Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre has appointed former MP Tony Clement to the board of directors of the Conservative Fund, the federal party’s top fundraising body, sources say.
After a landslide victory in the leadership election over the weekend in which he received nearly 70% of membership support, Poilievre is transitioning to the office of Leader of the Opposition and began to install his picks in key positions.
Clement is one of them, according to multiple sources familiar with the move who confirmed the details of his appointment to The Canadian Press.
Clement, a cabinet minister under former Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper, had recently raised money for Poilievre during his successful campaign.
In 2018, then-party leader Andrew Scheer asked Clement to leave caucus after he was made aware of allegations of sexual impropriety against the former MP, who represented a rural riding in the United States. Ontario for the Conservatives since 2006.
These allegations came shortly after Clement’s own admission that he had sent sexually explicit images and a video to someone he thought was a consenting woman – an interaction that turned out to be an attempt to extortion.
Scheer initially said he took Clement at his word that he showed a “terrible lack of judgment” in the sexting incident. But soon after, the former leader said he learned there were “numerous reports of activity of a serious nature” against the longtime MP.
On Thursday, Clement referred questions about his Conservative Fund Canada nomination to a party spokesperson, who did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Clement sat as an independent after leaving the Conservative caucus and decided to quit federal politics ahead of the 2019 federal election, when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberals were re-elected for a second term.
This election saw him replaced by Scott Aitchison, who finished last against Poilievre in the recent leadership race.
Since his victory, Poilievre has made other changes to the Conservative Fund board that have yet to be publicly announced.
Sources have confirmed that Toronto lawyer Robert Staley has been chosen to chair the fund, succeeding James Dodds, who was chosen by former executive Erin O’Toole.
People inside the party say that board appointees are given some power, since they set the party’s budget. Positions also carry prestige.
Harper himself sat as one of its members after the Conservatives lost in the 2015 election.
This report from The Canadian Press was first published on September 15, 2022.