The Liberal party dropped a $20,000 bomb on embattled candidate Joe Volpe on Friday just as party members began electing delegates for the Dec. 2 convention that will choose a new leader.
A party panel ruled that Volpe's campaign team broke the rules by giving membership forms to cultural groups in Quebec without ensuring that new members paid their own fees.
Volpe can either pay the $20,000 fine within 30 days or drop out of the race, the party said in a release.
Volpe immediately issued a statement suggesting he'll do neither.
Volpe is appealing, but these two options are both lose/lose scenarios. Pay the fine, and effectively admit the embarrassment or leave the race in shame. I'm glad the Party has taken such a firm stance, and I think the decision is based on a disturbing pattern, more than just this past scandal. Volpe's presence is the only negative distraction in an otherwise lively leadership race. I have no qualms with the Party trying to squeeze Volpe. Volpe has had his moment in the sun, and his support doesn't justify his continued presence. Clearly, this campaign has become a vanity exercise, at the expense of the Party.
We can all safely conclude that Volpe isn't a viable candidate. This race isn't about his personal agenda but the greater good for the Party. If Joe Volpe gives the Harper government talking points in Question Period, that prevents the Liberals from taking the moral high ground, then I'm all for tossing him, kicking and screaming. Let him play the race card, it just makes Volpe look completely and utterly ridiculous. Kudos for the firm stance, the Party can't afford Volpe on center stage.