Conservative Party National Council suspends Ontario Councilor Chen for starting petition to oust O’Toole
The Conservative Party’s National Council has suspended elected Ontario councilor Bert Chen for two months for starting the petition to remove Erin O’Toole as party leader.
âFollowing complaints from grassroots members of the Conservative Party of Canada about the conduct of National Councilor Bert Chen, the National Council exercised its authority under section 8.13 of the party constitution to suspend Mr. Chen from the National Council up to 60 days, âthe curator said. Party Chairman Robert Batherson in a statement emailed to The times of the hills.
A day after the September 20 election, Mr. Chen started an online petition accusing Mr. O’Toole (Durham, Ont.) Of “betraying” the party’s founding principles, “breaking” the trust of members and of âDon’t haveâ to win the election. As of October 13, the petition had received 5,185 signatures.
The behind-the-scenes meeting of the powerful 21-member National Council, the Conservative Party’s highest governing body, took place on Wednesday evening, and the final vote count was 10-7 to suspend Mr. Chen. At the meeting, Mr. O’Toole voted by proxy, according to two Tory sources.
In the statement, Mr. Batherson said the national council secretariat committee will investigate Mr. Chen’s conduct and make a recommendation. In the email, he didn’t provide any details.
“The National Council Secretariat Committee will investigate these complaints and make a recommendation to the National Council as to whether Mr. Chen has acted in a manner which is” inappropriate or improper, or likely to harm the best interests or reputation of the national council, leader or party, âMr. Batherson said.
Mr. Chen, who is an elected member of the National Council and is currently serving his second elected term, was not available for an interview. In a statement to The hill times he said:
“I am disappointed with the National Council’s decision today to silence Conservative MPs who have lost faith in Erin O’Toole’s leadership,” Chen said.
âThe Conservative Party is a democratic party and my role as Ontario’s elected national councilor is to represent the views of the membership – and most want Erin O’Toole removed from his position as leader for having betrayed his beliefs for a failed attempt at power. “
Within the 20-member national council, Ontario has four seats, Quebec three, British Columbia and Alberta two seats each, and Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador all three provinces. Atlantic and the three territories have one seat each.
The party leader is also considered a member of the national council, but does not regularly attend council meetings. Each province’s representation on the council is based on the proportion of seats it holds in the House of Commons.
The National Council is responsible for overseeing the management of all party affairs, except for the collection and expenditure of party funds, which are managed by the Conservative Fund. Members of the National Council and the Conservative Fund are voluntary positions.
The times of the hills