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Eve Adams riding fight: MP warned to behave, but Tories will let her run

04/10/2014 06:40 EDT | Updated 06/10/2014 05:59 EDT
The president of the Conservative Party is warning embattled MP Eve Adams to behave, but the party will allow her to run in the new southern Ontario riding she covets, according to correspondence obtained by CBC News.

Party president John Walsh is also demanding Adams account for non-monetary contributions to her nomination campaign, but the party will let her seek the nomination in Oakville North-Burlington.

In a letter sent to CBC News, Walsh tells Adams that she may already have gone over the spending limit for her nomination campaign — in a riding where the date for the nomination meeting hasn't yet been set.

The party has been looking into complaints about Adams's behaviour during her campaign to win the party's nomination in the riding, where some of the riding's board members complained that she improperly used private information from the party's database to help her win the nomination battle.

Adams's fiancé, Dimitri Soudas, was removed from his top job in the Conservative Party after a dramatic confrontation with senior party officials late last month over using his position to advance Adams's bid for the nomination in the new riding.

Riding association president Mark ​Fedak also alleged Adams was verbally abusive at a March 19 riding meeting. Fedak sent a letter detailing the allegations to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and copied it to all Ontario Conservative MPs. Fedak supports local chiropractor Natalia Lishchyna for the nomination.

Adams's current riding of Mississauga-Brampton South is being split among several ridings under new boundaries set for the 2015 federal election.

Lishchyna has said Adams shouldn't be allowed to run in Oakville North-Burlington.

'Refrain from asserting' authority

"National Council has grave concerns in respect to the manner by which you have conducted your nomination campaign," Walsh wrote in the letter, adding that the party's national council will monitor the campaign in Oakville North-Burlington.

"Without waiving any previous conduct which National Council assesses as inappropriate, be advised that any improprieties will result in a NCSC review, and, if warranted, disqualification," Walsh wrote, referring to the National Council Secretariat Committee.

Walsh says in the letter that the party's national council wants to see "a full accounting" of all non-monetary contributions by April 18 at 5 p.m., "including the work of professional persons who have not charged the nomination campaign."

That may be a reference to Soudas, who until 10 days ago was the party's executive director. Soudas helped Adams with her nomination race against Lishchyna.

The nomination campaign spending limit for the riding is $17,721.66.

Adams is also warned to treat Conservative Party members and activists "with the respect and appreciation that they deserve."

"Without their selfless efforts at the EDA [riding] level we would not be in government and you would not have a position in the government," Walsh wrote, adding that Adams is to "refrain from asserting any authority or position other than your position as a fellow member under our Party’s Constitution."

'No interference'

Fedak had also complained that Adams interfered in the riding association's ability to buy maps with detailed poll information to prepare for the 2015 election campaign. Adams told the consultant who provides the maps not to deal with the riding association.

He had also complained, along with a number of other party members, that Soudas fired Ontario organizer Wally Butts. Butts had complained to the party about Soudas's interference in the riding nomination battle.

In a letter sent to Fedak, Walsh said his concerns about Butts's firing are being addressed, but that further comment wouldn't be appropriate.

Walsh also said the party is still reviewing complaints about Adams's use of CIMS, the party's database, but he dismissed the complaint about the riding association's inability to buy maps from one provider.

"The election readiness plans to which you refer are prepared by and purchased from private businesses not affiliated with the CPC [Conservative Party of Canada]. The CPC has made inquiries, and is satisfied that there has been no interference by any current or former CPC employee which blocked any sale to your EDA," Walsh wrote.

The party's president repeated to Fedak that they saw no cause to disqualify Adams from the riding nomination race, but pledged to continue monitoring it.

"The investigation has revealed numerous concerns regarding the conduct of Ms. Adams prior, during and after your Board meeting of March 19.... Ms. Adams has been advised that improprieties in the campaign will result in a NCSC review, and if warranted, disqualification." 

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