March 8, 2018 7:21 pm
Updated: March 8, 2018 11:51 pm

Injunction application to extend Ontario PC Party leadership voting to be heard in court Friday

WATCH ABOVE: Ontario P.C. Party members have decided to seek a court injunction to extend the voting deadline for the leadership election by one week. Kamil Karamali reports.

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A lawyer hired by “disenfranchised” Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario members says a court application to force an extension of leadership voting will be heard on Friday.

“I was approached this morning by a number of individuals who have been disenfranchised,” John Nunziata told Global News Thursday evening, adding three people have filed affidavits.

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“They haven’t received the proper credentials to vote, they won’t be able to vote and so they wanted to seek the assistance of the court by way of an injunction.”

READ MORE: Doug Ford calls for Ontario PC Party leadership voting to be extended, use of paper ballots

He said the application, which is being handled by a colleague, will be heard by the Superior Court of Justice in downtown Toronto at 9:30 a.m. Friday.

Nunziata said the court has the jurisdiction to take action as it relates to the vote.

“Time is of the essence. We can’t wait until there’s a full-blown trial in this matter, so the court will be asked to extend the process by the week,” he said.

“Some of the things the court will be looking at is prejudice, harm, is anyone being harmed? Who’s being prejudiced? In this case, the only people who are being prejudiced are those members of the (Progressive) Conservative Party that have the right to vote, but they’re being denied the right because the system failed in getting them the proper credentials.”

WATCH: Injunction application intends to extend PC Party leadership vote

 

Hartley Lefton, chair of the party’s Leadership Election Organizing Committee (LEOC), told Global News in a statement Thursday evening that it’s “unfortunate” this step is being considered.

“We have worked so closely with leadership campaigns and with party members from across the province on a leadership election process passed by the PC Party executive in accordance with the constitution,” he wrote.

LISTEN: Hartley Lefton tells Global News Radio he believes the injunction application will be dismissed.

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“Our measures to accommodate the needs of members during this period have included extending the verification period three times and extending voting once.”

READ MORE: Deadline extended to sign up to vote in Ontario Progressive Conservative leadership race

Meanwhile, leadership candidate and former Toronto city councillor Doug Ford alleged on Thursday that party “elites” were handpicking those who would be able to cast a ballot in the leadership election.

With the vote deadline less than a day away, Ford said key documents required to participate were sent by email to specific members while ignoring others, including his own mother, awaiting the same information.

WATCH: PC Leadership candidates push to extend voter deadline by one week

“The political elites, they distribute PIN numbers to a special group, and I don’t know who picks this group, and then Mr. and Mrs. Smith … they don’t get to vote,” Ford told The Canadian Press.

“Something is wrong. I’ll let you come to your own conclusion,” he said. “This is not a transparent election.”

LISTEN: Doug Ford discusses voting deadline issues on 640 Toronto

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READ MORE: Thousands of Ontario PC members may not be able to register in time for leadership vote

Ford and the other candidates – former Progressive Conservative legislator Christine Elliott, Toronto lawyer and businesswoman Caroline Mulroney and parental rights activist Tanya Granic Allen – have all raised the alarm in recent days over the voting process.

Ford, Mulroney and Granic Allen have all pushed for the party to extend the leadership race by a week in order to ensure all members can participate.

WATCH: Doug Ford says ‘win or lose’ PC Party voting process needs to be investigated. Shallima Maharaj reports.

The results of the vote are scheduled to be announced on Saturday.

— With files from The Canadian Press and Shallima Maharaj

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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