It actually stems from a personal interaction I had with one Tracey Kent, a former Conservative Party riding association executive in Vaughan. That's the riding currently represented by Conservative MP Julian Fantino.
The reason it took me a while to decide whether or not I really wanted to write this post is that Ms Kent is currently involved with a complaint that is before Elections Canada. Normally, I would prefer to simply let that matter work itself out quietly there. However, Ms Kent has been quite obnoxiously-public about the entire affair, so at some point it seems that perhaps this is the kind of thing that should to come to light, for the Canadian public -- or at least the #CdnPoli public -- to judge for themselves.
The matter actually has a lot to do with a recent Elections Canada complaint that turned out to have no comparative merit. The evidence was extremely poor, and really just a waste of Elections Canada time and resources. Ms Kent and her friends didn't like that the complaint was rejected -- they seemed to think it should have been granted some sort of artificial credulity based, ostensibly, on partisan considerations.
The interactions eventually led to this:
Let's look at this a bit closer. Does Tracey Kent's famed affidavit to Elections Canada contain anything like this?
"Having been on the Fantino campaign personally I can attest that the riding association President is a member of the same religious organization as the Americans who travelled up to work on the campaign."Personally, I consider this to be a strange thing to even bring up. What does the religion of Fantino's riding association President have to do with anything? At all?
The answer is, of course, nothing. But it immediately brings to mind so much vapid left-wing boilerplate -- the kind that, lacking any other issue to broach, brings up the spectre of religious extremism. (I call it the Marci McDonald school of political thought.) It was bizarre enough to convince me to look a little deeper into Ms Kent's beef with the Vaughan riding association, and I have to admit that I was a little unsurprised -- indeed, thoroughly unshocked -- at what I found.
First off, Kent's complaint to Elections Canada deals specifically with allegations that the riding association maintained that the riding association had a secret bank account from which they helped fund campaigns in nine other ridings. They also allege that the riding association had two sets of books to back it up. Fantino spokesman Chris McCluskey categorically denies the allegations of any unlawful conduct. Remarkably, it's actually fully lawful for the Fantino campaign to financially help other campaigns, if it's done in the legally-mandated manner.
One of the complainants, one Richard Lorello -- is the former Conservative candidate supplanted by Fantino. Suddenly, everything starts to make a lot more sense.
Acrimony tends to accompany the replacement of any political candidate. Edmonton-Sherwood Park MP Tim Uppal could tell you all about that. But once one starts digging a little deeper, suddenly a few novel facts do begin to pop up.
Beyond the allegations of a second bank account, Kent and Lorello seem to have initially quit the Vaughn riding association over a $10 million grant to a group attempting to bring a hospital to Vaughn. (The riding, incredibly, doesn't have one. They have a population of 300,000 and no hospital.) The people involved in that group fundraised for Fantino, leading Kent and Lorello to conclude that the grant was improper. But this begs an even more crucial question:
Seriously, what the fuck gives?
Regardless of who they fundraised or campaigned for, it would seem that anyone trying to bring a hospital to a community of 300,000 people are doing some very good work. In fact, it seems entirely reasonable to conclude that the fine folk at Vaughan Health Campus of Care likely fundraised for Fantino because they were confident that he could get elected and help deliver the hospital -- something that Fantino's Liberal predecessor obviously couldn't do.
Even the Liberal candidate Fantino defeated applauded the grant to VHCC.
So seriously: what the fuck gives?
Precisely what is going on in the heads of people who think that a $10 million grant to a group trying to bring a hospital to their community is suddenly a bad thing? Just how hostile are these people to the needs and aspirations of their neighbours? And in the case of Lorello specifically, the people who once could have been his constituents?
It makes it pretty clear just as to how Mr Lorello didn't get elected in 2008.
Well, the departure of Tracey Kent and Richard Lorello from the Vaughn riding association were said to be "acrimonious."
So how's this for acrimony?
In the good-time barroom parlance for something entirely uncalled for: "What? Whoa! Whoah!"
It seems that Tracey Kent can quite quickly and easily be moved into the realm of the vile personal attack. And as for Richard Lorello? He has some other problems of his own. (I wonder what Saskboy thinks of that? Maybe someone should be a dear and go ask him.)
There's clearly far more to Tracey Kent's crusade against Julian Fantino than she seems willing to admit. Canada's far-left (hi, Saskboy!) have clutched Ms Kent tight to their bosom, and declared any questioning of her to be outrageous.
In reality, the kinds of questions I'm asking is the kind of questions they should be asking... provided, of course, that they're interested in getting to the bottom of this particular issue at all. Considering how far out of their way they're going to make sure that no one can, it's clear that they just don't.