WATCH: The Conservative Party is facing heat in a province where its political fortunes are decidedly cool. Party brass have blocked the nomination of a star candidate in Newfoundland and Labrador — Chess Crosbie, son of John Crosbie. Vassy Kapelos reports.
Lawyer Ches Crosbie, son of the former Progressive Conservative cabinet minister John Crosbie, won’t be running for the Conservatives this election.
And John Crosbie says it’s because of jokes about the current government, made at a Law Society fundraiser. Ches, playing a Shakespearean-style character, poked fun at the Duffy scandal. The event was captured on video and posted to Twitter on Wednesday.
John Crosbie said that a federal Conservative party representative attended the event and objected to the joke.
“They thought that this attempt to amuse the audience on a topical matter didn’t properly pay attention to the prime minister or praise the prime minister,” he said. “It wasn’t meant to. It was meant to try to amuse the people about the Mike Duffy situation at that time, all in good spirits. And at an event where we’re trying to raise money for a good purpose.”
He was “dumbfounded” to hear that this was the reason his son wasn’t allowed to run, he said. “I’m very disappointed with the federal party in this instance.”
Long-time Conservative strategist Tim Powers was also surprised to hear the reasoning. “I’m flummoxed by it to be honest with you,” he said. “I think here is a person who had the potential to be a good member of Parliament.”
Powers thinks that there might be another reason behind the rejection, though he’s not sure what it would be. “Based on the rationale that’s been provided that we’ve heard publicly, concerning why he was not allowed to be a candidate, it’s just flimsy and makes no sense to me.”
“The truth is the Conservatives have lost a good candidate in Newfoundland and Labrador and that’s a shame,” he said.
Ches Crosbie is on vacation and was unavailable for comment. A Conservative party spokesman declined to comment on the nomination contest, saying that it was “an internal party matter.”
With files from Vassy Kapelos and Bryan Mullan