Tories square off in final leadership debate

Ontario's Progressive Conservatives tried to get past weeks of unprecedented chaos during the final leaders' debate last night.
   
But that effort took a hit as the four candidates vying to replace Patrick Brown painted a picture of a toxic party culture, rife with allegations of corruption and bullying.
   
With a June election looming, the four candidates squared off in Ottawa and vowed to tighten rules around party nominations, to combat sexual harassment, and ensure grassroot member's voices are heard.
   
Former Tory legislator Christine Elliott, lawyer and businesswoman Caroline Mulroney, former Toronto city councillor Doug Ford and social conservative Tanya Granic Allen are seeking the party leadership.
   
Brown's abrupt resignation amid sexual misconduct allegations has exposed cracks in the party's structure, issues with its nomination processes, and discrepancies in its membership numbers.
   
Granic Allen repeatedly asked her competitors if they would reopen nomination contests where there have been allegations of interference and bullying.
   
Ford said he would re-open problematic races and recounted being at nomination meetings where he heard accounts of ballot stuffing.
   
Elliott said she would ensure rules were followed so races could be conducted properly, while Mulroney also promised to take action.
   
The winning candidate will be announced on March 10th.

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