Candidate McKenna to face a lot of hostile voices at the Burlington Progressive Conservative AGM on Saturday

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

January 12th, 2017



It’s a meeting Jane Michael will not miss.

It is the Annual General Meeting of the Burlington Progressive Conservative Association that will meet at the Legion branch Saturday morning at 10:00 am. There are a lot of loyal Tories who have some words they want to get off their chest on how their candidate Jane McKenna got herself nominated.

The 41 vote win she got November 26th and the mangled appeal that was filed protesting the way the ballots were handled didn’t help.

A number of people that see themselves as political activists don’t like the look or the smell of the nomination and feel that Jane McKenna has been less than forthright in her drive to win the nomination that gives her another shot at getting back to Queen’s Park.

McKenna lost that last provincial election to Eleanor McMahon ending the 70 year rule the provincial Tories had experienced.

McMahon - First public as Minister

Burlington’s MPP Eleanor McMahon will face a very fractured Progressive Conservative party organization when the next election is called. McMahon is the Minister of Culture, Tourism and Sport.

McMahon was appointed as the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport and then made a member of the Treasury Board.

While the nomination issue is closed – McKenna is the candidate who many feel is going to have a very difficult time getting people to do the work that wins elections.

The minds of the members are filled with malicious, salacious gossip.

In correspondence that we were able to verify the Gazette heard this:

“Let’s hope that the Burlington PC. members elect a Board Members who will represent the members of the P.C. Burlington riding and not be “puppets” for the Provincial Executive. The Executive in Toronto have had its hand in all aspects of this Burlington Riding for too long and needs to be stopped.

“Hopefully, those elected will speak to the concerns of its members & not run for the purpose of furthering their own political gain.”

In another email that was verified, a reader had this to say:

“With the American Election finally over, as Ontarians we are now at the beginning stages preparing for our next Provincial Election. As a newly registered member of the Progressive Conservative Party I witness 1st hand just how the process works. As the PC Party here in Burlington voted on Nov. 26th to elect who will be the next person to be our leader as the MPP for the PC Party. I was more that shocked and disappointed how this election process took place.

“I felt it was time for me to engage and be more evolved in supporting who I felt was the best party to help fix the mess that the Liberals have gotten us into. A retirement dream of mine one day “was” to move to the country. The Liberals took that dream away as I will not be able to afford the Hydro Bill! “Along comes Jane Michael knocking on my door…She sold me on the PC Party and what she stood for. As she said “Now is the time to take back Burlington and make it blue again” and push out the Liberals. The PC Party was the party to do that…so I signed up.

PC meeting - confrontation

Two Progressive Conservative party members sharing a difference of opinion.

“After what I watch happen that day I started to second guess my support. Is one party really any better than the next? As a newly joined member of the Progressive Conservative Party here in Burlington I am extremely disappointed in the process I saw personally at the Nomination meeting and election that was held on Nov. 26 recently.

“Not only did I watch the registration desk turn away newly registered members for the PC Party…I watched them turn away a Trustee from the School Board. The Trustee realized that they had lost their Drivers License.

“That person offered up all other ID in their wallet plus showed them their picture on the Board website. Note that all Trustees of school Boards are elected officials. On the website was the trustee name and photo confirming that they were who they said they were. I later was told by that Trustee that they had to go home and come back with a Hydro Bill before they could vote…Turns out the Trustee was a Jane Michael supporter as the trustee had on a Jane Michael pin. There were other similar stories at that point I really questioned my faith in the PC Party. Clearly the registration desk was holding up Supporters for one person.

“So I decided to stay till the end and see how this all played out.  Once the voting polls had closed I waited to see how the votes went. The results were in, Rick Dykstra (PC Party President) announced who was elected as the next Leader of the Burlington Party! When the voters asked if we can have the results, we were told by Dykstra that he was not sharing the results with us. It was at that moment, I felt I had made a huge mistake in supporting the PC Party that does not offer full disclosure.

