Question: Who controls the Conservative Party of Canada?
Answer: He who controls the bank account controls the Party.
Erin O’Toole does not control the Party’s bank account.
James Dodds, the man who does, refuses to honour Erin O’Toole’s leadership campaign promise to Party members.
During the Conservative Party’s leadership contest, Erin O’Toole’s promise was clear in his leadership platform document, Our Country, page 46:
It was a mistake for the party to move away from this practice and an even bigger mistake to keep a constitutional amendment banning it from reaching the floor at the 2018 convention.
Erin has called on the party to switch back immediately and return any money clawed back from 2019 election rebates. If they don’t, he will when he becomes leader.
On October 1, 2020, James Dodds – the Chair of Conservative Fund Canada – wrote the presidents of all 338 Conservative Electoral District Associations (EDAs).
Dodds told them he would not keep Erin O’Toole’s promise to return approximately $10 million clawed back from those EDAs after the 2019 federal election.
This leads me to one inescapable conclusion.
Either Erin O’Toole was lying to Party members during the Leadership Campaign (which I don’t believe) or Erin O’Toole is not in charge of the Conservative Party today despite winning the Party’s leadership contest on August 23rd (which I’m beginning to believe).
Mr. O’Toole, in light of James Dodds’ refusal to honour your promise to Conservative Party members I simply must ask…
Will the real leader of the Conservative Party please stand up?
On September 30th I asked the question “Erin O’Toole: When Will You Keep Your Promise to End the Election Expenses Clawback?”
The benefit of keeping this promise was both clear and obvious. It was a great way, I thought, for Erin O’Toole to solidify his support across the Party.
Any EDA that didn’t support O’Toole’s leadership bid will probably change their tune the moment a cheque for $30,000 landed in their mailbox.
It now appears Erin O’Toole is NOT the leader of the Conservative Party – despite the recent vote by Party members.
The Hill Times reports James Dodds, the newly appointed chair of the Conservative Fund – a man NOT elected by Party members – is really in control of the Conservative Party of Canada.
James Dodds wrote:
“With all signals out of Ottawa pointing to an election this fall or spring, I am here to report to you that we would be in a disastrous position trying to retroactively correct this program. I will not and cannot put our party or our leader in that financial position.”
Two questions immediately spring to mind.
- Who put the Conservative Party in this “disastrous position” in the first place?
- Who put James Dodds in charge of the Conservative Party of Canada?
Who put the Conservative Party in this “disastrous position” in the first place?
The answer to this question is explained in great detail in my commentary about the Election Expenses Clawback – specifically in the section “Stephen Harper Ends the Gravy Train.”
Who put James Dodds in charge of Conservative Fund Canada?
James Dodds is Erin O’Toole’s long-time friend and campaign fundraiser for both his leadership campaigns.
Erin O’Toole appointed James Dodds as Chair of the Conservative Fund.
James Dodds’ explicit refusal to keep Erin’s campaign promise is difficult to swallow, especially in light of the statements made to justify this refusal by various Conservative Party officials.
‘We’re just doing what everyone else already does,’ they claim.
Party officials are far more concerned with tax rebates and behaving like lemmings than defending Erin O’Toole’s integrity.
It’s also a very big problem for both Erin O’Toole and every Canadian who holds a Conservative Party membership.