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News

Hamilton Police Are Now Investigating Patrick Brown’s Ontario PCs Following Allegations of Voter Fraud

The criminal probe comes as Tory loyalists allege vote rigging in more than a dozen ridings across Ontario

November 22, 2017

Hamilton police have officially authorized a criminal probe investigating allegations of vote rigging and ballot-stuffing at a contested Progressive Conservative nomination meeting last spring.

Vikram Singh, a Hamilton lawyer and the runner-up for the Ontario PC nomination in the riding, filed a complaint with police after launching a civil lawsuit against the party, alleging party officials rigged the vote through the “wrongful insertion of false ballots.”

As PressProgress reported in August, Hamilton West–Ancaster–Dundas is one of more than a dozen PC riding associations mired by reports of voting irregularities.

Last spring, 25-year-old Tory staffer Ben Levitt won the nomination following a heated meeting described to CBC News by another candidate as “the biggest undemocratic shit show I’ve ever witnessed.”

As CBC News reported in May, Singh alleges party officials meddled with the vote:

“Levitt, who had support from former federal cabinet minister John Baird, won primarily based on the votes cast at the credentials table, Singh’s team says in the filing.

There were seven regular voting tables, and Singh won those tables combined, the appeal claims. But those with issues on the list – a misspelled name or incorrect address, for example – were sent to the credentials table.

Party officials were at that table, Singh’s filing says. And Levitt won 202 of 345 of the ballots counted there to Singh’s 78 – enough to win Levitt the nomination. The party also failed to substantiate the ballots at that desk, the appeal claims.”

Both Singh and Peller appealed to the party to review the nomination, but Ontario PC leader Patrick Brown dismissed the complaint and certified Levitt’s candidacy.

Responding to Singh’s allegations, Ontario PC president Rick Dykstra stated in court documents that Brown considered Singh “unreliable” and not a “team player.”

Dykstra also suggested Singh was not the right “demographic” for the riding. As CBC News reported in August:

“Rick Dykstra, provincial party president, said in his own court filing that Singh was seen as “unreliable,” and that a “demographic analysis” showed Levitt was a better pick.”

Yet Dykstra’s story appears at odds with what Singh says in his own court filings, suggesting Brown “encouraged him to run, and even strategized with him and attended a party fundraiser at his parents’ home in December.”

Last December, Brown tweeted photos of himself smiling alongside Singh at the home of the prospective candidate’s parents:

Whatever happened in the 5 months between the fundraiser and the nomination?

 

A long list of PC riding nomination scandals

As PressProgress previously reported in August, the controversy in Hamilton West– Ancaster–Dundas is only one of more than a dozen PC riding associations across Ontario rocked by controversial nomination meetings:

 

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Analysis

How Jason Kenney Dog Whistled Radical Ideas to His Right-Wing Supporters This Weekend

Jason Kenney's Alberta Conservatives are using euphemisms and coded language to make their controversial ideas sound less divisive

November 21, 2017

Jason Kenney’s Conservatives are already using coded language to give winks and nods to their party’s hard line right-wing base.

Alberta conservatives descended on Red Deer this weekend for a conference hosted by the Manning Centre to plot and scheme ways to branch out beyond the party’s Rebel Media-watching demographic.

Confidential documents obtained last week by PressProgress revealed the Manning Centre, a right-wing think tank founded by former Reform Party leader Preston…