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Riding’s Conservative rivals spar over Adams controversy

Conservatve MP Eve Adams is shown responding to a question during question period in the House of Commons on Nov. 28, 2013.

Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press

The controversy surrounding Conservative MP Eve Adams is far from over, says an outspoken riding association board member in Oakville, where the MP for Mississauga-Brampton South wants to run in the next election.

Jeff Knoll, a Tory riding association board member in Oakville North-Burlington who supports a rival candidate, said Prime Minister Stephen Harper was right to call an investigation into allegations of misconduct related to Ms. Adams.

That announcement last week came just days after Ms. Adams' fiancé, Dimitri Soudas, resigned as executive director of the party for breaching a pledge to recuse himself from issues related to Ms. Adams's nomination process.

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Mr. Knoll expressed skepticism regarding Ms. Adams's recent denials of wrongdoing.

"She can say what she wants. That's why the Prime Minister's done the right thing and called an investigation into these matters," he told CTV's Question Period in an interview that aired on Sunday.

"She can call it legitimate, but her fiancé, boyfriend – whatever Dimitri is to her – has lost his job as a result of this. Where there's smoke there's fire. We've been seeing the smoke for a while. Clearly the fire is starting to rage. One of the players in this thing has already fallen on his sword and, you know, we'll have to see what the investigation the Prime Minister's called into place reveals in terms of the balance of her conduct," he said.

Stephen Sparling, the volunteer chair of Ms. Adams's nomination campaign in Oakville, told CTV that Ms. Adams has done nothing wrong. He said the allegations are coming from board members like Mr. Knoll who support the nomination of the only other candidate to date, Natalia Lishchyna.

"These things, they heat up on both sides. This is a board that is somewhat supporting our opponent," he said, describing Ms. Adams as a highly distinguished MP who is "doing everything by the book."

He said Ms. Adams will be responding to the specific allegations against her at a later date.

The party's internal review is expected to look into allegations that she received unfair advantages and that she verbally abused party members during a March 19 board meeting of the Conservative Oakville North-Burlington riding association.

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Riding association president Mark Fedak wrote to Mr. Harper last week outlining specific allegations against Ms. Adams, claiming he asked the MP to leave the meeting nine times.

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About the Author
Parliamentary reporter

A member of the Parliamentary Press Gallery since 1999, Bill Curry worked for The Hill Times and the National Post prior to joining The Globe in Feb. 2005. Originally from North Bay, Ont., Bill reports on a wide range of topics on Parliament Hill, with a focus on finance. More

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