Pierre Poilievre’s campaign is calling on the Commissioner of Elections Canada to investigate his Conservative leadership race opponent Patrick Brown over alleged elections law violations.
According to a letter obtained by the Toronto Star, the Poilievre camp is going after Brown over a report by Rebel News that claimed that the mayor of Brampton was employing city staff to work on his campaign.
The Poilievre camp alleges that having municipal staff work on a campaign amounts to a campaign donation from a municipal corporation.
“In light of the apparent violation of the Canada Elections Act, I respectfully request that Elections Canada investigate, and take such enforcement steps as may be warranted,” wrote Alberta MP Chris Warkentin who was a signatory of the letter.
The Jun. 9 report alleged that senior staffers in Brown’s office were working with Brown in Vaughan, Ont. and some were flying with him on the campaign trail.
Six Brampton staffers were named including Babu Nagalingam, Margaret Beveridge, Kuldip Gollee, Sri Vallipuranathar, Iqbal Singh and Yeshwa Younas.
Three of them responded to requests by Rebel News and said that they were working on his campaign on a voluntary basis.
Brown himself has denied the allegations.
“There are no Brampton city staff being paid by Brampton on Patrick Brown’s campaign,” said his spokesperson Chisholm Pothier.
“There are many staff who believe in Patrick Brown’s vision for the party and Canada that are helping out on their own or taking a leave from their city job.”
The Commissioner of Elections Canada told the Toronto Star that it could not confirm whether there is an ongoing investigation or if they’ve received a complaint.
“In keeping with the confidentiality provisions of the Canada Elections Act, the Commissioner of Canada Elections generally does not confirm whether it has received a complaint or has initiated an investigation into a particular issue,” spokesperson Véronique Aupry said.
Poilievre has also went after the Brampton Mayor over allegations that Brown’s team was offering to refund membership fees to new members who he signed up.
“The surreptitious reimbursement of membership fees by supporters allows campaigns to receive donations in excess of individual donor limits, outside the party’s directed donation scheme, and results in a campaign incurring unreported expenditures,” wrote MP Tim Uppal in a letter.
The party’s leadership organizing committee is currently investigating the complaint.