The Canada Christian College listed alongside Deco Labels and Tags as a PC Leadership 'Voting Centre'
The Canada Christian College, the evangelical bible school granted new powers in Bill 213, was used by Doug Ford’s 2018 Progressive Conservative Party leadership campaign as a voting hub.
The Ford government’s latest omnibus bill included a section that would grant the school, headed by arch-social conservative Charles McVety, the power to grant arts and science degrees. Defending the move, Ford initially claimed the CCC “went through the process” — until the board that grants schools the power to administer degrees said otherwise.
But posts from the Ontario PC Leadership race, in which McVety was a very-vocal Ford supporter, show the Canada Christian College was also used as a hub for the Ford campaign.
The PC Party used a two-step verification process to facilitate its 2018 online leadership vote. Members received unique “verification numbers” in the mail and were required to register online and scan their photo ID to participate.
Several candidates and officials, including Ford’s campaign manager, Michael Diamond, complained that not all their supporters could vote online. That, CBC News noted, prompted the campaigns to organize “registration parties” and “registration clinics” to help get out the vote.
On February 28, 2018 — then-leadership candidate Doug Ford tweeted:
If you are in the GTA and have received your verification package, you can visit Canada Christian College at 50 Gervais Drive in Toronto to verify. We are set up on the first floor of the college.
We are open every day from 10AM-8PM during the voting and verification process. pic.twitter.com/ZLCLexIHZk
— Doug Ford (@fordnation) February 28, 2018
In March, Ford further listed the CCC as a voting location for “Doug Ford supporters” — alongside Deco Labels and Tags, his company, and the office of PC cabinet member Michael Tibollo.
VOTING CENTRES-FRIDAY MARCH 9th BEFORE NOON!. – If you have been verified by PC party & need help casting your online…
Failed leadership candidate Tanya Granic Allen also listed the CCC as one of her campaign’s “voter clinics” — alongside the offices of the Campaign Life Coalition and the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition.
The CCC is also a registered charity. And, for the year ending Dec 31 2018, it reported no “political activities” to the Canada Revenue Agency.
Campbell LLP lawyer Brian Iler told PressProgress “The CRA has been clear that that includes providing use of the charity’s premises for a political candidate.”
Democracy Watch co-founder Duff Conacher told PressProgress, while the CRA’s standard for “direct support” doesn’t appear to apply in the same way to party leadership races: “As ethics commissioners have ruled at the federal level and in a few provinces, when an organization or its executives actively help a candidate in any way, including during a party leadership race, it creates a conflict of interest and a sense of obligation on the part of the politician to return the favour.”
As PressProgress reported previously, Ford was featured in photos with McVety several times throughout the leadership race.
— PressProgress (@pressprogress) May 24, 2018
Late last year, Ford also joined other PC MPPS in wishing McVety a happy 60th birthday.