It's time to come clean, Christine.
Dear Christine Elliott,
Re: It’s time to come clean, Christine.
Before the February 28 PC leadership debate in Ottawa, I did a short 10-minute interview with David Menzies of The Rebel. I discussed both of the themes that I’ve been writing about for over a year and that have dominated this PC leadership – corruption and carbon taxes. You can watch the interview below.
During the interview, Dave asked me if the PC Party is rotten. I said NO, it was not, but I did confirm that there was an element of the party that is a problem.
As I said to Dave, in order to clean up our party, serious consideration must be given to the role that will be played by those individuals who conspired, promoted, or were the beneficiaries of the Brown-Dykstra Doctrine of corruption. After all, if the party under the corrupt Patrick Brown can deem me to be no longer a member “in good standing”– as punishment for exposing the corruption - then how could the actual perpetrators of the corruption be considered members "in good standing" now that the party is supposedly in a post-corrupt era?
For this party to recover in time for the June 7 election, the next PC leader will have to turn the page on this dark period in our party’s history, and will need to do so quickly.
One way or another, Tanya Granic Allen, Doug Ford, and Caroline Mulroney have all tried to address the problems with the governance in our party. But over the last couple of weeks, you have dodged important questions. And some of the decisions you have made over the past week or so are causing me serious concern.
1. Patrick Brown as a PC Candidate
During the Ottawa debate, you admitted that the party’s constitution had not been followed. Thank you! But you also sidestepped the question of whether or not Patrick would be a PC candidate if you were elected PC leader. Instead, you merely repeated your mantra that Patrick could run if he could “clear his name” before the next election.
Clear his name?
Patrick’s abuse of power and his deliberate violations of the party’s constitution have already been made clear. He led the party in a corrupt manner by abusing his power and relying on fraud and deception.
If that isn't enough, there's the report that showed Patrick instructing party staff to "get me the result that I want" in the Hamilton West - Ancaster - Dundas nomination (the same nomination that the police are investigating individuals tied to Patrick for possible fraud).
There are questions around how Patrick has been able to afford the $1.72 million mortgage on his home. There are questions surrounding the affidavit that showed PC candidate Jass Johal offering to pay $375,000 to Patrick in return for Patrick's air-miles. And there are questions surrounding the investigation by the Integrity Commissioner into these and other aspects of Patrick's financial affairs.
Knowing all of this, it is hard to see how Patrick could even be considered a member "in good standing" in our party - and if it wasn't for the current PC Executive that is still largely beholden to him, he probably wouldn't be!
We all know that any one these matters or their resolution, could erupt at any time between now and the start of the election campaign in May. If Patrick is a PC candidate at any time before the next election, and any one of these stories erupts in the media again, it will result in irreversible damage to the Ontario PC Party.
You know it. Vic Fedeli knows it. Caucus knows it. The whole party knows it. That’s why Patrick isn’t in caucus anymore. Vic didn’t need to wait for anyone else to “clear” Patrick’s name.
We all know that the only other person who could politically “clear” Patrick’s name in time for the next election is the next PC leader. That could very well be you, Christine.
But knowing all of this, instead of telling us now if Patrick will be a candidate under your leadership, you want us to wait. Why? So you can tell us after you become PC leader what your decision will be.
That just doesn’t sound right to me. The party membership needs to know now – today – what your plans are for Patrick.
2. Re-Opening Nominations that Were Not “Open, Public, and Democratic”
Over the weekend, a PC member attending a meet and greet reported that you said the Newmarket - Aurora nomination would not be re-opened. As I have previously written, that nomination resulted in the entire riding executive resigning en masse following the PC Executive ignoring an appeal of the results (a breach of the party constitution).
Why not re-open the Newmarket - Aurora nomination meeting?
There are also plenty of other nomination meetings where irregularities happened in advance of the meeting. So many candidates were either disallowed or bullied out of the race. I am perplexed that, as PC leader, you would be willing to go into the next Ontario election, with PC “candidates” that were hand chosen by Patrick under some fraudulent “legal” power he lied about. Why would you not prefer to have legitimate PC candidates who were selected through “open, public, and democratic” nominations as mandated by our party constitution?
3. A carbon tax … “maybe in the future” ?
I was, for the past few weeks, delighted that you and the other three candidates campaigned against a carbon tax. For this reason, I didn’t read too much into the fact that you were slow to respond to my five part Axe the Carbon Tax questionnaire I sent to all the candidates over a week ago.
But on Saturday, Brian Lilley wrote a story that reportedly quoted you as leaving the option of a carbon tax open “in the future.” Lilley quoted you as saying: we don’t need to go with a carbon tax, maybe in the future but not right now, people cannot afford it.
In the story, you attempted to explain away your comments. And mere hours after the Lilley story broke, your campaign finally sent me the answers to the five Axe the Carbon Tax questions.
But when an Axe the Carbon Tax supporter sent me a link to the actual full audio of your answer, I listened to it for myself.
At the part in your answer where you say “maybe in the future”, it is clear that you weren’t referring to “some other government in the future.” Your answer was in the context of answering whether a PC government – a Christine Elliott led PC government - will introduce a carbon tax.
Why are you now backtracking on your prior anti-carbon tax position? Many Axe the Carbon Tax supporters are, today and tomorrow, marking their ballots and they need an answer to this question.
