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Joined: 02 Mar 2009
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Location: Ontario

PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2017 8:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

( a candidate in Niagara falls has been disqualified for inapproiate social media posts )

Strange KO'd by PC Party

By Grant LaFleche, The Standard

Thursday, November 23, 2017 6:21:21 EST PM

Mike Strange.

As far Mike Strange is concerned, the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario can keep its 10 dollars.

Strange — a Niagara Falls city councillor who worked on past PC party campaigns, including the campaign of former MPP Bart Maves, and sat on the executive of the Niagara Falls PC riding association — is giving up his party membership.

On Thursday, Strange received an email from party executive director Bob Stanley informing the former Olympian that he will not be permitted to stand for the PC Party nomination in Niagara Falls.

“I regret to inform you that after examination of you [sic] social media activity and other information the Provincial Nominations Committee after due deliberation of all the materials presented has determined that your application to seek the nomination in the above noted riding has been declined,” said Stanley’s email.

“I’m turning in my membership. They can keep their 10 bucks, too,” Strange said Thursday afternoon. “I certainly don’t think it is fair to not let me run. Let me bring in more members to the party. If I lose, then I lose and I will stand behind the winner.

“I guess I didn’t realize party politics is this dirty,” he said.

Party president Rick Dykstra said Strange was given “every opportunity” to explain some material on his Facebook page at a meeting last week attended by Strange, Stanley and Dykstra.

Ultimately, Dykstra said, the party found some of Strange’s social media posts to be problematic. Dykstra declined to specify what content the party found to be disqualifying.

Strange’s disqualification comes after an anonymous package containing “opposition research” was left in an unmarked envelope on his doorstep in October. A copy of the package was also sent to the PC party.

The package claims Strange is unfit to represent the party, contained a CBC story of an impaired driving charge he was acquitted of in 2001 and several photos pulled from his Facebook account, many of which were taken when Strange owned a bar in Niagara Falls.

Some of the photos show him dressed up in costumes for Halloween at his bar and in one photo someone with Strange is holding what appears to be a joint.

One picture, taken on Strange’s cross-Canada BoxRun tour to raise money for cancer research, was taken with former Toronto mayor Rob Ford, one of many mayors Strange met with during the tour.

“A photo with disgraced mayor Rob Ford doesn’t shine in good fashion as a candidate,” the anonymous author of the package wrote under the photo.

The photos with non-Tory politicians — including Niagara Falls Mayor Jim Diodati and Fort Erie Mayor Wayne Redekop — are used to question Strange’s “party loyalty.”

Strange posted the contents of the package on a website in October saying he had nothing to hide and wanted to get in front of the issue. The website, which used the PC Party logo, was taken down after Dykstra told Strange it wasn’t helping.

“It’s a direct attack on the party,” Dykstra wrote to Strange in an October text message about the website. “Take it down. Don’t say the party kicked you out and use the logo. If you guys thought this would help it’s done the opposite.”

The author of the package has never identified themself publicly.

In the October text message exchange, however, Dykstra appears to suggest both he and Strange know who was behind it.

“We both know who is attacking u and ur character and it’s not the PC Party of Ontario,” Dykstra wrote.

Strange says he does not know for sure who sent the package. In an interview Thursday, Dykstra said he has “no direct knowledge” about the identity of the package’s author. He said his text message was intended to convey to Strange that the party was not behind it.

Dykstra said anonymous attacks on candidates or potential candidates are becoming commonplace in party politics, and that putting the package together and dropping it off at Strange’s home was “pretty low.”

“These days people can hide behind anonymous Twitter accounts or anonymous packages,” he said. “If you really believed that someone was not fit to be a candidate or hold office, then put your name behind it instead of hiding.”

Nevertheless, Dykstra said once the party leadership had the package, it was obligated to review its contents and make a decision.

Strange, believing the package to be a smear campaign to prevent him from competing for the riding nomination, said he wanted to run for the PCs because he believes they are a credible alternative to the governing Liberals and the NDP.

He finally decided to run for the nomination after being encouraged to do so by local Tories.

Strange said disqualifying him on the basis of his social media posts, which he does not regard as being offensive, is unfair. The party members should decide the matter for themselves, he said.

“When I met with them last week, they were hinting I should step down (from the nomination),” he said. “I told them I wasn’t quitting. I have nothing against the Niagara Falls riding, this is an issue with the party.”

Strange says he doesn’t know what he will do now. With no means of appeal, he is trying to determine if he will run provincially at all.