“Clearly transparency is not something that the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party of Burlington Stands for…This is not about who won and who didn’t. It is about disclosure and transparently. It is about honesty!


Progressive Conservative candidate for the Burlington seat in the legislature attended the Silent Auction held by parents who want to keep Central high school open.

“How can a party hold an official election to see which nominee would be voted in as the Leader and not disclose the results! If you are going to do something do it right! What a waste of my time and an insult to ever PC Party Member! I could go on with other questionable activities I have heard about…but I have only hear about the other stories, this is what watch unfold myself…PC Party if you want my support you best fix this, hold a re-vote and this time get it right! Be up front about it and offer full disclosure because you have now set a negative tone for the PC Party moving in to the next election!”

The appeal:
That result and the refusal on the part of the riding association to release the actual vote count led to an appeal being filed with the provincial party association.

The appeal and the hearing that took place was just as messy as the nomination meeting.

The document was a couple of pages long and contained more than 15 appendices.

Colin Pye, a member of the Burlington association board, filed the appeal. Pye who is a lawyer put together a well-documented appeal. He received a phone call from the provincial association and was advised that there would be a conference call very shortly – within a few hours. Pye thought that was to set up when and where his appeal was going to be heard.

Turned out that telephone conference call was the appeal hearing. Pye was told shortly after that the committee had denied his appeal and that the nomination of Jane McKenna would stand.

The hope on the part of the provincial association appeared to be that Jane McKenna could be acclaimed so she could get a running start on fund raising before new rules that would significantly limit what people could contribute came into effect January 1st

In the appeal that was filed; along with more than a dozen appendices, issue after issue was described.

Blank ballots being left on tables with no one in attendance.

No vote figures were released when Ms. McKenna’s victory was announced. Party President Rick Dykstra, as Chair of the Election Meeting, refused to give any figures despite the requests from the voters for the figures. One elderly gentleman, Roy Cummings, who requested the vote totals from the floor was loudly berated and sworn at by Ken Zeise and asked if he would “like to take this outside.”

The encounter was politics at its worst.

Ms. Michael was placed at an insurmountable disadvantage in her ability to promote her candidacy to the Riding Association membership as she had not even been approved as a Qualified Contestant for two weeks after the eligible Membership List had been finalized.

Ms. Michael received notice on November 25, 2016, at about 6:00 p.m., that the PNC had approved her as a Qualified Contestant, and she received the Membership List about one¬ half hour later, leaving her no time to organize or contact the more than 900 members on the List. This list also did not contain e-mail addresses for the members. When Ms Michael asked for the e-mail addresses, Ken Audziss advised Ms. Michael that she did not require these e-mail addresses.

Despite repeated calls and e-mails to the PNC and Party Headquarters, Ms. Michael was not granted an interview with the PNC until November 22, 2016 at 5:30 p.m., by conference call. On the conference call, Party President Rick Dykstra advised Ms. Michael that the PNC would decide on her contestancy and notify her within 24 hours.

People who had paid for memberships being denied a ballot.

People who were not able to properly identify themselves being denied a ballot while others were able to get ballots.

Getting the ballot count was no simple matter. All the people who were running the nomination event would say was that Jane McKenna got 41 more votes than Jane Michael who is reported to have brought in more than 350 new members to the organization.

All this leads up to McKenna now holding her Annual General Meeting in front of a lot of people who feel the vote that nominated McKenna was a fraud.

A new 19 member board will be elected – many of those who served on the board before the nomination meeting took place are finding that the bad taste in their mouths is so strong that they don’t want to run again.


Jane Michael, the defeated candidate for the Burlington Progressive Association nomination.

Others are adamant that they process has to be cleaned up and that decency and honesty are a part of what the Ontario Progressive Party is about and want to see a different kind of organization. There is talk of a reform slate of candidates being put forward.

It is a meeting Jane Michael does not want to miss.






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