Patrick Brown, a candidate for Canada’s Conservative Party leadership race, has been disqualified, according to a statement released by the party on Tuesday.
Brown is currently the mayor of Brampton, Ontario.
In the statement, Ian Brodie, chairman of the Leadership Election Organizing Committee (LEOC), explains that Brown was disqualified after the chief return officer investigated allegations against the Brown campaign of violating the financial provisions of Canada’s electoral law.
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The chief return officer asked Brown’s campaign for a written response and withheld the preliminary membership list from his campaign, the statement said.
“The information provided by Patrick Brown’s campaign to date has not addressed concerns about their compliance with our rules and procedures and/or Canada’s electoral law,” Brodie writes.
“The Chief Returning Officer therefore recommended to LEOC that LEOC disqualify Patrick Brown and LEOC agreed to that tonight.”
Brodie added that Conservatives will share information about Brown’s alleged violations with Elections Canada.
“Throughout the investigation into these allegations, the Chief Returning Officer and I have done our best to be fair to Patrick Brown’s campaign and to give them the time they need to substantively disprove these allegations,” Brodie said.
“We regret having to take these steps, but we have a duty to ensure that both our party rules and federal law are respected by all candidates and campaign teams. None of these issues affect the integrity of the vote itself.”
Brodie concluded that the Conservative Party “will not speak further on this issue” as the matter “is subject to further investigation”.
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The current race for Conservative leadership comes after former leader Erin O’Toole resigned on February 2 after the majority of the faction voted to oust him.
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Early Wednesday morning, Brown’s campaign released a statement through spokesman Chisholm Pothier on Twitter.
The campaign said they had just learned about the LEOC’s “secret meeting” and their decision to have Brown disqualified through the media.
“We were not present at the meeting and had no opportunity to defend ourselves before the LEOC,” it says. “This decision is based on anonymous allegations. Our campaign was never presented with the full details or evidence of these allegations, failing even a basic requirement of due process.”
The statement goes on to claim that the Conservative Party “is expecting a coronation for Pierre Poilievre”.
Poilievre is one of the five remaining candidates in the leadership race, having been a senior cabinet minister in former Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government and serving seven terms as an MP.
“When the final membership numbers came in, it became clear that Poilievre didn’t have the points to win this race,” Brown’s campaign claimed. “Trying to silence Canadians and circumvent democratic values through this baseless disqualification is the only way to ensure his victory is assured.”
Brown’s campaign said it is currently consulting with its legal team.
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https://globalnews.ca/news/8969716/patrick-brown-disqualified-conservative-leadership-race/ Patrick Brown was disqualified from the Conservative Lead Race – National