Patrick Brown says he will appeal Conservative leadership race disqualification

Patrick Brown’s lawyers have filed a notice with the Conservative Party of Canada that they intend to appeal the decision to disqualify him from the party’s leadership race.

In a letter sent Wednesday to CEO Don Nightingale, attorneys Marie Henein and Alex Smith said they intend to appeal his decision to recommend to the party’s Leadership Election Organizing Committee (LEOC) that it disqualify to Brown.

“To be clear, Mr. Brown has committed absolutely no misconduct,” the attorneys wrote in their letter. “Your refusal of his to specify the allegations underlying his recommendation shows that. He has refuted the negligible information that he has provided and has repeatedly asked for details.”

They called the process to disqualify Brown “Kafkaesque” and “politically motivated” and said it had a “predetermined outcome and is not consistent with the values ​​this party should uphold.”

The attorneys also called it “deeply disturbing” that Brown only learned of the recommendation through media reports after the LEOC accepted it and advised the party to retain all documents and records related to Brown’s disqualification. , as the matter “may now be the subject of early litigation”. .”


Brown was disqualified from the Conservative Party leadership race on Tuesday night after LEOC chairman Ian Brodie said he was made aware of allegations related to funding rules in the Canada Elections Act.

“The information provided to date by the Patrick Brown campaign has not satisfied concerns about its compliance with our Rules and Procedures and/or the Canada Elections Act. Therefore, the Director of Scrutiny has recommended to LEOC that LEOC disqualify Patrick Brown and tonight LEOC agreed to do so,” Brodie said in a written statement.

“Throughout the investigation of these allegations, the Canvassing Director and I have done everything possible to be fair to Patrick Brown’s leadership campaign and give them the time they need to refute these allegations in a substantive manner,” Brodie said. .

The LEOC voted 11-6 to disqualify Brown on Tuesday night.

Brown says he was ousted in a “politically corrupt” move based on an anonymous accusation backed by supporters of rival leader Pierre Poilievre, the longtime Ottawa-area MP who is considered one of the favorites in the race.

“My campaign did nothing wrong. And I can tell you that if we find out anything is wrong, we will address it immediately,” Brown told CTV’s Evan Solomon on Wednesday morning in her first interview after his disqualification.

“Our campaign was told that there is an allegation that a corporation was paying someone to work on my campaign, but we have no information on who it was or who that corporation was. So it is impossible to answer to a ghost,” she added.

Brown says he was also a candidate who called out Poilievre, which he says the party didn’t like.

“Clearly the party establishment wanted Pierre. I am amazed that they have taken such extraordinary measures to rob party members of a democratic election based on an anonymous tip that we have no information about,” Brown said.

Speaking to CP24 on Wednesday, Conservative Party Chairman Robert Batherson said he could not provide details, but the complaint originated from within the Brown campaign.

“The allegations actually came from Mr. Brown’s camp, and I would love to be able to share with everyone all the information that the party has obtained,” Batherson said. “But the reality now is that this is an Elections Canada issue. We have serious allegations of wrongdoing under the Canadian Elections Act. We are passing our files and our material to the corresponding authorities. They have the ability and resources to conduct a fair investigation and give Mr. Brown due process under the law.”

He said Brodie, legal counsel and Brown’s camp spent a week back and forth to “try to find a way where the campaign could comply with our leadership election rules, but also federal election law. We were very clear about what information we were seeking.”


Adding to his problems on Wednesday, five city councilors said Brown’s time in office “must end.”

The councilmembers, who include Pat Fortini, Martin Medeiros, Jeff Bowman, Gurpreet Singh Dhillon and Doug Whillans, wrote a letter Wednesday afternoon expressing frustration with unproven “accusations of financial improprieties” under Brown’s leadership, which they say amount to “a clear and alarming pattern of behavior.”

The letter was issued less than 24 hours after Brown was disqualified from the Conservative Party leadership race due to “serious allegations of wrongdoing” by Brown’s campaign, according to the Leadership Elections Organizing Committee (LEOC). of the match.

“While the Conservative Party of Canada investigated serious allegations of electoral fraud that led to its disqualification, a majority group of Brampton councilors launched forensic investigations into allegations of financial improprieties, nepotism and possible clandestine contract improprieties under the failed leadership of Patrick Brown. This demonstrates a clear and alarming pattern of behavior,” the councilors wrote in the letter.

Councilmembers say Brampton’s name is being “tarnished” because of Brown’s actions outside of City Hall, and that city business is “gripped” because its priorities lie elsewhere.

Brown told CP24 that he was there “to attend to any city issues that have come up” during the leadership race and “has juggled both responsibilities.”

He has also said his absence from several recent council meetings is due to a “legal dispute” over the appointment of a new councilor and not the race for leadership.

“If any decision was made at a council meeting with an incorrectly selected councilmember, all decisions would be null and void,” he said.

Medeiros, however, said Brampton has essentially had no leadership since Brown “put his name down.”

“This organization has a cloud over its head and we need to move forward as a municipality. We have to move on and now we have elections in a couple of months. That should bring clarity,” he told reporters at a news conference on Wednesday afternoon.


Medeiros said a whistleblower told council members more than a year ago that city resources were being used for other purposes and that a series of forensic audits are underway to get to the bottom of those allegations.

Additionally, on June 15, Rebel News reported allegations that Brampton city employees were working on Brown’s Conservative Party leadership campaign during business hours, which are funded by taxpayers.

“The City of Brampton’s reputation is really suffering. We have been dragged into a situation that was not (because of) our decision,” Medeiros said.

“The city of Brampton should not be a second or third option. This is not a place where people go when all else fails and the city of Brampton has to be put in a positive light and has to be front and center in any decision making. And our concern right now is the reputational damage it’s having, it’s almost a cloud over City Hall.”

Brown denied all allegations, saying his campaign made it clear that if any staff members wanted to work for him, they would have to work outside of regular business hours.

“We said very clearly that if you do it it has to be at night or on the weekend, you can’t do it during working hours. And if someone wanted to come to a campaign event during business hours, they had to take unpaid time off during work,” Brown told CP24 on Wednesday.

After news broke of Brown’s disqualification from the leadership race, Medeiros said it’s an alarming pattern with the mayor.

“So what seems to be a pattern, it’s not unique to what I assume the Conservative Party is dealing with. We’ve been dealing with this for two years, and only many of you have realized now. So what is it? frustrating for us is that we know what’s going on in Brampton,” he said.

Brampton City Council was supposed to meet today to discuss the allegations, among other issues, but councilors said the meeting was canceled last night. Councilmembers say this was the fourth consecutive meeting canceled so far this year. Previous meetings were canceled due to not enough Councilmembers being available to meet a quorum.

A special council meeting is scheduled for July 25 and a regular council meeting is scheduled for August 10.


It is unclear whether Brown’s name will appear on the Conservative Party leadership ballot when members receive it in the mail in the coming weeks.

The winner is expected to be announced at a convention in Ottawa on September 10.

Brown says he’s disappointed he won’t be able to continue in the race.

“I am disappointed because I wanted to build a moderate and inclusive Conservative Party, I was determined to build the Conservative Party where it doesn’t matter who you love, where you were born, the color of your skin, what God you are. adoration,” he said.

This is the second time Brown has dropped out of a Conservative leadership race, after he resigned in 2018 over allegations of sexual misconduct that he denied.

Last week, the Conservative Party said some 675,000 members had registered to vote for a new leader, which they described as a record number for any federal political party.

With Canadian Press archives

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