Conservatives delay nomination vote as Eve Adams, rival trade allegations
Natalia Lishchyna (right) is battling Eve Adams for the Conservative nomination in a new Toronto-area riding.
Published Thursday, May 22, 2014 8:39PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, May 22, 2014 10:06PM EDT
The Conservative Party of Canada has postponed a nomination vote in a Toronto-area riding while it investigates complaints involving MP Eve Adams and her challenger in what has become an increasingly acrimonious contest.
The party’s director of communications, Cory Hann, said in a statement Thursday night that the Oakville-North Burlington nomination meeting scheduled for Saturday must be postponed “in order to fully review complaints received.
“The Conservative Party believes in upholding the integrity of our nomination process, and apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause,” he said.
The announcement comes after Adams’s challenger, chiropractor Natalia Lishchyna, accused the MP of “fraudulent campaign activity.”
Lishchyna alleged this week that Adams’s campaign signed up five members of the same household who did not pay for Conservative Party memberships. Lishchyna alleged that Adams’s campaign paid for those memberships, violating party and Elections Canada rules.
“Regardless of the payment issue these five individuals are supporters of the Liberal Party and were told they only needed to be Conservatives in order to vote for Eve Adams and could quit after the nomination race,” Lishchyna’s campaign said in a news release.
Lishchyna's campaign later said it has come across 38 examples of alleged fraud by Adams’s campaign.
Members of Adams' team, meanwhile, have complained that a firm doing survey calls in the riding did not identify itself as working for Lishchyna, and allege that constitutes a violation of telecommunications rules around political calls.
Before the nomination vote was postponed, Lishchyna told CTV’s Power Play Thursday that her campaign forwarded its complaints to the Conservative Party to “make sure that things are done by the rules.”
Adams and her fiancé Dimitri Soudas, the ousted Conservative Party director, both declined to appear on Power Play.
In an email to CTVNews.ca Thursday night, Soudas said Lishchyna’s “desperate campaign” is trying to make “untrue and unfounded allegations.”
Soudas said his fiancee’s team has filed complaints with the CRTC and Elections Canada “for harassing phone calls to party members from a telemarketing firm that refused to disclose its client and asked a series of political questions and badgered people on their knowledge of the principles of the Conservative Party.”
Soudas said the Adams campaign has recordings of such calls and has received dozens of complaints about them.
As for those five family members who did not pay for their Conservative Party memberships, Soudas said they initially agreed to sign up but had no cash on hand.
“When we returned to pick up the money they had reconsidered their membership despite agreeing and signing the form. We therefore immediately requested from the Party to cancel their membership,” he said.
Adams currently represents the riding of Mississauga-Brampton South, but decided to run in Oakville-North Burlington because she and Soudas moved there.
Soudas was ousted as party director in March, amid controversy surrounding his involvement in Adams’s nomination campaign.
With files from The Canadian Press
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