WATCH: Police called to raucous Vaughan-King PC nomination meeting
Stephen Lecce wins as Konstantin Toubis complains about nomination process
April 7, 2017
York Regional Police was called to a Kleinburg elementary school after a rowdy provincial King-Vaughan Progressive Conservative nomination meeting, during which a former candidate accused the party of breaking the rules in favour of the eventual winner, Stephen Lecce.
Konstantin Toubis said the party “disqualified” him from running only two days before the April 2 nomination meeting occurred.
Toubis insists the party constitution dictates it is supposed to give a 15-day grace period to any candidate it plans to disqualify.
Although Rick Dykstra, president of the PC Party of Ontario, did not return calls, he did release details about the meeting in a press release dated March 31.
“It has come to our attention that a misinformation campaign has occurred whereby certain people are informing the members of our party in King-Vaughan that there has been a cancellation of this nomination meeting,” he wrote.
At Sunday’s meeting, at Pope Francis Catholic Elementary School, Lecce earned more than 90 per cent of the votes.
But before Lecce claimed victory, Toubis, who lost for the federal Conservatives in King-Vaughan in 2015, jumped on stage and called into question the ethics of the party, the legitimacy of the meeting and his disqualification.
“I just heard these people chanting ‘Konstantin’, he came down and said it was a slap in the face of democracy,” said Woodbridge Vaughan riding president Nick Pinto. “His behaviour was disgraceful, that’s all. The party vets the potential candidates and if they find they are not comfortable, for whatever reason, they will disqualify them."
Police were called, but did not make any arrests.
A video of Toubis taking to the stage was posted to YouTube and he posted a long message on Facebook.
“Two days before the nomination, the Progressive Conservative Party, under the leadership of Patrick Brown, decided (without explanation) to deny my opportunity to seek the nomination for the riding of King-Vaughan,” he wrote.
He later told yorkregion.com that among his complaints was his belief that the party broke its own constitution by overriding the local riding association and calling a nomination meeting for April 2 itself.
After the victory, Lecce said he was excited for the 2018 election.
Toubis has been involved in other controversies as a candidate or prospective candidate for the Tories. In 2015, he told yorkregion.com he admitted he did post links to Russian-language articles that included derogatory comments about women and homosexuals.
At the time, Toubis said the views did not represent his own.
In 2014, Vaughan lawyer Michael Tibollo, who ran for the federal nomination against Toubis, alleged Toubis and his supporters intimidated Tibollo’s supporters from voting.
"We saw a group of people occupy private property, disrespect the owners of the property and utilize tactics of intimidation, threats of physical violence, bullying, lying and cheating to further their goals,” he wrote in a letter contesting his loss to Toubis.
At the time, Toubis told yorkregion.com the complaints could have been “emotional” on Tibollo’s part and said he did not address them with Tibollo personally.