Conservative Party executive director resigns over nomination spat

The Conservative party’s top operative and campaign organizer Dimitri Soudas resigned Sunday amid a controversy over his fiancee’s nomination bid in a suburban Toronto riding.

The Conservative party’s top operative and campaign organizer Dimitri Soudas resigned Sunday amid a controversy over his fiancee’s nomination bid in a suburban Toronto riding.

Riding association presidents received a sudden email from party president John Walsh late Sunday evening informing them of the departure.

“Earlier this evening I was notified of the resignation of Dimitri Soudas as executive director, effective immediately,” Walsh wrote, in a email obtained by The Canadian Press.

The party’s top governing body, called the national council, was scheduled to discuss the matter. Soudas did not respond to a request for comment.

Soudas is close to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and had left a senior post at the Canadian Olympic Committee in December to help with the party’s 2015 election preparations.

But trouble began to brew within the party’s grassroots over his fiancee MP Eve Adams’ intention to run in the Ontario riding of Oakville-North Burlington.

Soudas had recused himself from any participation in the nomination there because of his relationship, but that did not seem to quell concerns that the playing field would not be level in the riding.

For the first time since they formed government, the Conservatives are holding open nominations and not protecting incumbents. Party brass are trying hard to dispel the notion that they will help give the parliamentarians an advantage anyway.

Some members said they perceived Soudas was interfering in the nomination race there, which pits Adams against local chiropractor Natalia Lishchyna.

Adams is choosing to run in that riding, rather than the non-adjacent riding she currently represents in Mississauga.

Matters became tense after an unpleasant exchange between Adams and some members of the Conservative riding association at a meeting on Mar. 19. Soudas had been waiting for Adams in a hallway nearby.

A longtime party organizer who wrote about his dismay with the meeting to party brass was dismissed soon after, prompting outrage among other rank-and-file Tories in the southern Ontario area.

Two party sources told The Canadian Press this week that Wally Butts’ departure was not related to the letter.

Soudas’ interim replacement in Simon Thompson, the party’s top technology man and former executive at Mitel.

Adams is also facing accusations that she misused public funds when she sent mail into the riding she wants to represent using House of Commons resources. She has said she did not break any rules.

Earlier in the week, the party’s national council sent a rebuke to MP Rob Anders for what they called “inappropriate” and “misleading” phone calls made in the context of a heated nomination battle in a Calgary riding.

Just Posted

RCMP seek suspect in Rimbey armed robbery

Rimbey Liquor Store was robbed at gunpoint about 8:30 p.m. on Saturday

Rimbey RCMP searching for suspects in break and enter spree

Rimbey RCMP are looking for a pair of culprits behind five break… Continue reading

Stolen vehicle and gun seized in Blackfalds

Blackfalds man to appear in court

Blood moon over Red Deer

Moon captures attention

China grants Ivanka Trump 5 trademarks amid trade talks

SHANGHAI — The Chinese government has granted Ivanka Trump’s company preliminary approval… Continue reading

2-for-1: Total lunar eclipse comes with supermoon bonus

On Sunday night, the moon, Earth and sun lined up to create the eclipse, which was visible throughout North and South America

Faith in immigration must be preserved

Canada has a deserved reputation for extending its arms to newcomers, but… Continue reading

Olympian Adam van Koeverden wins federal Liberal nomination in Ontario riding

MILTON, Ont. — Former Olympic flag-bearer Adam van Koeverden will be carrying… Continue reading

World champion Osmond says it’s “really nice” not to know what future holds

SAINT JOHN, N.B. — Kaetlyn Osmond has a world title, Olympic medals… Continue reading

World economy forecast to slow in 2019 amid trade tensions

For Canada, the IMF’s estimate for growth in 2019 was 1.9 per cent, down from expected global growth of 3.5 per cent

Timberlake pops in on patients at Texas children’s hospital

DALLAS — Justin Timberlake has pulled some sunshine from his pocket for… Continue reading

UK police speak to Prince Philip about not wearing seatbelt

LONDON — British police have spoken with Prince Philip after the husband… Continue reading

‘Gotti’ leads Razzie nominations, Trump up for worst actor

The nominations were announced on Monday, Jan. 21 with some movies earning up to six nominations

Curtain rising Sunday night on total lunar eclipse

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — The celestial curtain will be rising soon on… Continue reading

Most Read