Former Tory senator calls out Patrick Brown on nomination process

Marjory Lebreton - May 30, 2017

This is a difficult column to write. As a loyal and dedicated Conservative, both at the federal and provincial level for over five decades and actively involved in dozens and dozens of campaigns, I am sad to say that over all the years, I have never seen anything so blatantly undemocratic as what occurred in Ottawa West Nepean on May 6, 2017.

For those not fully aware, a nomination meeting to choose the riding’s Progressive Conservative candidate took place. There were two candidates – Karma Macgregor and Jeremy Roberts, both of whom I know and like.

For full disclosure, I was supporting Jeremy Roberts, a young man with deep roots in the riding and a solid record of community engagement. Despite his young age, I believe Jeremy represents the future of the PC Party and has the maturity and experience to be an excellent spokesperson for the constituents of Ottawa West Nepean.

Jeremy’s passion and commitment are obvious to those who know him, having been mentored in public service and political service by the late Max Keeping and the late Jim Flaherty. I am also cognizant of the fact that Ottawa West Nepean, like other ridings in the area, has a history of electing young and energetic candidates – think John Baird or Lisa MacLeod. One of Jeremy’s special causes is to improve the lives of and provide proper support services for individuals with autism and their families. This is a cause very close to Jeremy’s heart given that his younger brother, Dillon, is autistic.

As Randall Denley wrote on May 17, the results of the nomination meeting were particularly disturbing. There are serious ethical issues about the conduct of this meeting that must be addressed. Jeremy was defeated by a slim margin of 15 votes. Now, who won or who lost should not be the question at hand if the meeting had been conducted properly. The issue is the honesty and integrity of the voting process, with particular attention on the actions of paid party staff.