In tomorrow’s Toronto Star former PC leader, Patrick Brown, boasts of his legacy. He says the Party was not left in a mess. There’s cash in the bank and the Party is much more diverse. Membership soared from 12,000 party members to either 136,000 or over 200,000 depending, he says, on who you believe.
But there is a darker side. Brown lied through his teeth about his finances to the Province’s Integrity Commissioner who said these lies were deliberate and not inadvertent.
So why should we now believe anything he says?
Brown says by-election wins triggered an avalanche of interest in becoming a PC candidate:
“We were not prepared as a party for the lengths people would go to win nominations. We had to shut down attempts to print fake ballots, produce fake ID’s, stop fistfights and even the stuffing of ballot boxes. I was beyond frustrated to hear these ongoing stories.”
This is Canada for goodness sake! Not Syria, South Sudan or Somalia. Stuffing ballot boxes is not something that is supposed to happen here.
We should be outraged.
For a while the PC’s interim leader, Vic Fedeli, was determined to root out the rot. Then the moment passed.
Brown makes it sound as if he, as Party Leader, was an innocent by-stander when in reality he was in it up to his armpits.
Often, he looked the other way, choosing to ignore the cheating, malpractice and fraud. He now tells us:
“We took steps to ensure these nominations were run fairly and free from abuse. I personally ordered the party to bring in PWC to observe and certify our nominations. I have been as shocked as anyone else to hear about allegations that a candidate stole private 407 data. In retrospect, I am increasingly of the opinion political parties are ill equipped to handle nominations and that it is time to have Elections Ontario manage this part of our democratic process.”
As usual, he is being economical with the truth.
Before Brown brought in Price Waterhouse Coopers he ruled that the nominations of the 64 candidates, already endorsed and approved, would stand even though many were challenged. PWC was brought in after the fact, checking on cheating in all nominations "going forward".
Here in Newmarket-Aurora Brown left the cheat Charity McGrath in place as the official PC candidate despite the resignation of the riding’s entire board.
When Ford took over as Leader McGrath was dumped to make way for Christine Elliott.
That's how we ended up with Ms Elliott, the PC Leadership's three time loser.