Did the Conservative Party Block A Nomination Candidate for Being Orthodox-Jewish?

Written By Karl Fluri, Posted on March 8, 2021

This week the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) decided to “red light” the candidacy of Chani Aryeh-Bain, and is now facing a backlash as accusations of religious discrimination against more observant, Orthodox Jews, begin to mount. In her statement Aryeh-Bain said:

The CPC barred me from running – of course I’m very disappointed… I find it shocking, in this day and age, that the CPC would exclude a candidate because of her religious observance.

Although both of Aryeh-Bain’s remaining opponents in Thornhill are Jewish women, neither keep the sabbath, which seemed to be a major issue for the CPC establishment in deciding the fate of this candidate in what is a largely Jewish Orthodox area. Aryeh-Bain seems to have been booted from the nomination for being the wrong sort of Jewish person.


Aryeh-Bain provided a statement to the media on her Facebook page, the news release read:

Opposition to Aryeh-Bain’s candidacy seems to have started with the local CPC elite in Thornhill. In an official interview on February 24, local Tories grilled her on the issue of her faith observance. Various Thornhill CPC officials repeatedly suggested that, as a strict Sabbath observer, it would be difficult or impossible for Aryeh-Bain to effectively campaign in the upcoming election. Doubt was cast on her ability to properly represent Thornhill as MP, if elected. Her Sabbath and other religious observance were cited as the cause of concern

Aryeh-Bain vigorously defended both the right and the ability of Sabbath observers to stay faithful to their religious observance while participating as equal members of a tolerant, multireligious, multi-ethnic society. “The sentiment that Sabbath observers cannot, or should not, aspire to public office in this country is a form of anti-religious bigotry, pure and simple,” said Aryeh-Bain, “but for the CPC to apply such bigotry in such a way as to exclude someone from participating in public life? That is reprehensible.”

The CPC’s National Candidate Selection Committee, a National Council subcommittee for the party, made the decision to block Aryeh-Bain’s candidacy Monday, March 1st, 2021. Unofficial information indicates that the local Thornhill CPC advised headquarters against allowing Aryeh-Bain’s name on the ballot. 

Many are now questioning whether the party’s key political staff urged this committee to ban Aryeh-Bain from running:

(Photo from Huffpost Canada)

(Photo from Huffpost Canada)

Some influential people in the Conservative Party seem to have an agenda to exclude ‘religious people’ from getting party nominations. This week, the CPC has added Sabbath-observing Orthodox Jews to their hit list 

The CPC National Council in its entirety upheld the ban, March 3rd, following a decision by Aryeh-Bain to appeal the results; even as she was up against formidable lobbying by party elites.

It is strange to see the CPC make such a decision about a person’s adherence to their religious beliefs, especially in a riding where such a faith is commonplace, all the while accusing such as Islamaphobic, or racist is thrown out so easily these days.

(Photo from The Washington Post)

(Photo from The Washington Post)

There seems a double standard within the CPC when it comes to the treatment of different religious minorities here in Canada and within their own party. Much like the Liberal Party, it appears Erin O’Toole’s Conservative Party is willing to discriminate based on someone being of a particular religious affiliation or at least refuses to do the work to provide transparency on why exactly some candidates are unable to run for party nominations.

It should be noted that Aryeh-Bain was not the only sabbath-observing politician disallowed to participate in the Conservative Party seeing as MP Derek Sloan, who is an Adventist, was removed from the CPC back in late January. Aryeh-Bain and Sloan had also both been vocally against the use of lawfare tactics used by extremists in Canada and advocated for Canada to become tougher on terrorist organizations abroad.

Aryeh-Bain’s candidacy for the Thornhill CPC nomination being denied feels a lot like a repeat of the Patrick Brown days of the Ontario PC’s where there were many accusations of rigged nomination races and candidates being removed or oddly suddenly dropping out of nomination races at the last minute.

Tassawar Syed dropped out unexpectedly shortly before the nomination election for Mississauga East – Cooksville.

Tassawar Syed dropped out unexpectedly shortly before the nomination election for Mississauga East – Cooksville.

Due to perceived internal chaos inside the CPC these days including issues with the slumping popularity of Erin O’Toole, it may be advisable that more transparency be brought to nomination races if members are to believe the situation with Chani Aryeh-Bain had nothing to do with internal politics inside the CPC.

Karl Fluri

3 responses to “Did the Conservative Party Block A Nomination Candidate for Being Orthodox-Jewish?”

  1. jack reynolds says:

    The CPC sure as Hell is not a people’s party.

  2. Harvey Vanderwal says:

    I will terminate membership from the conservatives
    Harvey Vanderwal

  3. Gene Balfour says:

    Chani and her supporters are making a mountain out of a mole hill over this issue.
    She may have simply lost to a better candidate but she is playing her “victim” card to make people believe that her loss was a matter of religion.
    Now that she is playing “victim”, I agree with the CPC that she is not the best choice as candidate for the Thornhill riding. The last thing Thornhill needs is a high maintenance whiner representing the constituents of Thornhill.