POLITICS
04/03/2014 06:21 EDT | Updated 04/03/2014 07:59 EDT

Who Is Eve Adams? What You Don't Know About The Controversial Tory

CP

Eve Adams is no stranger to controversy.

The Conservative MP for Mississauga—Brampton South has made headlines recently over accusations she used her position in Parliament to try to secure the nomination in the new riding of Oakville North—Burlington, where she now lives with fiance Dimitri Soudas.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has asked the Conservative Party's governing board to investigate those allegations.

Adams has also been accused of using her car to block access to a refuelling area at an Ottawa Esso station after she became upset about a $6 car wash last December.

John Newcombe, the gas station's owner and a Conservative supporter, complained to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) about the incident.

Adams apologized in January, but Newcombe was not satisfied with her response.

Neither incident marked the first time that Adams has found herself in hot water.

She served as the councillor for Mississauga's Ward 5 from 2003 until her election to the House of Commons in 2011. Her now ex-husband, Peter Adams, managed her federal campaign and unsuccessfully ran to replace her on city council.

Adams developed a reputation as one of the less combative council members, but often stood up to long-serving Mayor Hazel McCallion amid a judicial inquiry that looked into claims of undue influence, The Toronto Star reported.

Former Liberal MP Carolyn Parrish, who served with Adams on city council, described her as a "mother tiger," the kind of politician who would fight for her riding.

In 2006, two city employees, executive assistant Danielle Edwards and administrative assistant Diane Ferris, complained to city manager Janice Baker that Adams had ordered them to work on her re-election campaign, according to a Star story at the time.

(The story is no longer available online, but is accessible through the Star's archives.)

An internal investigation found Adams had violated the city's conflict of interest policy by making the staffers campaign for her. The city found policy breaches such as "widespread use of resources, including employee staff time and computer systems," which gave her an unfair advantage over fellow candidates.

McCallion also said Adams put up election signs before she was allowed, according to city bylaws, and placed them on properties without obtaining homeowners' permission.

But Adams faced no sanctions from the city because her actions did not violate any legislation.

Edwards claimed she heard Adams tell a relative to threaten people with bylaw infractions such as an extra-wide driveway or an illegal basement apartment if they were hesitant about putting up her campaign signs, The Star reported.

Edwards added that she was expected to canvass during work time and in the evenings, and Adams told her to use a false name so that voters wouldn't know she was a city employee.

Edwards went on to say that when she expressed concern about working on the campaign, Adams told her, "Let me clarify something for you. I hired you and I'm the one who can fire you."

Adams was voted back to council in 2006 with 45.77 per cent of the vote.

Story continues after slideshow

In Photos: Eve Adams

Adams also faced some controversy when she stood for the Conservatives in the 2011 federal election. Though running federally, she did not resign her council seat, a move that irked McCallion, The National Post reported.

"As soon as the writ is dropped for an election, (provincial members running federally) must tender their resignation ... I think that should be the same for the local council," McCallion told the newspaper.

"They can run for the nomination, but as soon as the election date comes, they should resign."

Adams defeated Liberal incumbent Navdeep Bains, capturing 44.7 per cent of the vote to his 35.2 per cent.

Controversy reared its head for the MP in 2013, when her 2011 election campaign tried to claim $2,777 in personal expenses including dry-cleaning, salon visits, numerous restaurant charges, and even a cupcake.

Responding to criticism in question period, Adams explained that child care made up $1,857 of the personal expenses, and that some of the costs covered hand soap, mouthwash and toothpaste for volunteers who were working 16 hours per day.

Last June, Adams received a $155 ticket from an RCMP officer after she drove through an entrance to Parliament Hill, The Hill Times reported.

A source told the newspaper Adams was talking on her cellphone at the time and, when confronted by an officer, pointed to her Commons pin, said she was an MP, and picked up her phone again.

Adams maintained at the time that her citation was for failing to come to a complete stop, not for driving while talking on the phone.

But the incident occurred as Tories were making a great fuss in question period about NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair driving through a security stop on the Hill just days earlier.

Now, Adams finds herself mired in a whole new controversy, and few seem willing to stand up and defend her.

"I don't care who the colleague is in our caucus; if somebody abuses the rules then they should suffer the consequences. But until we know that for sure, we should just leave it at that," Conservative MP Larry Miller told The Canadian Press.

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