4. Patrick Brown’s supporters yesterday – Christine Elliott’s supporters today?
While I am concerned with your positions on these important issues - the Patrick Brown question; the undemocratic and illegitimate selection of candidates; and the slip up on the carbon tax – none concern me as much as the list of endorsements that have moved from the Patrick Brown campaign and over to you, since Patrick withdrew from the race.
Many of the individuals who now endorse you are either (a) beneficiaries of the Brown-Dykstra Doctrine of corruption (or somehow connected to this); or (b) people who are close personal friends of Patrick Brown.
Despite all that we know about Patrick's tenure as leader and despite all that we have learned of Patrick since his January 25th resignation, these individuals chose to endorse and promote the second coming of Patrick Brown - Patrick Brown 2.0 - the corrupt version of Patrick Brown.
In fact, many of these individuals cheered Patrick on and were even on the same stage as Patrick during the launch of his 10-day leadership bid.
And in doing so, these individuals exposed our PC Party to an embarrassing ten-day Patrick Brown circus. Their decision making is so terrible, and their political judgement so bad, that it calls into question each of their own status as "members in good standing" in our party.
And now, this entire team of individuals who flocked to the corrupt version of Patrick Brown - Patrick Brown 2.0 - have all moved over to your campaign. And you have publicly accepted them with open arms.
As listed on your website, this includes: MP Alex Nuttal, MP Ben Lobb, MPP Ross Romano, Amargjot Sanu, Donna Skelley, Goldie Ghamari, Lindsey Park, Logan Kanapathi, Gulab Singh Saini, and Sri Vallipuranathar.
And I am hearing of even further endorsements (not yet on your website) that include PC “candidates” Troy Crowder, Rudy Cozzetto, Mark DeMontis, Jill Dunlop, Karin Howard, Jass Johal, Mohommad Latif, Fadi Nemr, Angely Pacis, Thenusha Parandi, Sherif Sabaway, Michael Parsa, Iris Yu, Eric Wenger, Dionne Duncan, Nina Tangri, as well as MP Phil McColeman, and former MPP Garfield Dunlop.
One of Patrick’s best friends, MP Alex Nuttal, was quoted in the Hill Times as saying “…it’s my expectation that the majority of the Patrick Brown team is going to the Christine Elliott campaign, including candidates, Members of Parliament, and incredible volunteers and organizers.”
At the end of this letter, I have added a summary of how some of these individuals were connected to the Brown-Dykstra tenure.
Given the current political climate in our party and in Ontario, I question why you would accept any of these controversial endorsements, let alone all of them.
Why would these individuals all stand by Patrick Brown 2.0 - the corrupt version? And why would they all flock together to support you? Is it true what they say: birds of the same feather flock together?
5. It’s time to come clean, Christine.
All of this new information has me worried.
What is behind your reluctance to reveal your plans for Patrick Brown? Will he or won’t he be a PC candidate in the next election? Are you now beholden to the Brown-Dykstra loyalists endorsing your campaign?
Is there more to you backtracking on a simple carbon tax question? Is the pro-carbon tax “People’s Guarantee” platform of Patrick Brown truly dead? Or do you have a plan to revert to Patrick’s pro carbon tax betrayal?
Why is it that you won’t agree to re-open nominations that weren’t conducted in accordance with the party constitution in an “open, public and democratic” manner?
With Christine Elliott as PC leader, will our party turn the page on this dark period in our history or pretend like it never happened?
Or will it be “back to the future” for our PC Party?
Party members are starting to wonder. And with only a few days left to vote, I think it’s time to come clean, Christine.
Some of the Patrick Brown Confidantes Endorsing Christine Elliott
Alex Nuttal - Conservative MP - a close personal friend of Patrick’s who calls Patrick his “big brother.”
Amargjot Sandhu - Brampon West PC candidate - who said of Patrick’s resignation (which Patrick later lied about and said he hadn’t actually resigned), “he was executed without a trial for sure.”
Derek Parks - PC candidate in Thunder Bay – Superior North but who actually lives in Cambridge. A member of the PC Executive, who voted in favour of revoking my membership and suing me. Derek was on the stage with Patrick during Patrick’s leadership campaign kick-off. Patrick described Derek as his close friend that would personally drive Patrick around to all his stops during every single one of Patrick’s trips to Thunder Bay as leader.
Donna Skelly, Goldie Ghamari, and Lindsey Park – all beneficiaries of the corrupt Brown-Dykstra Doctrine who were selected as PC candidates through Patrick’s deliberate violation of the party constitution and his use of a fraudulent and deceptive idea (that he had the power to appoint candidates) that he used in order to bully other candidates from running against them in nominations.
Gulab Singh Saini – under Patrick Brown he had the title of “Director of South Asian development and membership growth.” Saini was one of the individuals who brought the Patrick’s political circus into the riding of Cambridge by backing the candidacy of Alberta resident Tanya Khattra. As of today, the PC Executive has still yet to rule Khattra ineligible to run in the Cambridge nomination even though she is not an Ontario resident and therefore cannot be a PC member in good standing and cannot run in the next general election.
Sri Vallipuranathar – Patrick’s handpicked member of the PC Executive who was appointed following a resignation. He is a close friend and top organizer from Patrick’s last leadership race. He is also a close friend of Babu Nagalingam who was one of the top organizers for Patrick and who stood by Patrick’s side up until Patrick withdrew from this leadership race just a few days ago.