• Statement of Jeremy Roberts on the denial of the Ottawa West - Nepean nomination appeal

    Saturday, June 3rd, 2017 - 12:26pm

    I am disappointed and disheartened by the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party’s decision today to not order a revote in the nomination contest of Ottawa West-Nepean.
     
    The results of our May 6th vote, which ended with me having 15 fewer votes than my competitor, contained highly suspect irregularities. There were clear indications of fraud undertaken:
     
    • More votes were counted than voters registered.
    • Clear evidence of ballot box stuffing with 17 ballots being disallowed after they were discovered to have been inserted in the box in folded clumps, rather than individually. All of these ballots were for my opponent and somehow signed by party officials.
    • The Membership list contained many suspect memberships, including dozens listed at the same address in an apartment building, all with 416 and other Toronto area phone numbers as contact.
    • The credentials desk, which allowed 127 registrations for my opponent vs. 15 for me, was staffed by a close friend of my opponent’s daughter. At the regular voting boxes, I defeated my opponent by 97 votes.
    • Following the vote, public accounts state that the local riding association mailed an update to their membership about this appeal process and received back over 200 undeliverable pieces of mail.
     
    My campaign attracted many young people with high energy who got involved in politics and the PC Party for the first time to support me. Seeing us lose through fraud and manipulation was a crushing experience for them. I fear that many of them will be turned off politics in general and, particularly troubling for me, the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario specifically.
     
    I am a Progressive Conservative. I firmly believe that the best path for our province to take in 2018 is to elect a Patrick Brown PC government.
     
    Despite this experience, I still believe that.
     
    But the events that transpired here send a very dangerous and potentially damaging message about our cause. If a party appears willing to undermine a democratic process to get the result it wants, and will not reverse that decision in the face of overwhelming evidence that the process was wrong and did not represent the will of the people in that riding, it raises legitimate questions about its worthiness to form government and the actions it will take once it does.
     
    This is the end of the road for my Nomination campaign this time. I tried fighting City Hall, and the old adage proved correct.
     
    But the work to protect and strengthen our democracy never ends. It is too important a battle to abandon.
     
    On a personal note, I got involved in politics in order to make difference for individuals with autism and their families. I have a younger brother who has autism and I have been his advocate since the day he was born. I will never give up this fight.
     
    I want to say a final thank you to all my supporters and my amazing campaign team. Your counsel and encouragement these past few weeks has been overwhelming and humbling.
     
    I’ll see you all next time!
     
    Jeremy Roberts