I’ve received tremendous support from both friends and strangers while pursuing recourse from the NDP over the flawed nomination process which unfolded in the Scarborough-Guildwood riding where I put my name forth as a candidate. I’ve received even more support from array of citizens and friends when on advice from my legal counsel I reluctantly decided not to pursue my grievance through the courts.
Unfortunately, there were a few who suggested that I have no stomach for a fight or worse that I have somehow ceded to the NDP machine. Nothing can be further from the truth. To begin with, I took a lot of risks to even put my name forward as a candidate. There were party voices who tried to dissuade me from running. I had to consider that my own career could be at risk and many other factors that weighed in the decision to run.
Once the nomination process was over, both the riding association executives and I raised our concerns to the party secretary and when not given satisfactory answers, the riding association raised those concerns publicly. Again, had there been any outside influence for me to accept the outcome, I wouldn’t have continued with my fight. Finally, when all other avenues of recourse were exhausted without satisfactory answers to my concerns about the process, I sought legal advice. My legal counsel had a full and frank discussion with the NDP’s lawyers about the events that took place at the Scarborough-Guildwood NDP nomination meeting on July 7, 2013. I continue to have concerns about the process followed at that nomination meeting. However, in light of the circumstances, including the limited time before the by-election, I will not be pursuing legal action.
I have never claimed to be perfect. I have had my shares of mistakes. But, I have learned from them, and those who know me, know I’m a fighter. I will continue to fight flawed and unfair nomination process with all the means available to me, especially since I’ve been contacted by many others who experienced similar injustice in the past, with the hope of making this process more fair and transparent.
Amarjeet Kaur Chhabra
Candidate, Scarborough Guildwood by-election, 2013