Patrick Brown’s leadership campaign is the latest to worry about what it calls “misleading” emails sent to party members by his chief rival.
Brown’s national campaign co-chair John Reynolds sent a letter Thursday to the party’s leadership election organizing committee asking it to investigate emails sent by Pierre Poilievre’s campaign before the month’s deadline. last to sell $15 memberships to supporters.
To vote for the next leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, the party had said supporters had to register as members by June 3.
Poilievre’s campaign said it alone sold nearly 312,000 memberships, including some 119,000 in Ontario.
But Reynolds’ letter alleges Brown’s campaign received a ‘number of complaints’ from members who said they bought new memberships after receiving what appeared to be an ‘official-looking warning’ from Poilievre’s team. that their membership status was incomplete.
The email says it’s from Poilievre’s campaign.
A spokesperson for Poilievre’s team said the email in question went to people who were not members “according to our own records.”
“We would have no advantage in enrolling someone who is already a member,” Anthony Koch wrote. “They would still only be allowed to vote once.”
Poilievre also asked for party publication numbers for the number of members his team has signed up, which he has so far refused to do.
Campaigns expect to receive the national voters list around July 4, about a month after the deadline for supporters to purchase memberships.
In the meantime, the Conservatives are preparing to have a possible voting base of over 600,000, which is a record for the party.
The campaign of fellow MP Leslyn Lewis, who finished third in the 2020 leadership race, has also raised concerns there may be ‘tens of thousands’ of duplicate memberships and believes email of Poilievre is a contributing factor.
Another factor is the party’s processing times for membership sales, said Mike Coates, chairman of the leadership campaign for former Quebec premier Jean Charest.
In his own letter to the head of the party leadership election organizing committee, Coates said some who bought a membership bought a duplicate because they did not receive timely confirmation.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published on June 23, 2022