This article was last updated on April 16, 2022
An aid for the leadership candidate of The Progressive Conservative party Monte McNaughton, 22-year-old Rida Ali, has been charged with criminal offences on complaints of threatening text messages received by the workers for rival candidate Christine Elliott’s campaign. Toronto Police confirmed that Ali appeared at College Park court on Monday to face four counts of criminal harassment-communicate and one count of criminal harassment-threaten.
For now, Ali has been freed on $1,000 bail but her next court appearance is due on Thursday at College Park. Ali’s lawyer, Marco Sciarra, explained on Tuesday that “Ms. Ali maintains her innocence and intends to defend against these allegations to the full extent of the law.” The details of the alleged threats cannot be reported due to a court-ordered publication ban. Ali was working in the office of McNaughton, the Lambton—Kent—Middlesex MPP, and volunteering on his leadership campaign but her Queen’s Park security pass has now been revoked and her position is terminated.
McNaughton’s spokesman, Joshua Workman, confirmed that Ali was a two-day-a-week staffer on a short-term contract. Workman confirmed that “a member of MPP McNaughton’s staff was arrested last week. Monte took immediate steps to suspend this employee” and “this has been upsetting for all of us.” Whereas on the other hand, the MPP for Whitby—Oshawa, Elliott, refused to discuss the case claiming that “I really don’t have a comment to make on this because it’s before the courts.” The charges come as Elliott, McNaughton, and Barrie MP Patrick Brown are vying to succeed Tim Hudak as the Tories’ full-time leader.