Conservatives disqualify Karahalios from leadership race a second time
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Conservatives disqualify Karahalios from leadership race a second time

Last Updated May 21, 2020 at 6:46 pm EDT

OTTAWA — Jim Karahalios won’t be allowed to run for the federal Conservative party’s leadership, despite a court ruling that reopened the door to his candidacy.

Party spokesperson Cory Hann says the leadership organizing committee has disallowed the longtime Ontario conservative activist’s candidacy — as allowed by the court ruling.

The decision comes after an Ontario court ruled Wednesday that Karahalios could be a candidate if he met certain conditions previously laid down by the party within 14 days.

Ontario Superior Court Justice Paul Perell said the party’s returning officer and dispute committee overstepped their authority when they disqualified Karahalios in March.

That followed a complaint from Erin O’Toole’s campaign alleged that Karahalios had engaged in racist and Islamophobic attacks against its campaign chair.

However, Perell ruled the party’s leadership organizing committee does have the authority to disqualify a candidate and could still choose to do so in this case — which it has now done.

Perell had said Karahalios was entitled to resume his candidacy if over the next 14 days he came up with the $300,000 entry fee and paid additional penalties meted out by the party amounting to another $100,000.

The decision leaves just four official candidates in the race: O’Toole, former cabinet minister Peter MacKay, Toronto lawyer Leslyn Lewis and Ontario MP Derek Sloan.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 21, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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