POLITICS
03/30/2014 08:45 EDT | Updated 05/30/2014 05:59 EDT

Dimitri Soudas Fired As Conservative Party Executive Director

CP
Dimitri Soudas has been forced out as the Conservative Party of Canada's executive director after trying to interfere with his fiancée's Conservative nomination battle.

Soudas, who was Prime Minister Stephen Harper's director of communications in 2011, has been the party's executive director since December. He worked for Harper for nine years, starting when Harper was the leader of the official opposition. Soudas left after the party won a majority government in May, 2011, and took a job with the Canadian Olympic Committee. He left that job just days before the party announced they'd hired him in the top staff job.

Sources tell CBC News the party's national council was to be briefed on the move during a conference call at 9 p.m. ET.

Soudas's fiancée, Eve Adams, is fighting local chiropractor Natalia Lishchyna for the Conservative nomination in Oakville-North Burlington, a newly created riding that technically won't exist until the next election. Adams is the MP for Mississauga-Brampton South, a riding that's being split in 2015.

The Canadian Press has reported that tempers flared when Adams showed up at a riding board meeting March 19, and was asked to leave after an unpleasant exchange. Two separate Conservative sources said one board member threatened to call the police when she stayed on.

Soudas couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

The combative Soudas was Harper's choice to run the party in the lead-up to the 2015 federal election. Soudas was appointed over the protests of cabinet ministers and national council members who pushed for other candidates. 

Harper short-circuited those candidacies by having council members to his living room at 24 Sussex Dr. for a show-of-hands vote on Soudas.

Caucus anger

Soudas made hundreds of calls trying to drum up support Sunday as it became clear what was happening, sources told CBC News, but he had already angered many in the party — including some Conservative MPs ​— by getting involved in Adams' race in Burlington.

The conference call wasn't announced until late Sunday evening and members of the council weren't told what the call would be about, sources said.

On the night of the Oakville-North Burlington riding association board meeting earlier this month, Soudas was waiting for Adams in an adjacent hallway to pick her up. Adams has been recovering from a concussion from a fall last month in Ottawa.

Longtime party organizer Wally Butts expressed frustration with the situation in Oakville-North Burlington, pointing out in an email to party officials that "Dimitri is my ultimate boss."

Butts, who was close to the Conservatives' late national campaign director Doug Finley and his wife, cabinet minister Diane Finley, was let go shortly thereafter.

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