Politics

Conservative whistleblower says she discussed 3rd-party payment with Patrick Brown

A woman identifying herself as the whistleblower in the Patrick Brown campaign says she personally discussed with the Conservative leadership candidate an arrangement for her to be paid by a private company, and that he approved. 

Tories disqualified Brown from leadership race Tuesday, citing 'serious allegations'

Patrick Brown takes part in the Conservative Party of Canada French-language leadership debate in Laval, Quebec on Wednesday, May 25, 2022. (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press)

A woman identifying herself as the whistleblower in the Patrick Brown campaign says she personally discussed with the Conservative leadership candidate an arrangement for her to be paid by a private company, and that he approved. 

The allegation, made Thursday by Debbie Jodoin, appears to contradict Brown's claim that he had no knowledge of the alleged finance violations within his campaign for which he was disqualified from the leadership race earlier this week. 

"Mr. Brown told me that it was permissible for me to be employed by a company as a consultant, and then for that company to have me volunteer with the campaign," Jodoin said in a statement released by her lawyers.

"He connected me by text message with a third party for that purpose. I trusted him, but as time went on I became increasingly concerned with the arrangement and suspected it was not OK."

Jodoin says she began working as regional organizer for Brown's campaign in May at his request and has over two decades of experience with the Conservative Party.

Jodoin shared her concerns with the party through her legal counsel, says the statement.

On Tuesday, the party's Leadership Election Organizing Committee (LEOC) disqualified Brown from the race, citing "serious allegations of wrongdoing" related to financing rules.

Brown has rejected any suggestion of wrongdoing and said he was not given details of those allegations by the party before being turfed.

But now the campaign claims that, prior to Brown's disqualification, it had identified Jodoin to the committee as a possible source of allegations and that the committee never responded. 

"It was the obligation of the Conservative Party to conduct themselves fairly and transparently," Brown campaign spokesperson Chisholm Pothier said in an email. 

A letter Brown's campaign sent to LEOC regarding Jodoin and obtained by CBC says she had approached Brown asking for employment with his campaign. The letter says Brown instead referred her to his friend for a job but that Brown assumed volunteer work for his campaign would not be done on company time.

Brown's campaign offered to reimburse the company that had paid Jodoin, according to the letter.

Brown originally blamed his ejection from the race on members of the Conservative Party establishment and supporters of leadership candidate Pierre Poilievre, who he said worked to disqualify him from the leadership race because they feared his progressive approach to conservatism was going to win.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Vassy Kapelos

Journalist

Vassy Kapelos is the host of Power & Politics. Prior to working in Ottawa, she covered provincial politics in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

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