National Newswatch

Ontario PC candidate suggested government job available if nomination rival dropped out: secret recording

May 18 2018 — Tom Blackwell — A Progressive Conservative candidate in the Ontario election asked a fellow Tory not to challenge him for their riding’s nomination, at one point suggesting the other candidate could receive a well-paying job in a likely Conservative government if he dropped out of the race. The comments can be heard on a secretly made recording of […]

Ford’s PCs are fixated on Hydro One executive pay, but experts say it has nothing to do with Ontario’s electricity mess

May 16 2018 — Tom Blackwell — Ontario’s Progressive Conservative leader stood in the rain Tuesday and protested at the doorstep of an unlikely Tory villain — a big corporate headquarters. Surrounded by sign-wielding supporters, Doug Ford condemned Hydro One and the steep salaries paid to bosses and board members of the recently privatized electrical utility. It was just his latest take […]

Fiery clashes, but no clear winner as Ontario party leaders meet for first televised election debate

May 7 2018 — Tom Blackwell — At times during the Ontario election’s first televised debate Monday, it was hard to hear what any of the leaders were saying: all three talked, or shouted, at the same time. The inaugural face-off between the Liberal, Progressive Conservative and NDP chiefs started haltingly, but quickly escalated into a full-throated donnybrook among the contenders to […]

Kathleen Wynne says support from colleagues kept her from resigning over low approval ratings

Apr 12 2018 — Tom Blackwell — Battered by some of the lowest approval ratings in the country, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne said Thursday she considered quitting before this June’s election, but was encouraged to soldier on by the backing of her colleagues. In an interview with the National Post, Wynne also suggested that her own personal unpopularity can sometimes sting, saying […]

How a convicted fraudster ended up at the centre of Ontario Conservatives’ nomination controversies

Apr 4 2018 — Tom Blackwell — Snover Dhillon hired himself out to would-be Conservative candidates to sign up members who could vote for them, but the elections often ended in chaos. Over the last seven years, the Ontario legal system has kept Snover Dhillon busy. The Toronto-area businessman was convicted of fraud in two different jurisdictions during a single month of […]

Doug Ford anointed – literally – by controversial evangelical pastor as part of effort to win social conservatives

Mar 7 2018 — Tom Blackwell — Pastor Paul Melnichuk of Toronto’s Prayer Palace, who was found not guilty last year of sexually assaulting members of his congregation, conducted the ceremony. On the sprawling stage of Toronto’s Prayer Palace mega-church, Doug Ford stood solemnly as Pastor Paul Melnichuk blessed him and his bid to be Ontario Progressive Conservative leader. “I’m sensing a […]

Elliott camp accuses Doug Ford of ‘erratic’ and desperate behaviour as PC leadership nears end

Mar 5 2018 — Tom Blackwell — They often talk about how they have been friends — and political allies — for years. But the bonds between Christine Elliott and Doug Ford seemed to be fraying rapidly Monday as the rivals for Ontario’s Progressive Conservative leadership make their final push in the abbreviated race. Elliott’s campaign co-chair accused Ford of “erratic” and […]

Patrick Brown intends to drop out of Ontario PC leadership race, campaign sources say

Feb 26 2018 — Tom Blackwell — Claiming he’s faced death threats, that his family members have been harassed and that his mother has been hospitalized because of stress, Patrick Brown intends to pull out of the Ontario Progressive Conservative leadership race, two senior members of his campaign team said Monday. The Ontario Conservative’s political maneuvers in the last few weeks have […]

Former MP says botched online voting system could spell disaster for Ontario PC leadership election

Feb 24 2018 — Tom Blackwell — As if the Ontario Conservatives needed another controversy, a former Tory cabinet minister says major glitches with the online voting system for the party’s leadership race could spell disaster, leaving thousands unable to cast a ballot. Frank Klees, a longtime member of provincial parliament who is backing businessman Doug Ford for leader, said Friday that […]

Party source says Patrick Brown must undergo Ontario Tories vetting only because he was stripped of his riding nomination

Feb 20 2018 — Tom Blackwell — Patrick Brown and other contenders may have declared their candidacy for the Ontario Conservatives’ leadership, but most won’t find out until Wednesday whether they’ve actually passed the party’s candidate vetting process and be allowed to run — another unique feature of an already unusual contest. Brown, however, could have avoided the whole nerve-wracking process if […]