have asked the court for a judicial review.

They allege the process was tainted by fraud and say the result should be overturned.

The allegations in Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas are among several Progressive Conservative nomination results being questioned by party members.

In response, party leader Patrick Brown brought in PricewaterhouseCoopers auditors to oversee party nominations.

Hamilton police say a complaint was made to them in May about the Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas meeting and "the process used to select the candidate."

A statement from Hamilton Police Service released Wednesday afternoon said the agency is not sure it will continue to pursue an investigation itself.

"Hamilton Police Service is currently reviewing information obtained and a determination will be made whether the investigation will be continued by Hamilton police or forwarded on to another investigative agency," the statement reads.

Brown's office had no comment about the potential investigation.

The Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas nomination has been marred with scandal since the nomination meeting May 7. 

Singh and Peller asked the party to review the nomination. Then on June 3, Brown dismissed the complaints by certifying all 64 candidates who had won local races so far.

Singh's court filing alleges Brown encouraged him to run, and even strategized with him and attended a party fundraiser at his parents' home in December.

Rick Dykstra, provincial party president, said in his own court filing that Singh was seen as "unreliable," and that "demographic analysis" showed Levitt was a better pick. Brown was also worried about some 30-year-old family history.

Dykstra also said Brown can pick whatever candidate he wants regardless of who wins a nomination meeting.


  • This story was updated after clarification received from Hamilton police that they are investigating, not just reviewing a complaint.
    Aug 10, 2017 1:50 PM ET

With files from Canadian Press