Patrick Brown intends to appeal disqualification from Conservative leadership race: lawyers

“This Kafkaesque process has led to a politically motivated and predetermined outcome and is not in line with the values ​​that this party should stand for”

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OTTAWA — Patrick Brown wants to appeal the decision by the federal Conservatives overseeing the party’s leadership race to disqualify him.

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A notice of appeal and a warning of impending legal action related to Brown’s ouster were sent Wednesday evening to Don Nightingale, the party’s returning officer, and Ian Brodie, chairman of the election organizing committee to the party leadership.

The letters were signed by Toronto attorneys Alex Smith and Marie Henein, who say they act as attorneys for Brown.

His decision to try to appeal his sudden dismissal came after Brown spent a day defending his innocence and accusing the party of mishandling the situation to put the odds in his favor in favor of his principal. rival.

The party’s leadership election committee chose Tuesday night — with a vote split 11 to six — to disqualify Brown from the contest, based on what Brodie called “serious allegations of wrongdoing.”

Party chairman Rob Batherson confirmed on Wednesday that the allegations came from Brown’s campaign team.

Neither Brodie nor the party elaborated on what the allegations are, saying only that they appear to violate Canada Elections Act financing rules and as such would be shared with Elections Canada.

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Brown’s lawyers argue that the party’s decision not to provide the details he seeks shows he was not involved in wrongdoing.

“This Kafkaesque process has led to a politically motivated and predetermined outcome and is inconsistent with the values ​​that this party should uphold,” reads the notice of appeal co-signed by Henein and Smith.

In a second letter, they ask Brodie to ensure that all records and documents, including texts and WhatsApp messages, relating to Brown’s disqualification are preserved, given that his ousting “may now do the trick.” ‘subject of anticipated litigation’.

They say that means telling members of the leadership election committee “to retain all communications with members of Pierre Poilievre’s campaign and other stakeholders in relation to Patrick Brown.”

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Poilievre’s campaign said Wednesday that Brown was going after the party and trying to “turn herself into a victim.” His campaign also said it had nothing to do with the allegation against Brown.

Speaking to The Canadian Press earlier today, Brown, who is the mayor of Brampton, Ont., said the committee had received an anonymous allegation that someone working on his campaign was being paid by a corporation.

Concerns over his campaign finance were first raised with his team last week.

Brown said they requested information about the identity of the individual or company, but it was not provided.

  1. Patrick Brown has said he believes his ousting from the federal Conservative leadership race was motivated by the Pierre Poilievre campaign.

    ‘Everyone’ thought allegations against Brown were ‘serious’: source

  2. Patrick Brown, former Conservative Party leadership candidate, and Ian Brodie, chairman of the leadership election organizing committee.

    John Ivison: In a battle for integrity, Patrick Brown is vastly outclassed

  3. Jean Charest, left, and Pierre Poilievre, middle, face off during a debate of the Conservative Party leadership candidates in Ottawa, May 5, 2022.

    Brown’s disqualification is a boon for Poilievre, makes victory ‘very difficult’ for Charest: experts

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In terms of other allegations, Brown said his campaign responded to questions from the party about a report that staff in his mayoral office worked on his leadership campaign. He said his team explained that anyone doing so was not participating in the campaign during working hours.

He added that there was another allegation regarding mail received at party headquarters regarding the handwriting of one of Brown’s supporters from the Tamil community, as well as a question about the names of different supporters.

Brown said his campaign felt the party was on a “fishing expedition” with their questioning, but was happy with the answers they provided.

“I’m angry. I’m disappointed. It’s unbelievable that this is happening,” he said.

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“We were, we believe, on the verge of gaining this leadership. We thought we had a great route.

Brown, a former leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservatives, said his campaign recruited more than 150,000 new people to join the party. Many of them came from the cultural communities of some of the country’s largest cities, where the party struggled to find support in the last federal election.

Regarding the allegation about how a member of his campaign team was paid, Brown said his team had 1,800 volunteers across the country and it was difficult to keep tabs on what everyone was doing.

“Our campaign very strictly adhered to Canadian election rules and party rules. If we hear of an example where it has not been followed, we would of course want to rectify it immediately.

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Despite looking for a call, his options seem slim.

According to the party’s election rules, there is no apparent possibility of appeal.

Conservative strategist Michael Diamond said the courts generally try to stay out of the internal operations of political parties, so that avenue doesn’t seem likely to bring much success.

What’s important now, Diamond said, is for the party to be as transparent as possible, emphasizing that a candidate’s withdrawal should only occur in the most dire of circumstances.

“Members of the public…including the disqualified contestant, deserve to know exactly what the rationale is.”

Party spokesman Yaroslav Baran said he was not surprised to see “sand thrown in the air” by Brown with his accusations that the situation had been handled unfairly.

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“There are different categories of transgressions that have been alleged, and the…committee had to make a decision based on its assessment of the nature of the allegations, the credibility of those who made those allegations.”

Baran said the list of party members that was provided to campaigns last week — which is a very important document that candidates use to persuade party members to vote for them — was withheld from Brown’s campaign because that he would have violated the rules of the race.

Brown also finds himself in hot water with his critics within Brampton City Hall, with five council members releasing a statement on Wednesday that read “once again, our great city is making national headlines for all the wrong reasons because of Patrick Brown.”

The Conservatives will announce the winner of the leadership race in Ottawa on September 10.

Along with Poilievre and Charest, the other candidates are Conservative MPs Leslyn Lewis and Scott Aitchison, as well as Roman Baber, a former Independent Member of the Ontario Legislative Assembly.

Brown’s name will still appear on the ballot, as the party has already mailed many out.

Last week, the party said around 675,000 members registered to vote for a new leader.

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