Continuing the timeline of the PC leadership race from the last edition of the Iron Warrior, here’s a summary of the final two weeks of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario leadership debacle:
Feb 21: The PC party nomination committee clears Patrick Brown to run for the leadership.
Feb 24: Patrick Brown files a notice of libel against CTV News, claiming that CTV News had engaged in “false, malicious, irresponsible, and defamatory” reporting by releasing the sexual misconduct allegations in the manner they did.
Feb 26: Brown announces he will end his leadership campaign. In a Twitter statement he lists 3 major reason for dropping out: his desire to focus on his lawsuit against CTV, his concern that running would draw focus away from the Liberals and the general election, and his worry that another leadership campaign would put his family under undue stress and threats from inside the party.
Mar 2: Voting registration for the leadership election is extended from March 2 to March 5 and the voting deadline is extended to March 8 among concerns that Canada Post could not have delivered all registration codes by the initial deadline.
Mar 5: Voting registration is extended again to March 7 and the voting deadline to noon on March 9 after members complain that registration codes have still not been received.
Mar 8: An injunction is brought against the PC Party by lawyers representing members that had still not received voter registration codes, asking the court to postpone the election date and extend the deadline by several weeks to ensure voting problems could be resolved.
Mar 9: Ontario Superior Court Justice Todd Archibald rejects the injunction against the PC Party, ruling that a last-minute postponement would adversely impact all those that have already voted and risk opening the door to more court challenges. Voting closes. The PC Party announces over 65,000 members were able to cast a ballot, setting a new provincial record for leadership contests.
Mar 10, 1:30 pm: The PC Party meets in Markham to hold their leadership convention and announce the next leader.
Mar 10, 7:00 pm: After 5 hours of stalling, the Chief Electoral Officer of the leadership election reveals that vote tallying concerns have surfaced and are in the process of being resolved. He states that results will be announced as soon as possible, and everyone is sent home because the venue’s permit has run out.
Mar 10, 10:00 pm: Doug Ford is announced the winner of the PC leadership, winning on the third ballot with 6202 weighted votes to Christine Elliott’s 6049. Christine Elliott refuses to concede, citing serious irregularities and vote-allocation concerns that could have impacted the razor-thin 152 vote margin.