“I love city hall, and I think we are doing a good job as a council, and maybe that is where I should stay,” he said. “I could jump to another party or run as an independent. I don’t know.”

The Niagara Falls PC riding nomination meeting is scheduled for Dec 12. So far, Niagara-on-the-Lake resident Chuck McShane, former president of the Niagara Home Builders Association, is the only approved candidate, Dykstra said.

However, people interested in running have until midnight Thursday to submit their applications. Dykstra said any submissions will be vetted before they can stand for the nomination.

The Niagara Falls riding is not the only one causing issues for the Tories.

Several ridings have been hotly contested. In Hamilton, police have launched a fraud investigation into some Tory officials connected to the disputed Hamilton West–Ancaster–Dundas riding nomination in May.

Dykstra said the intensity of the current nomination process is unique by his experience.

“I have learned one thing; there is nothing like a family contest to turn something into a dispute,” he said.


Joined: 02 Mar 2009
Posts: 6707
Reputation: 239.3
votes: 3
Location: Ontario

PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 5:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

( news has just broke that Toronto city councillor Minnan Wong plans to run for the Ontario pc's in Don Valley east , where he'll face incumbent liberal Michael Coteau )

Councillor Minnan-Wong to seek Ontario Tory nomination for 2018 election

Toronto’s Deputy Mayor Denzil Minnan-Wong is seeking the PC nomination in the riding of Don Valley East.

After 24 years as a Toronto councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong said it is time for a change, both for him and at Queen’s Park where the Liberals have governed since 2003.

By Betsy PowellCourt Reporter

Thu., Dec. 7, 2017

Deputy Mayor Denzil Minnan-Wong is the latest city councillor poised to try and make a move to Queen’s Park in next year’s provincial election.

“I’ll be putting my name forward as a candidate in Don Valley East,” the councillor said Thursday during a break from a council meeting.

The boundaries of the provincial Don Valley East riding encompass all of Minnan-Wong’s council Ward 34.

After 24 years as a city councillor, Minnan-Wong said it was time for a change, both for him, at this stage in his career, and at Queen’s Park, where the Liberals have governed since 2003.

“I’m excited for what Patrick Brown and the Ontario PCs are offering. Patrick’s young, energetic, he’s hard working.” Minnan-Wong also endorsed Brown early on in the Tory leadership race.

“When he talked to me then, he told me he wanted to make the party more diverse, and modern and moderate and as a elected official in Toronto, that really did appeal to me. That’s why I supported him and he’s done very well in accomplishing those goals.”

The council veteran said he is impressed with Brown’s platform, The People’s Platform, which his offering tax cuts, money for daycare and dental-care policy for seniors. He also likes the Tories’ promise to take over the capital and maintenance costs of the TTC.

“It’s a compelling platform that I think has a lot of appeal in Toronto,” Minnan-Wong said. “As a father of three young children, all under the age of 6, I understand how hard it is to live in the city of Toronto.”

The 53-year-old politician, one of council’s most notorious penny pinchers, said it’s a difficult decision to leave city hall.

“I think I’ve made a significant contribution, but it’s time for a change. (Premier) Kathleen Wynne is past her best-before date. The rot has set in.”

Minnan-Wong said he has not decided whether he will leave council during the provincial election campaign. Under Ontario law, municipal councillors do not have to resign their seats if they run provincially.

“I have to win the nomination first,” he said. The party has to set a nomination date. “I have informed the riding president that I intend to seek that nomination and I hope the meeting date will be set fairly soon.”

Conservative insider and commentator Amanda Galbraith said Minnan-Wong’s move is a big political pickup for Brown.

“Denzil is the kind of star candidate you want to see step up and run if you’re looking to form government,” she said Thursday.

She called him an interesting blend of conservatism.

“As public works chair he brought in the first separated bike lanes in the city of Toronto and at the same time he's one of the most vocal advocates for keeping taxes low and limiting the size of government.

Minnan-Wong follows a growing number of councillors looking to make a leap onto the provincial scene.

Councillor Chin Lee (Scarborough Rouge-River, Ward 41) who has been nominated for the Liberals in the redrawn riding of Scarborough North, and Councillor Shelley Carroll (Ward 33, Don Valley East). She is running for the Grits in the new riding of Don Valley North in the June 7, 2018 election.

Last year, former Scarborough councillor Raymond Cho became the Scarborough Rouge-River Tory MPP after winning a byelection.

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Ontario pc's holding some early nomination meetings

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