Liberal MP calls for investigation into Conservative leadership contest after Brampton Mayor Brown booted from race

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Published July 8, 2022 at 11:44 am

(Frank Gunn/Canadian Press photo)

Allegations that Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown’s campaign broke financial election rules have led a Liberal MP to call for an investigation into whether the party benefited from “potential financial crimes” tied to the Conservative Party of Canada leadership race.

Brown was booted from the leadership race on Tuesday (July 5) after a whistleblower inside his campaign came forward with allegations that workers received payments from a third party.

The head of the party’s leadership committee said these “serious allegations of wrongdoing” go against party rules and broke “the financial provisions of the Canada Elections Act.”

Brown says he was never given a chance to refute the allegations and is challenging the decision to kick him from the race, but one Liberal MP is calling for a full investigation not only into Brown’s campaign but the entire leadership race.

“There are serious questions, given the nature of the Conservative party leadership rules and the party’s membership fees, as to whether the party itself may have benefitted from the alleged illegal actions of the leadership contestant,” Ontario Liberal MP Adam van Koeverden said in a letter addressed to Elections Canada interim commissioner Marc Chénier on Thursday.

RELATED: Brampton political officials say it’s time for Patrick Brown to leave town

“Given these potential illegal benefits accruing to the Conservavtive Party, any investigation must not be limited to an individual leadership contestant but must follow the money if there was potential benefit to the Party as a whole,” he wrote.

The whistleblower is 22-year Conservative party veteran and Brown’s Regional Campaign Organizer, Debra Jodoin.

In a statement released on Jodoin’s behalf, she alleges Brown told her she could continue to remain a paid consultant at an unnamed company while volunteering for the campaign.

Jodoin says she came to Brown in June to ask the campaign to cover the expenses she had incurred. Brown was, according to the statement, surprised they had not already been covered.

Brown reportedly told Jodoin he was “on it,” but Jodoin claims she was paid by “a corporation…not the Brown campaign.”

This prompted Jodoin to come forward to the Conservative Party with her concerns, and the party says it reached out to Brown’s campaign for a written response but was not satisfied with what they received according to Ian Brodie, Chair of Leadership Election Organizing Committee (LEOC).

Brown’s legal team said that he has “engaged in no misconduct” and the Brampton mayor is seeking a legal challenge to his disqualification.

Meanwhile, Brown has been absent from the last four council meetings in an attempt to block the appointment of an interim city councillor.

The mayor still has time to run again for office in Brampton in October’s municipal election should his challenge fail and he is unable to re-enter the CPC race.

But some of Brown’s political critics on Brampton City Council have called for the mayor to step back from his official duties, accusing Brown of trying to shut down a forensic audit of the now-scrapped Brampton University project.

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