Beleaguered Conservative MP Eve Adams is vowing to fight allegations of improper conduct and unfair advantage in a heated Toronto-area nomination contest that has rattled the upper echelons of the governing Tory party’s election machine, saying she has no intention of backing down in her quest for the prize.
“I look forward to winning the nomination,” Ms. Adams said in an interview Thursday of the battle for the right to carry the Conservative banner in an Oakville, Ont., riding – a struggle that has already cost the Conservative Party its executive director, her fiancé.
The MP said a letter sent to Prime Minister Stephen Harper by Oakville-area Conservative officials making accusations against her contained a “slew of inaccuracies.” She declined to counter the allegations publicly Thursday because “I don’t believe in fighting Conservatives in the public domain.” She said she is sending her own letter to rebut the accusations.
Ms. Adams has remained mostly quiet as the controversy unfolded around her, but she offered more public comment Thursday to The Globe and Mail – about everything from her health to her to determination to persevere in a political battle that has drawn national headlines.
Mr. Harper has asked the party to investigate the allegations – a review that carries the risk Ms. Adams could be blocked from seeking the nomination in Oakville North-Burlington. National Council secretary Michael Lauer has already begun his probe. Ms. Adams’ fiancé, Harper loyalist Dimitri Soudas, resigned his senior post as executive director of the party Sunday after extensive evidence arose showing he’d violated a contractual pledge against intervening in the nomination on her behalf.
The Mississauga, Ont., MP, who is seeking to jump to a new riding nearby in Oakville, where she has a home, has been grappling with a serious concussion that has caused her to take leave of House of Commons duties in recent weeks. The accident happened outside an Ottawa restaurant late this winter.
“Dimitri got a hankering for corned beef and we went out to Dunn’s on Elgin Street and it wasn’t even 10 p.m. and I fell forward on the sidewalk wearing flat boots,” Ms. Adams recalled. She said she received a grade two concussion from the fall.
Ms. Adams’ last recorded vote in the Commons was on Feb. 26, according to the parliamentary website. Although the Commons was on March break for two weeks, she has still missed a number of weeks of sittings.
The MP says she’s on the mend and will be back to work soon. But she says she’s undergone a physical ordeal, including vomiting at the outset and severe headaches that are now beginning to subside.
“It is by far the most difficult thing my body has gone through so far,” Ms. Adams said. “I am literally sleeping 12 to 14 hours a day. And that is completely bizarre for me. I usually sleep about six hours a day.”
Ms. Adams said she conducts as much constituency work as possible these days, taking calls and making sure concerns in her riding are addressed. The other day, she said, “I took constituent meetings at my home. I do try and serve my constituents and continue to work. It is a very difficult situation.”
She said the healing process has been hard for a “type A personality” such as herself. “I am very disappointed in my body for not recovering more quickly,” she said, noting “I went back to work a week after giving birth.”
Asked how she found the energy to work on the Oakville nomination race while she was too ill to attend to Commons duties, Ms. Adams said she didn’t consider that a “fair characterization” of the situation. “I am committed to my work as an MP. I am currently doing constituency work. That actually is my job.”
She said that since being elected, “I have one of the best voting records on the Hill. I have never gone on an international trip and missed votes because of travel.”
Separately, Mr. Soudas offered his version of events surrounding his resignation as the party’s executive director, saying he only helped Ms. Adams with nomination work in Oakville because of her accident. “The person that I love so much, due to her concussion, was incapacitated,” he said.
“I’m sorry to the Prime Minister for all the grief that this has caused,” Mr. Soudas said. “But ultimately in life you have to stand by the person that you care for and love in a difficult moment.”