A Judge Denies Injunction in PC Leadership Race


The Ontario Progressive Conservative leadership race has already unfurled with all the speed of a roller-coaster ride, including the ups and downs, and now there's some courtroom drama thrown in for added excitement.

"While we understand that the party is proud of the number of people that have voted thus far, we charge that the very substantial number of people that have been shut out of voting in this leadership makes this number immaterial", Ford said in a statement.

"The convention would have to rescheduled and perhaps relocated if I were to extend the voting period".

Justice Todd Archibald delivered his decision Friday evening after hearing submissions on the requested injunction in the morning.

"I'll let you come to your own conclusion", he said.

Mr. Ford's campaign told The Globe and Mail that it has received complaints from more than 10,000 members who have been unable to vote because they had yet to receive proper documentation from the party. But Nunziata said Friday outside court that he will speak if necessary.

Only front-runner Christine Elliott opposed the delay.

Registration was to end Wednesday night, but the chairman of the leadership organizing committee tweeted Wednesday afternoon that the deadline was extended to 8 p.m. on Thursday.

Ford, who said he has met many "outraged" voters who have not received their verification packages - called on the party to extend both the verification and voting periods by one week.

Ford served alongside his late brother Rob Ford when he was mayor from 2010 to 2014, says he's been contacted by scores of members.

As of Wednesday, almost 70,000 members had registered to vote and more than 44,000 had cast ballots. "This can't be the neverending story ... or we'll never pick a leader".

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Ford, Mulroney and Granic Allen have pushed for the party to extend the leadership race by a week in order to ensure all members can participate. A lawyer is seeking an injunction that would extend voting by one week. They chose not to take our recommendation.

That leaves about 40 percent of the PC Party's members disenfranchised, Crawley pointed out. The victor will be announced on Saturday. It is considered accurate to within 0.7 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

It suggested that Elliott get 35.2 per cent on the first ballot to 34.9 per cent for Ford, 17.3 per cent for Mulroney, and 12.5 per cent for Granic Allen.

According to the poll, Ford is the second choice of about two-thirds (66.4 per cent) of Granic Allen's supporters but is only ranked second by 15.9 per cent of Mulroney's supporters.

"So if there's any appeal or review to the party executive or an appeal panel, that's an option and that's one they'd have to pursue before they could get into court", Fenrick told CBC Toronto.

Saturday's contest caps perhaps the most tumultuous six weeks in the long history of the PC party. Brown has repeatedly denied the allegations.

While the leader denied the charges in a teary 81-second statement to the media that night, he finally resigned at 1:25 a.m. on January 25 under pressure from his furious caucus and after the mass exodus of his top aides.

"If you have real proof that things are not working the way that all the rules say they should be or worse, actually rigged in some way, then it's much better to go before a judge now rather then put the judge in a position of overturning what thousands of people said they want on Saturday", said Conacher, a political science professor at the University of Ottawa.

CBC's Crawley had reported March 7 party officials confirmed that Verification codes were emailed "to a select group: MPPs, candidates, riding association presidents and members of the leadership organization committee".

"Over 2/3rds of Granic Allen's second choice votes will go to Ford when she drops off the ballot and his vote is more efficient than Elliott's".