Saskatchewan businessman Joseph Bourgault, one of a handful of candidates outside of the Conservative Party establishment, was denied the opportunity to continue campaigning in the party's leadership race.
Bourgault was running on a platform of “truth, freedom and justice.”
Party insider Melanie Paradis offered an explanation on Twitter, suggesting that individuals donating to multiple campaigns may have played a role in Bourgault's rejection.
Bourgault broke the news in a Facebook post published Monday afternoon, writing:
It is with great disappointment that we were advised by the Conservative Party of Canada last evening that we are ineligible to advance in the Leadership Campaign. They stated that our team did not meet the registration fees and compliance deposit of $300,000. Our team submitted $367,453 before the deadline of April 29th at 5:00PM Eastern Time. We are seeking clarification from the Conservative Party LEOC Committee because we have met all the financial and signature requirements.
Other Conservative leadership candidates expressed their support for allowing Bourgault to continue his bid for the top job in the party.
Current MP Leslyn Lewis said the party should allow Bourgault and other candidates to run, not barring them from the competition.
“I'm not afraid of a hard fight, and the Conservative party is not one that should be cancelling legitimate contestants,” Lewis wrote.
“A party that stands for free speech should be about open exchange of ideas, not gatekeeping,” said Brampton, Ont. Mayor Patrick Brown. “Let's have less cancel culture, and more debate!” the former Ontario Progressive Conservative leader added.
Rebel News' Adam Soos has reached out to the Bourgault campaign for further comment. We will update the story as it develops.