Deloitte’s ties with WEF a concern for some Conservative members as they vote for next leader

‘Knowing that Deloitte Canada, a WEF partner, is auditing the CPC leadership election, I think I’m just gonna throw my ballot in the recycling bin’

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Lou Kuiack, a mother of two living in Alberta, filled out her voting ballot for the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) leadership race but originally waited before sending it in the mail.

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Why? The fact that the return envelope is addressed to Deloitte, which identifies as “long-standing strategic partner” of the World Economic Forum (WEF), made her “uneasy” and she was still searching for “answers” at the time of her interview with the National Post.

La Roseline, also a new member living in Toronto, also hesitated before sending her ballot for the same reasons and said she tried contacting the party, without success, about this issue. She expressed frustration that the CPC would rely on that auditing firm in particular.

“Why on Earth would you pick an organization connected to them (the WEF) when you claim that you are for the people, for the freedom convoy?” she asked.

Kuiack and Roseline are not alone in this situation. Other self-identified party members have been expressing concerns on social media over the auditing firm’s connections with the WEF in past weeks, with some wondering if it’s even worth sending the ballot in the mail to vote.

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“Knowing that Deloitte Canada, a WEF partner, is auditing the CPC leadership election, I think I’m just gonna throw my ballot in the recycling bin,” wrote Twitter user Marc Drolet on Aug. 2.

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“I still have mine sitting here,” wrote anonymous Twitter user @Bluize69 about their ballot.

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Since the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, the WEF and its founder Klaus Schwab have become the focus of mainstream conspiracy theories, stemming from claims they aim to restructure society into a “new world order” through an initiative called “The Great Reset.”

Among them are baseless statements that global elites manufactured COVID-19 to advance their interests and to establish a one-world government that limits individual freedoms.

Deloitte declined to provide comment for this story, and referred all questions about its connections to WEF and its role in the leadership race to Conservative Party of Canada.

In a written statement, CPC executive director Wayne Benson said that “Deloitte Canada is a longstanding partner of the Conservative Party of Canada” and that it has provided “a range of services including administrative support for successive leadership elections” in the past.

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Benson also reassured members that Deloitte has no role in processing the ballots.

“Ballot processing is conducted by Conservative Party of Canada staff and all leadership candidates are able to have scrutineers present through every stage of the count,” he said.

But this situation is symptomatic of a party that rapidly attracted hundreds of thousands of new members, some of whom feed into increasingly widespread conspiracy theories.

A Conservative source, speaking on a non-for-attribution basis to speak more freely, told the National Post that concerns about WEF have come up very often during this leadership race from members and that most, if not all campaigns, have had to deal with them.

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“This is not a small phenomenon,” said the source. “There are a ton of Conservative Party members that are very anti-WEF. It’s something that we noticed very early on in the race.”

The WEF is best known for its annual meeting in the ritzy Swiss town of Davos, where politicians, businesspeople and other global elites meet behind closed doors to discuss world affairs and in which Canadian governments from all stripes have attended.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper described the WEF in a speech at Davos in 2012 as an “indispensable part of the global conversation among leaders in politics, business, and civil society” and thanked Schwab for his “vision” and his “leadership.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also attended the conference before the pandemic, but it was his virtual address to the United Nations in September 2020 — in which he said the pandemic provided “opportunity for a reset” — that sparked the “Great Reset” conspiracy theory.

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Conservatives — including former finance critic and now leadership candidate Pierre Poilievre — went on to accuse Trudeau of wanting to use the pandemic .

During the leadership race, some campaigns have pledged to keep their distance from the WEF should they be elected leader and then prime minister.

Poilievre promised that none of his cabinet ministers would be attending the summit in Davos — saying it would be a “one-way ticket” for them if they decided to attend — whereas Leslyn Lewis went a bit further by promising to oppose all WEF policies that undermine Canada’s sovereignty.

Roman Baber has not made specific promises related to the WEF, but has taken a hard stance against vaccine mandates and socialism, which seems to please part of the anti-WEF base.

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With only weeks to go before the Sept. 6 deadline, leadership candidates have been criss-crossing the country once more to convince members to fill in their ballots, to walk them through the process and, in some cases, to reassure them on the integrity of the process.

In a recent video, Baber explained how to vote and stated he was “comfortable with who receives the ballot and where it is sent.” He did not, however, mention Deloitte by name.

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Kuiack and Roseline, meanwhile, have decided to send in their ballots by mail after consulting with some other members on social media, but still have their doubts about the whole process.



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