Ontario PCs overturn two controversial nominations in Scarborough and Ottawa
Candidates Thenusha Parani, Karma Macgregor call on PC leadership candidates to put an end to review
The Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario overturned controversial nominations for two candidates in Scarborough Centre and Ottawa West-Nepean on Friday amidst reports of alleged corruption.
In the wake of problems surrounding former PC leader Patrick Brown, officials with the Tories decided to throw out the results of contentious candidate elections after some long-time PC members urged the party to reopen nominations across Ontario.
Nominations for as many as six candidates, including Scarborough Centre candidate Thenusha Parani and Ottawa West-Nepean candidate Karma Macgregor, were in consideration to be overturned.
Parani was officially named as the candidate for Scarborough Centre after winning a June 26 nomination meeting, despite complaints that people who signed Parani's nomination papers were not eligible under the party's rules.
In July of 2017 Progressive Conservative members asked for Parani's nomination to be stripped because of alleged irregularities.
Toronto police officers even questioned Parani's history of extensive volunteer work she claims she did with the force.
Meanwhile, allegations of shady campaign tactics were made in the riding of Ottawa West-Nepean where Macgregor defeated Jeremy Roberts by a mere 15 votes at the nomination meeting in May of 2017.
Candidates push back
Prior to the decision, both Parani and Macgregor issued a joint statement fighting back against the push to overturn their nominations.
"We have learned today that there are actions being taken against a number of candidates by certain individuals based on rumours and innuendos," they said.
The rookie candidates said they have not been asked or given an opportunity to provide their point of view on the situation and find that more women are being targeted unfairly.
"We call on the leadership candidates Caroline Mulroney, Christine Elliot and Doug Ford, and interim leader Vic Fedeli, to put an end to this, so we can move forward collectively."
PC party members urge clean up
Retired Conservative Senator Marjory LeBreton told CBC News the party still had time to run a properly constituted riding nomination meeting.
LeBreton said she witnessed a nomination meeting that had very fraudulent activity in Ottawa West-Nepean on May 6, 2017.
"At the time I called for the party to take a look at it and declare the meeting void," she said.
- Clean-up 'corruption', allow new nominations, PC party members urge
Brown, then leader, had appointed candidates who were nominated in controversial nomination meetings across the province despite calls for a review. He approved the nominations of Parani and Macgregor.
Several other Progressive Conservative party volunteers told CBC they saw evidence party executives allowed ballot stuffing and ineligible members to vote.
Since Brown resigned on Jan. 25 after allegations of sexual misconduct involving teenage girls surfaced, the PC party says it has started making moves to fix internal issues.
New nomination meetings are expected to be held prior to the provincial election on June 7.