Toronto mayor praises investigation into Brampton nomination, says the party already rejected its findings

(CNN) — The report from outside consultants that looked into how the Brampton Progressive Conservative’s botched nomination, which ended up prompting the Toronto MP to be forced out of his post, has done nothing to damage his political career, the mayor said Monday.

It also did nothing to protect city officials in Brampton, Ontario, who he said have been “vindicated” by the investigation.

“The investigation and our response to it is complete. It has vindicated them. It’s unfortunate that (it) affected their careers, but they were never guilty of any wrongdoing,” Mayor Fred Eisenberger said during a press conference.

Eisenberger said a request from the PC Party for the ethics commissioner’s report, which would have included “comprehensive background check and discussion of the most stringent transparency protocols in the province,” was approved by ethics commissioner Ann Cavoukian in April.

The report, however, wasn’t released until November, after the PC Party removed Christine Elliott from her post in May. The investigation came on the heels of rumours within the party about Elliott’s ties to former MP Taras Natyshak, an outspoken opponent of the group. Natyshak is now running for a spot on the city council.

READ MORE: Taras Natyshak wins byelection in Ontario as Tories fire Christine Elliott

As a result of the investigation, Elliott was kicked out of the Conservative caucus. Erenberger said that despite the report that found there was nothing improper that took place in the nomination process, there were rules that officials were missing.

“Some of those (rules) are blatantly missing,” he said. “The other ones were quietly suspended, completely. They still exist, but they are not enforced.”

Eisenberger also called for a second investigation, saying the first one was not done according to proper protocols.

“There are a lot of questions that the public deserve answered,” he said. “I would be very remiss if I didn’t request a second investigation, considering that the first investigation is not enough. The information that was uncovered was not adequate.”

Natyshak’s election, set for the next municipal election in 2022, has put the race for the PC Party nomination in the city’s west end on hold.

Eisenberger said the nomination is still scheduled to take place, but the party had decided to hold an earlier, pre-nomination meeting to review any potential changes. He said they will announce a date “within the next few weeks.”

A spokesperson for the PC Party, Cody Blair, released a statement to CNN saying the party has no further comment at this time.

Natyshak has since said that he has been buoyed by the support of community members, as well as party officials like Elliott and former Conservative MP Lisa Raitt.

“I don’t have a comment,” Raitt said in an emailed statement to CNN. “I support Taras Natyshak and the incredible work he’s done for Brampton on his campaign so far. We’ll be honoured to have him in the PC caucus.”

A spokesperson for Natyshak said Monday he wanted to defer any further questions to the party, but did note that Brampton residents are “fed up with broken promises and broken systems,” which could help him in his bid for the nomination.

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