Jim Karahalios - November 30, 2017
The sham PC “policy convention” - or as I like to call it, the PC rally - finally took place last Saturday, November 25, in Toronto.
At the rally, Brown announced his election campaign platform. It was so underwhelming that National Post columnist Andrew Coyne said it was "of such iridescent vapidity it might have better been titled Nothing To See Here." Click here to read more.
I had a keen interest in attending the rally as I had already exposed it as being founded on one lie after another. I had previously shared these concerns with the PC executive in formal correspondence, but with no response:
Brown and the PC Executive were calling it a “Policy Conference”, which it wasn’t;
They said it was “constitutional” with regards to the PC constitution, which it wasn’t; and
They claimed it was somehow attached to a legitimate “process”, which it wasn’t.
Click here to read my letter to the PC executive regarding their policy process.
Bogus as this so-called “policy convention” was, it was still a gathering of Ontario PC Party members. In my almost two decades as a PC Party member, I don’t think I’ve ever missed a convention - fake or otherwise.
From what various party members told me in the days leading up to the rally, I knew this PC party event was going to be different than all the rest. Little did I know just how different it was going to be.
I had heard - unofficially - that my PC membership had been “revoked” at an executive meeting that took place a few days earlier. (They had considered other matters pertaining to me, but more on that in a future email.) I, however, never received any notice of the decision, written or otherwise, from Party president Rick Dykstra.
In any case, on Saturday morning I arrived at the PC rally at the Toronto Congress Centre. I made my way over to the registration desk to pay the $199 entrance “PC party member fee” and to pick up my badge. The conversation with party staff at the registration table went something like this:
Jim: Hi there. I’d like to register.
Female Party Staffer: You haven’t paid yet?
Female Party Staffer: Um
Male Party Staffer: You’re not … you’re not a member, right?
Jim: I’m not?
Male Party Staffer: You’re not a member. Are you a member?
Jim: I’m not sure. I’ve been hearing rumours all week - something about my membership being revoked?
Male Party Staffer: I don’t know about that. I don’t know who you are.
Jim: I’m Jim Karahalios.
Male Party Staffer: Jim Karahalios?
Jim: I have a five-year membership … So is this where observers and members …
Male Party Staffer: Yes, so you’re either an observer or a member. We just gotta verify what you are.
Party staff then asked me to stay put. They didn’t bother to look my name up in their database on the laptop in front of them. Instead, one of them went to call someone over.
Within moments, the PC Party’s top employee, Executive Director Bob Stanley, came by the registration table. Bob wasn’t looking at me, so I walked over to say hello.
That’s when Bob curtly informed me that I was no longer a member of the party.
Bob: You’re not a member.
Jim: Where’s my formal notice?
Jim: I didn’t get a formal notice.
Bob: You don’t need a formal notice.
Jim: Why not?
Yes, that’s right. The official reason given to me for the revocation of my PC Party membership was reduced to a single word: “because.”
It became clear to me that this wasn’t the time or the place to discuss the illegitimacy of the “revocation” of my PC membership. The rally’s first session was about to start and I didn’t want to miss any of it, so I offered to pay the $1,000 “observer” fee.
Again, Bob quickly answered, and again with one single word: “no.”
This caught me by surprise, to say the least.
The $1,000 “observer fee” is for someone who is not a member of the PC Party. This fee is traditionally a lot higher than the fee paid by members. It is prohibitive so as to encourage those interested in attending to simply purchase a $10 PC Party membership. As a result, it is usually only paid by members of other political parties, like the Liberal Party or the NDP, or lobbyists who wish to remain unaffiliated. As a result, it is virtually unprecedented for the party to refuse entry to someone willing to pay the $1,000 fee. It just never happens, or, at least, I have never heard of it happening.
Unwilling to answer any of my questions or to provide me with any reasons (other than “because”), a visibly frustrated, red-faced Bob Stanley walked away and told me to stay where I was.
I let him know I wouldn’t go far and “not to worry” – that I’d be waiting.
I then saw Bob conferring with a couple of other party staff. Perhaps they were reconsidering, I thought to myself. I went over to say a friendly “hello.”
They looked worried. But then - just in time, and to Bob Stanley’s rescue came … Dimitri Soudas!
Soudas, in case you don’t remember, was Stephen Harper’s Director of Communications before becoming the Executive Director of the Conservative Party of Canada. He resigned (or was fired) in 2014 after he tried to interfere with his then girlfriend’s (Eve Adams) nomination battle and by July 2015 he was a card a carrying member of the Liberal Party of Canada. For the Executive Director of a political party to get directly involved in the nomination campaign of a girlfriend is more than unseemly, low, and base – it is also unethical and against the expectation of neutrality for party officials. For this, Dmitri Soudas was forced to resign and eventually became a Liberal.
Soudas is now a key member of the Patrick Brown team.
Soudas asked to speak with me in a side hallway. There, he proceeded to tell me that I would not be permitted to enter the facility. When I asked how this decision to bar me could be made when the event was advertised as being for both members and non-members of the party, Soudas replied that "the party did not feel comfortable with me being there.”
If I had known that “comfort” was the gauge by which this decision was to be made I wouldn’t have even bothered making the trip to the rally. Of course Patrick Brown and his team would feel uncomfortable with me being there! For months, I was the one trying to get Patrick Brown to listen to grassroots PC party members and reverse his position in support of a “Justin Trudeau style Carbon Tax.”
I also provided formal correspondence to the PC executive urging them to stop their repeated violations of the PC constitution with regards to policy and in regards to PC nominations. Click here to read my Op-Ed.
They never once bothered to acknowledge my communications because they had no justifiable response to my concerns. They were guilty and they knew it. Of course they were "uncomfortable."
Dimitri Soudas then proceeded to tell me that I was “trespassing” and that he would have to call the police if I did not leave.
The idea of the “police” must have been at the top of Soudas’ and Stanley’s mind, considering that the PC party is currently under police investigation for certain criminal activities, including voter fraud, related to a PC nomination in Hamilton. Click here to see the story.
At that point, I quite peacefully, and with good cheer, shook Dimitri’s hand, walked away, and left the building.
According to QP Briefing, the PC party's official position on why I was denied entry was that party staff feared I was going to "protest" Patrick Brown's speech. Click here to read the full article.
The Toronto Star had a slightly different take. The Star speculates that the Patrick Brown team’s decision to refuse me entry was connected to Brown’s support for the Justin Trudeau carbon tax:
You might now be wondering: what’s next for my fight against the Justin Trudeau Carbon Tax - or now better referred to as the Trudeau-Brown Carbon Tax? Well, rest assured that the fight to Axe the Carbon Tax will continue.
What about the campaign to Take Back Our PC Party?
In light of the ridiculousness of last Saturday’s events, I have had many party members reach out to tell me what we, the supporters of Take Back Our PC Party, already know - the PC Party of Ontario does not belong to Patrick Brown. It is not his personal property.
Nor is the PC party the private sandbox of party president Rick Dykstra and his sycophantic followers on the party executive – executive members who repeatedly choose to ignore the PC constitution and Ontario election law.
This PC executive no longer has any legitimacy as an elected body that acts within the bounds of the party’s constitution and the rule of law.
We must ensure that the PC Party survives this period of incompetence, lies, and corruption.
And we must Take Back Our PC Party!
I will be back with more in the coming days. Yes, there is more to tell!
Thank you for all your support,
On behalf of your Take Back Our PC Party Team
P.S. If you haven’t already, I urge you to help collect signatures for the Take Back Our PC Party petition – it is not too late! Click here to download the form.