Conservatives consider Patrick Brown’s appeal request


The Conservative Party of Canada has brought in outside counsel to help determine whether one of its committees has jurisdiction to hear Patrick Brown challenge his disqualification.

The news comes as Jean Charest’s leadership campaign confirms it was approached by the same organizer whose allegation against Brown led to her ousting – but says that after learning it would go public, she reached a “mutual agreement” to part ways.

The Conservatives’ decision to remove Brown from the race over an allegation he violated federal funding laws has left party leaders bracing for what could be a lengthy trial.

Brown maintained that his campaign did nothing wrong. To lead his fight, he hired Marie Henein, a renowned lawyer who successfully defended former broadcaster Jian Ghomeshi and retired Vice Admiral Mark Norman.

Last week, Henein wrote to senior party brass asking that his Dispute Resolution Appeals Committee be convened and that an appeal date be set, asking to be heard no later than Saturday.

Conservative spokesman Yaroslav Baran confirmed that the party responded on Friday evening.

“The Conservative Party of Canada has considered whether the Disputes (Appeals) Committee has jurisdiction to consider the appeal submitted by Mr. Brown’s legal counsel,” he wrote.

“An independent lawyer has therefore been retained to advise on this important matter, which will guide the party’s response to Mr. Brown’s counsel.”

The outside attorney should recommend to the appeals committee whether it can hear Brown’s appeal, based on party rules.

Brown’s campaign is also considering what other avenues may exist to fight the party’s decision, which has seized its top officials since it was made.

Ian Brodie, chairman of the leadership election organizing committee that voted to impeach Brown, emailed party members last week saying Brown was aware of the allegations he was facing and that the party had to act because he couldn’t afford to have a candidate under investigation for violating the federal government. laws.

Details of the allegation became public when Debbie Jodoin, a longtime Conservative organizer, released a statement through her lawyer last Thursday saying she had been paid by a company for her work on the campaign. of Brown and that he had helped to conclude the arrangement.

The same day Jodoin went public, she informed Charest’s campaign that she would because they were in talks for her to join the team, a campaign spokeswoman said.

Michelle Coates Mather said Jodoin approached the campaign on June 27 and they were in talks to finalize a contract for her to help them get the vote.

“She came to us on July 7 to confirm that she was the whistleblower and would be making a public statement,” Coates Mather said.

“As a result of this discussion, she and our campaign reached a mutual agreement not to pursue the contract.”

Aside from the federal Conservative leadership race, Brown has yet to disclose his plans for a municipal election.

Brown entered the race without resigning as mayor of Brampton, a city about 45 minutes from Toronto, and had previously said he would consider running again in the October municipal election if he felt he could not. not be able to win the federal race.

He has until August 19 to register as a candidate for mayor, and a spokesperson said over the weekend that he would not make a decision on his second candidacy until he had the time to talk with friends and family.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on July 11, 2022.