TAKE BACK OUR PC PARTY
In the summer of 2018, on the heels of starting his Axe the Carbon Tax campaign, and after multiple reports of voting irregularities, ballot box stuffing, and voter fraud, all occurring in PC Party nominations, Jim led a campaign called Take Back Our PC Party.
The campaign’s goal was to collect enough signatures from PC members across Ontario in order to call a special general meeting of the party. The purpose of the special general meeting was to:
Force a binding vote on Patrick Brown’s plan to impose a Justin Trudeau style carbon tax in Ontario.
Re-open nominations that involved voter fraud, ballot box stuffing, and other voting irregularities; and
Clarify that the leader does not have the power to appoint candidates - a contravention of the PC constitution.
The campaigns had a significant impact but it came at a cost. Jim faced significant retribution for this campaign.
Steve Paikin (TVO's The Agenda) at the 2018 PC leadership convention describes the impact that Jim Karahalios, AxeTheCarbonTax.ca, and TakeBackOurPCParty.com, had on the 2018 Ontario PC leadership race.
In November of 2017, with the TakeBackOurPCParty.com campaign gaining traction, with thousands of members signing on, then PC leader Patrick Brown (who was an outspoken advocate in favour of a carbon tax and was leading the corrupt governance of the Ontario PC Party) ordered the Ontario PC Party executive to revoke Jim's membership in the party.
Later that week, Jim was barred from entering Brown's pro-carbon tax convention (even though Jim offered to pay $1,000 and enter as a "non-member observer").
As if that wasn't enough, the party also sued Jim and both of his campaigns - the first time in Canadian history a political party has sued a private citizen. After 6 grueling weeks in court, Jim won when the lawsuit was dismissed as an attempt to limit Jim's ability to participate in the political process on matters of public interest (SLAPP - strategic litigation against public participation).
The lawsuit essentially stopped the Take Back Our PC Party campaign.
After 6 long weeks in court, Jim won the lawsuit.
The PC Party's spokesperson, Jeff Silverstein, explained the lawsuit by the PC Party against Jim in an article by QP Briefing in June of 2018:
"In 2017, when Patrick Brown was leader of the PC Party, the Superior Court threw out a legal case launched by the PC Party against Jim Karahalios, an outspoken critic of Patrick Brown and head of the 'Axe the Carbon Tax' and 'Take Back Our PC Party' campaigns ... The legal case that was filed was another misguided attempt by Patrick Brown to stifle dissent on party issues that are matters of public interest, and the court agreed, ruling it was a SLAPP – a 'strategic lawsuit against public participation.' The legislation put in place to deter SLAPP suits entitled Karahalios to 100% of his legal fees to be paid by the PC Party."
With Brown resigning as PC leader in disgrace, Jim's lawsuit was settled and he received a public apology from interim leader and now Ontario's Minister of Finance, MPP Vic Fedeli.
During the PC Party leadership race in 2018, all of the leadership candidates pledged their opposition to a carbon tax and also pledged to re-open nominations and ensure that the party constitution was followed going forward.
The day after the 2018 PC leadership vote, Jim's membership was immediately reinstated in the Ontario PC Party.
After the PC Party won a majority government in 2018, the government’s first priority was to scrap the “cap-and-trade” carbon tax.
Robert Benzie discusses Jim’s campaign being on the “right side of history.”