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POLITICAL PARTIES - Members and membership

Friday, April 23, 2021 @ 6:13 AM  


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Urgent application by Melek for a declaration that she satisfied the criteria to stand as a candidate for election to the respondent Conservative Party of Canada’s (CPC’s) National Council. Melek was a member of the CPC since 2015. She was the CPC’s candidate in her home riding of Mississauga-Streetsville in the 2019 federal election, but she lost to the Liberal candidate. She continued to support the CPC, in particular its grassroots initiatives, and sought to be elected to the National Council. It appeared that Melek complied fully with each of the five listed requirements for Ontario candidates. However, the respondent’s returning officer refused to certify her candidacy. The returning officer advised Melek that he was concerned about two of her social media posts in 2012. Both retweets showed images or comments disparaging Muslims.

HELD: Application allowed. The CPC’s National Council election rules constituted a contract setting out the rights and obligations of the CPC and Melek. The alleged breach of the rules was sufficiently significant to merit judicial intervention. The rules did not give the returning officer the authority to reject a candidate if he personally did not believe that the candidate was truly committed to the principles and policies of the CPC. Melek was entitled, in effect, to specific performance. She was to be certified as a candidate in the National Council election.

Melek v. Conservative Party of Canada, [2021] O.J. No. 1360, Ontario Superior Court of Justice, E.P. Belobaba J., March 17, 2021. Digest No. TLD-April192021011