|BALLOT CORRUPTED IN NIAGARA WEST-GLANBROOK BY-ELECTION
November 7, 2016, Toronto – Elections Ontario is guilty of deliberately preventing the voters of Niagara West-Glanbrook from casting a ballot in favour of one of its own residents, Mr. Geoff Peacock.
Mr. Peacock was duly endorsed as the Freedom Party candidate on November 2, 2016. He handed his nomination papers to the Returning Office at approximately 5:00 PM on Wednesday, November 3, approximately 21 hours before the close of nominations. The nomination form was filled out correctly, and was duly signed by 25 eligible voters living in the riding. All of the signatories were known to Mr. Peacock, who knew also that they all live in the riding. Mr. Peacock had satisfied all of the requirements of the Election Act, and he had a right to run for office as a result. No person filed any complaint to challenge any of the 25 signatures on Mr. Peacock’s nomination paper.
However, without valid and good reason, the Returning Officer, Robert Ciarlo, communicated to Mr. Peacock the false statement that three of the signatories do not live in the riding. In point of fact, all three signatories in question live in Beamsville, which is fully encompassed by the riding boundaries.
“In effect, Returning Officer Robert Ciarlo and Chief Electoral Officer Greg Essensa have taken it upon themselves to prevent voters in the November 17, 2016 Niagara West-Glanbrook by-election from voting for Freedom Party candidate Geoff Peacock”, says Freedom Party leader Paul McKeever. “There is no rational excuse or moral justification for the conduct of Returning Officer Robert Ciarlo. There is no rational excuse or moral justification for Chief Electoral Officer Greg Essensa’s decision to side with Mr. Ciarlo instead of defending the democratic rights of the voters of Niagara West-Glanbrook.
“The actions of Robert Ciarlo and Greg Essensa undermine the legitimacy of any electoral outcome in the Niagara West-Glanbrook by-election. Their actions indisputably will change the way in which voters mark their ballots in this by-election. By effectively prohibiting voters from voting for Mr. Peacock, Robert Ciarlo and Greg Essensa have undoubtedly swayed votes to other candidates, or have dissuaded some voters from voting.
“The attitude of Chief Electoral Officer Greg Essensa in this matter amounts to saying that they can and will make arbitrary decisions about which voters will be permitted to nominate candidates, and about who voters will be allowed to vote for, and if the voting public doesn’t like it, tough. Was this corruption? Was it plain incompetence? I don’t know. But this sort of banana republic election administration must be ended if Ontarians are to maintain any belief in the legitimacy of their election results, and any trust in the competence and neutrality of Elections Ontario.”
Freedom Party notes that former Niagara Catholic District School Board Superintendent, Robert Ciarlo, in 2009 supported a school’s decision to send a student home until he changed his hair cut to a more “natural” style. The student’s hair was short but not a brush cut, was about one inch longer on the top than on the sides, and was naturally coloured.
2009: Blessed Trinity Catholic Secondary School student sent home
Ciarlo backed the decision to send the child home though he did not even bother to look at the student’s hair cut first, instead giving a local newspaper (Niagara This Week) the bewildering excuse that “If we don’t stand for anything, then we don’t stand for anything”. “As with the situation of Superintendent Ciarlo effectively banning a student over his haircut without even looking at the haircut, one can only wonder if the same lack of due diligence was involved by Returning Officer Ciarlo and Chief Electoral Officer Greg Essensa before effectively banning voters from nominating or voting for Mr. Peacock” adds McKeever. “Even the smallest amount of inquiry – such as doing a simple Google Maps or Yellowpages.ca search, as I did, or such as searching for the names of the three excluded signatories in the list of electors – would have allowed Mr. Ciarlo and Mr. Essensa to confirm that all three of the signatories in question are eligible voters living in the riding, and that Mr. Peacock was properly nominated.”
Freedom Party of Ontario has been a registered political party in Ontario since 1984. It is not affiliated or associated with other provincial parties of any name, and is not associated or affiliated with parties named “freedom party” in any other country.
Freedom Party of Ontario is in favour of government policy that is founded on physical evidence (not fear, fantasy, or uninformed speculation), that is logical (instead of whimsical), and that defends every individual’s freedom to pursue his or her own happiness by rational means.
Geoff Peacock was the Freedom Party candidate for the riding of Niagara West-Glanbrook in the general elections of 2011 and 2014. He works 60 hours per week. He deserved better than the mistreatment and unfairness he received at the hands of Robert Ciarlo and Greg Essensa, and so do the people of Ontario.