Why did Doug Ford appoint Christine Elliott’s Constituency Manager and Executive Assistant as the official PC candidate in the upcoming Provincial election? 

I think we should be told.

With the stroke of a pen, PC Party members in Newmarket-Aurora are cut out of any say in the candidate selection process. Ford has, of course, done this before.

But why this time?

Trading favours

Was Ford returning a favour to Christine Elliott? The election is three months away – plenty of time to organise and expedite a selection process for a key riding.

Elliott has loyally supported Ford, probably at times against her better judgement. Did she want something back in return?

Undoubtedly she owes a debt of gratitude to her assistant who kept the show on the road locally while she was up to her elbows in Covid-19 and reorganising Ontario’s health service. 

The decision to quit was, by all accounts, sprung on the local Party leadership at the eleventh hour. They had assumed, mistakenly, that Elliott was going for another term. 

Three Strikes and you are out

Elliott had run unsuccessfully for the PC leadership on three occasions and probably couldn’t countenance a situation arising which would give her a fourth go. 

Former PC Leader Patrick Brown says in his acidic, self-important autobiography “Take Down” that Elliott could have become Party leader if only she – and her campaign – hadn’t shunned him:

“…Elliott’s campaign made a fatal mistake. They felt that I was tainted goods, and they didn’t want me out there stumping for her. I had to be hidden…

What could I have done for Elliott, had they let me? I could have won her Scarborough, Brampton and Mississagua. I had tons of support and communities that loved me. I could have convinced them to vote for her had her team allowed me out of the stable. After all, I had signed up many of these people as members, and they trusted me. But I had been vanquished and with that, so, too, were Elliott’s chances. In the end it was not a question of votes; it was a question of distribution.”

I suppose the same is perversely true here in Newmarket-Aurora.

It is not a question of votes. Party members have been left out of the equation. 

It is a question of distribution. 

And Doug Ford had the only vote that counted.

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Update on 8 March 2022: From Newmarket Today: Conservative Riding President resigns over Candidate selection