No new vote after fraud alleged in Ottawa West-Nepean PC race

Alex Abdelwahab - June 04, 2017

There will be no new vote for a Progressive Conservative candidate in Ottawa West-Nepean, despite several allegations of voter fraud during the original nomination meeting.

Ontario PC Leader Patrick Brown intervened in the appeals process Saturday and appointed Karma Macgregor as the candidate for the area, according to Ottawa West-Nepean (OWN) Progressive Conservative Association President Emma McLennan.

This nullifies the appeal filed by Jeremy Roberts after he lost the nomination by 15 votes on May 6, according to McLennan.

“I’m disappointed,” she told Metro. “It looks like Patrick Brown is condoning voter fraud.”

Last month, McLennan sent several letters to the Ontario PC Party detailing several allegations of voter fraud, including that there were 28 more votes than the number of people registered to cast them, and there was also evidence of ballot stuffing, with 17 ballots eventually disallowed.

McLennan said she had also found "suspicious irregularities" in the membership list.

Brown’s decision to appoint Macgregor Saturday “proved that the party is not committed to an open, fair and transparent nomination process,” McLennan wrote in a post on the association’s Facebook page, saying the decision “has several negative implications that damage the Party’s credibility.”

“It is my belief that many PC supporters, including myself, now feel disenfranchised by the party and we will have to do some serious thinking about who we vote for in the coming election,” she wrote.

Roberts called the decision disheartening in a post on his Facebook page.

“My campaign attracted many young people with high energy who got involved in politics and the PC Party for the first time to support me,” he wrote. “Seeing us lose through fraud and manipulation was a crushing experience for them. I fear that many of them will be turned off politics in general and, particularly troubling for me, the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario specifically.”

Neither Brown nor Macgregor responded to attempts to contact them.

Meanwhile, Rick Dykstra, president of the Ontario PCs replied to a request to comment on the decision not to call for a new vote in Ottawa West-Nepean by saying future nominations will be monitored by PriceWaterHouseCoopers.