In the News…
"Jim Karahalios, head of the “Axe the Carbon Tax” and “Take Back Our PC Party” campaigns, led the grassroots charge against Brown’s leadership. Karahalios was instrumental in exposing problems at Tory candidate nomination elections, the policy-making process and other abuses of the party constitution. In response, the Tories filed an expensive legal action against him that a judge ruled was a SLAPP, a “strategic lawsuit against public participation” to stifle dissent. Yet under Brown, the party planned to appeal that decision. Things changed after he was forced to resign on Jan. 25 amid allegations of sexual impropriety. Fedeli, who has vowed to clean up the Brown-era “rot” in the party, said Karahalios had been unfairly treated and praised him for his “hard work to ensure that our party constitution is upheld.” ... Karahalios, a Cambridge corporate lawyer, has emerged as a conscience of the PC party. His crusade against Brown’s embrace of a carbon tax has been embraced by all the leadership hopefuls in the March 10 PC leadership contest."
- Robert Benzie, Queen's Park Bureau Chief, Toronto Star, March 1, 2018
"Things have turned very much Jim Karahalios’s way lately, and they might not be done yet. If you haven’t heard of Karahalios, he was the noisy member of the Ontario Progressive Conservatives persecuted by his own party for refusing to let former leader Patrick Brown get away with making carbon taxes an official policy. Although Karahalios clearly spoke for most members, Brown was determined to stick with his carbon tax — and to muzzle Karahalios and his “Axe the Tax” campaign, which has since expanded to every province. Karahalios was even tossed out of PC events and stripped of his PC membership. With Doug Ford now leading the party into a spring election, the Ontario PC party looks less like Brown’s than it does Karahalios’s, who got his official apology (and the lawsuit appeal dropped) earlier this month from the party. And with Canada’s largest province looking like it might soon be on the same warpath as other provinces against the federal Liberals over the carbon tax, the whole country could soon look more like Karahalios’s sort of place than Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s."
- Kevin Libin, Trudeau's Carbon Tax Plan is Close to Blowing Up in His Face, Financial Post, March 16, 2018
"When people say to me, what influence can one person have on the political process, you should read about Jim Karahalios, because that's one guy who frankly had a huge impact on nomination races being forced to be re-looked at, on the carbon tax, which was a significant part obviously of the People's Guarantee under Patrick Brown, and which now is a dead letter, as far as the PC party is concerned, at least going into the election... But at the moment the Axe The Tax campaign from Jim Karahalios, certainly at the end of the day, proved to be successful."
- Steve Paikin, Host of The Agenda on TVO, March 10, 2018
"We want to take this opportunity to thank Mr. Karahalios for his hard work to ensure that our Party Constitution is upheld and that all Party nomination contests are “open, public, and democratic” and in accordance with Ontario’s Election Act, and in his efforts to call for the re-opening of nominations that were not held in this fashion - as has now been done in Ottawa West-Nepean and Scarborough-Centre. No PC Party activist conducting grassroots campaigns in accordance with our Party’s constitution, should ever have to go through what Mr. Karahalios went through - barring him from our party’s convention, revoking his membership, and forcing him to defend against a frivolous and vexatious lawsuit."
- Vic Fedeli, Ontario's Minister of Finance, Statement on March 1, 2018 as Interim PC Party leader
- Doug Ford, Ontario Premier, on Twitter as PC leadership candidate, March 1, 2018
- Doug Ford, Ontario Premier, on Twitter as PC leadership candidate, February 12, 2018
"In a few short months, Karahalios has gone from outcast to something of the moral conscience of the party. His campaigns around carbon tax and party corruption became core ideas in the leadership campaign. Under ousted leader Patrick Brown, Karahalios was sued, stripped of his membership and booted out of the party's convention."
- Greg Mercer, The Waterloo Record, Tories want to heal rifts after divisive leadership race, March 12, 2018
"Since Brown’s downfall, Karahalios has been sending open letters about cleaning house in the Progressive Conservative party’s executive. After Brown went, he wrote that Dykstra had to go. After Dykstra went, he wrote that Fedeli needed to scrutinize the party’s membership list and reconsider the Brown-faced election platform."
- David Reevely, Ottawa Citizen, January 31, 2018
"Jim was banished from the party under Patrick Brown. Yet under Doug Ford, the issue Jim has tirelessly championed is priority number one for the new government."
"All three Progressive Conservative leadership candidates have abandoned the carbon tax that generates the revenues to pay for promises in the party’s People’s Guarantee platform... The decision sounds the death knell for the People’s Guarantee just 75 days after the Star revealed its contents on Nov. 25 — and comes 119 days from the election. It is also a vindication for dissident activist Jim Karahalios’ grassroots “Axe the Carbon Tax” movement."
"On Friday, Ford announced that his first priority is to eliminate the Liberals’ cap-and-trade carbon-pricing scheme. He plans to do it right away, when he reconvenes the legislature in a few weeks for a special summer session. This is quite a remarkable turn of events, given that it was only a year ago that former leader Patrick Brown was a vocal champion of carbon taxes. The PCs under Brown even went so far in their wrongheadedness as to banish anti-carbon tax activist Jim Karahalios from the party over his advocacy."
"The problem is that Prime Minister Trudeau now faces a much different political environment than he apparently took for granted. A year ago, nine of 10 provinces were on board with the Liberal plan (though in some cases this meant agreeing to implement provincial versions). Today (as anti-carbon-tax campaigner Jim Karahalios happily pointed out this week in the Financial Post) Saskatchewan, the original renegade, has been joined in opposing Trudeau’s carbon-tax plan by Ontario and Prince Edward Island, with Newfoundland and New Brunswick signalling they too might bail. Alberta’s NDP government is four-square behind the plan, of course, but it’s very likely be toppled by the United Conservative Party next year, in part over this very issue."