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Analysis

One-Quarter of Ontario PC Candidates Currently Face Lawsuits, Probes and Police Investigations

Ontario PC leader Doug Ford personally faces a $16.5 million lawsuit, allegations of election fraud and a campaign finance complaint

It’s not your imagination, folks.

Doug Ford’s Ontario PCs really are tangled up in a whole lot of scandals – including expensive lawsuits, accusations of fraud and a handful of police investigations.

A new analysis by PressProgress suggests up to 34 Ontario PC candidates, or 27.6% of Doug Ford’s entire slate of 123 candidates, are currently facing a variety of lawsuits, probes and police investigations.

That number does not include several revelations in the lead up to the election,  including allegations ex-PC leader Patrick Brown misappropriated party funds, allegations the PC party president sexually assaulted a young staffer, an investigation launched by Hamilton police looking into claims party officials rigged a nomination meeting or over a dozen other accusations of election fraud at Tory nomination meetings across Ontario

Here is a list several controversies during only the last month:

Lawsuit accuses Doug Ford of trying to rip off Rob Ford’s widow and her children of millions and mismanaging his family’s company  

June 4, 2018: Doug Ford is rocked by a $16.5 million lawsuit brought by his brother’s widow accusing the Ontario PC leader of depriving her family of millions of dollars Rob Ford left behind to support his family.

The lawsuit also alleges Ford mismanaged his family’s business to “maintain the illusion” that Ford is a successful businessman.

 

Police investigate Ontario PC candidate accused of threatening voters

June 4, 2018: Police announce they are investigating Ontario PC candidate Roshan Nallaratnam after allegations surfaced that the Scarborough-Guildwood candidate sent threatening messages to a member of the local Tamil community.

Despite the police investigation, Ford tells reporters he’s doubling-down on his support for the candidate, stating: “Roshan’s a great candidate and we’re sticking with him.”

 

Ontario PC candidate accused of defrauding families of would-be immigrants

June 3, 2018: Ripudaman Dhillon, the Ontario PC candidate in Brampton North, faces four separate lawsuits from former clients of his immigration consultancy business alleging he defrauded individuals looking to bring their families to Canada from overseas to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars.

 

Doug Ford is personally accused of election fraud after an audio tape suggests he signed up “bogus” memberships to support a PC candidate

May 23, 2018: Ford is accused of violating Ontario’s election laws after an audio recording surfaced that appeared to show Ford selling “bogus” memberships on behalf of Etobicoke Centre PC candidate Kinga Surma.

The audio recording, produced by an Ontario PC nomination contestant, is accompanied by a sworn affidavit that includes testimony from dozens of local residents and allegations Ford followed the contestant home, waited outside her house and sought to intimidate her.

 

Ford’s cash-for-access fundraiser leads to formal complaint with Elections Ontario

May 17, 2018: Tory lawyers are called in to clean up a mess after the Toronto Star reports Doug Ford attended a cash-for-access fundraiser that asked for $2,000 per head to sit at a table with the Ontario PC leader – something that may have broken Ontario’s campaign finance laws. Elections Ontario is currently reviewing a formal complaint filed by the Liberal Party of Ontario.

 

PC candidate resigns after police launch investigation into “internal theft” of data from Highway 407 operator

May 16, 2018: Brampton East PC candidate Simmer Sandhu resigns after the York Regional Police fraud unit launches an investigation into reports that an Ontario PC campaign operative was involved in the “inside theft of (customer) data” belonging to the company that operates the 407 Express Toll Route.

Following Sandhu’s resignation, Elections Ontario announces it had launched a review of complaints that 29 Ontario PC candidates used stolen data to help their campaigns. Ford later brushes off questions suggesting reporters “ask the candidates” what happened instead.

 

Toronto police probe leak of confidential files targeting a PC nomination contestant

May 7, 2018: The National Post reports Toronto-area police have launched a probe into the leak of confidential files relating to a 2016 incident where police took a would-be PC candidate into custody on suspicion of cocaine possession before releasing them without charges.

That information was used in an anonymous smear campaign targeting the nomination contestant before Ford’s party disqualified their candidacy altogether. Harjit Jaswal was later nominated as the Ontario PC candidate in Brampton Centre although there is no indication who was responsible for leaking the files.

 

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