Conservative Leadership Hopefuls Demand Party to Trace Fake Memberships

Two Conservative leadership candidates, Maxime Bernier and Lisa Raitt, have called on the party officials to continue the investigation into the 1,351 fake memberships that were cancelled last week. The Conservatives confirmed last week that the party had cancelled 1,351 memberships because they did not belong to people who had paid for them.

The revelation of fake memberships was made by a leadership candidate, Kevin O’Leary, who accused another unnamed campaign of buying memberships for people using prepaid credit cards. Under the rules, those who join the party must pay for their own memberships. During a TV interview on Sunday morning, Raitt stressed that “let’s find out who’s at the end of those computers so we don’t think it’s Max, or we don’t think it’s Andrew [Scheer] or Kevin O’Leary,” adding that “whoever it is. We don’t know right now.” So far, the party has only revealed that the fake memberships were purchased through its website using two different IP addresses.

Even though O’Leary’s campaign didn’t accuse anyone in its allegations last Thursday, Bernier’s campaign accused O’Leary in their response to the news and alleged that he was throwing mud to try to save his campaign. Bernier clarified that fake memberships didn’t come from his campaign, adding that “but I don’t know if these people wanted to support me as a candidate or another person as a candidate. That’s why Lisa, she’s right [to ask] the party, ‘tell us who is at the other end of the computer.’ We don’t know.”

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