02.12.2014 08:40 AM

Nick Kouvalis on John Tory – plus, everyone on Nick Kouvalis

As a public service, here’s what Nick Kouvalis used to say about John Tory. Below that, my column about what everyone has to say about Nick Kouvalis – with bonus stuff about the time he was charged for threatening to kill someone, and a damning report about his ethics. Your’e welcome.


“It’s all about accountability and John Tory’s leadership.” – Nick, explaining why he was starting a campaign to remove John from the Ontario PC leadership. Press release, December 6, 2007

“Based on the devastating loss that we’ve just experienced as a party, John Tory must command a significant majority of support to be able to effectively lead us into the next election.” – Nick, in a story headlined about how he was seeking to “oust” Tory. CBC News, December 6, 2007

“John Tory [lost] his own seat and receiving less votes than Ernie Eves…John Tory’s support is not vast nor overwheling [sic]…Tory is slipping.” – Nick, on the The Politic blog, December 23, 2007

“[We] called into the radio show and challenged John’s integrity, and then John decided not to get in the race. And that was a huge victory for Rob. We kept John out and Rob won because of it.” – Nick, bragging about Rob Ford’s win to BlogTO, November 7, 2010.


Nick Kouvalis is a big man. Or he used to be.

He allows that he had a surgical procedure that helped him shed nearly 200 pounds.

Kouvalis is also kind of a big deal. Just ask him.

He brags to reporters about how he created a fake Twitter account, and how that single bit of trickery helped to elect Rob Ford. He yaps about a crude YouTube video he created, and how that was important. He says he’s “good” at ending Liberal careers. He recounts how he told Ford to punch his main opponent, and “make him bleed.”

Now, all of this tough-guy talk isn’t such a good idea, sometimes. Not so long ago, Kouvalis was tried for uttering a death threat against a Conservative MP. In July 2005, it was alleged by the Crown that Kouvalis said to two young women: “If I could kill Jeff Watson with my bare hands and get away with it, I would.” He did this while campaign manager for another Conservative in Windsor.

The judge acquitted Kouvalis, believing he wasn’t serious. But, a few years later, Kouvalis could again be seen trying to suggest that it had all been clear evidence of his superior strategic mind. “Actually,” Kouvalis said, “I thank Jeff. It made me.”

If that’s so, Kouvalis must be simply delighted – Thrilled! Overjoyed! – by the recent finding of a panel of the Market Research and Intelligence Association.

The association oversees the activities of the Canadian polling industry, of which Kouvalis is ostensibly part.

The panel was struck after the association received no less than seven complaints about the activities of Kouvalis’ firm, Campaign Research. According to the complainants, Kouvalis’ company bombarded residents of Irwin Cotler’s Montreal riding with false claims about the Liberal MP.

Among other things, callers were told that Cotler was about to resign, which was a lie.

MPs complained about the calls in the House of Commons. The Conservatives’ odious House leader, Peter Van Loan, defended it.

“It’s a normal part of politics,“ Van Loan said. The House of Commons’ eunuch of a speaker, Andrew Scheer, said it was all “reprehensible,” but he couldn’t do anything about it. (He used Kouvalis, too!)

The Market Research association wasn’t nearly so pathetic. They spent a few months looking into the matter. Last week, they concluded Kouvalis’ firm had violated no less than three sections of its code, and that the violations were “more serious than a minor transgression.”

The violations were serious enough to discredit the entire industry, they concluded. Kouvalis’ firm acted in a way that diminished the public’sconfidence, it found. In particular, an interview Kouvalis gave to the media in which he attempted to minimize what had happened, amounted to a “blatant contravention” of the association’s code, the panel ruled.

Now, given that Campaign Research has been linked to the ongoing robocalls investigations, none of this should be particularly surprising. Nick Kouvalis is who he is. He does not hide it. He is a boor and a loudmouth, and now he is someone who “blatantly contravened” the rules of his own profession.


  1. bigcitylib says:

    Also *cough* Jeff Watson *cough* *cough*

  2. sezme says:

    Since one is supposed to say good things about people where possible, I’ll say this about Nick Kouvalis: He’s no hypocrite. I mean, he’s proud of having no personal integrity!

  3. Ted Heighington says:

    Kouvalis is a control freak [albeit a very smart, cunning & winning one at that] but he needs to [and does] dominate any campaign tent. He’s not a team player. He is a strategically razor sharp one-man, one-trick show. John’s already over-powered team won’t stand for it. Having Kouvalis involved risks creating an un-authentic and unnaturally over-aggressive John Tory, forcing him to adopt issues and stances that aren’t John, that aren’t in his heart [like the school board funding arm twists his handlers pushed on Tory years ago]. Tory doesn’t need to find his winning ‘gravy’ issues by wasting his war chest funds on Kouvalis or research for issues that already more than crystal clear. Tory needs to find himself first, and then establish his mayoralty voice [hint, it’s not council consensus building, being a nice guy or managing money]. Being himself, and not what others want him to be, will help propel Tory’s ratings upwards.

  4. .. “Conservative values .. are Canada’s values ..”

    its completely unclear how The Harper Party pricks
    define, measure or regard ”values’
    Perhaps they use the Tom Flanagan, Calgary School measuring dipstick
    He’s now a Distinguished Fellow @ U of Calgary ..
    and he must have opinions on Nick Kouvalis..

    So Van Loan said .. Lying is a normal part of politics .. ?
    Rob Ford feels drunk driving is normal.. and smoking crack ..
    Mebbe Tony Clement can inform Canada about values.. or Joe ‘Ethical Oil’ Oliver
    or the queen of Brylcream .. and pimp of demonocracy .. P Poilievre ..

    Maybe Jenni Byrne or squeaky clean Ray Novak
    or trench warfare expert Arthur Hamilton
    can opine on Nick Kouvalis electoral service value.. or values..
    or whether Pierre Poutine will arise and come back to haunt or hack elections
    or Nigel .. ‘looking after things that will not end well’ Wright

    A black swan whispered in my ear the other day..
    there was smoke coming from.. The Harper Conspiracy ..
    like a peat fire.. underground baby .. and glowing red..
    and that all the King’s spies.. and all the King’s Whipped Men ..
    and even Dimitri ‘quality time with his family’ Soudas..
    all the Robo Wanks .. and electoral databanks
    and Senator Gerstein and DeLoray ..
    and leveraging Laureen ..
    and cooking the budget books
    and blaming Justin.. or Mad Tom
    or renegade injuns.. or pensioners

    Can’t make Stephen Harper..
    or thugs like Kouvalis that he hires
    pass the smell test …

    or the Values Test
    Much less the ‘glowing heart’ test

  5. Cynical says:

    I see Minister Poilevre’s new elections act as an official means of enabling behaviour such as this guy exhibits. It occurs to me that this shit will go on and there will be no way to stop it in real time.
    I would be just as incensed if it were a Liberal or NDP government proposing this, BTW.

  6. !o! says:

    eunuch… EUNUCH. That’s the most succinct formulation of a person I’ve heard all week. I love it.

  7. Charles Foster says:

    I just read on the Toronto Sun’s website that Rob Ford’s former campaign manager Nick Kouvalis is prepared to work for John Tory should he decide to run for Mayor. Having read some of the dirty tricks Kouvalis employed in the last election to get Rob Ford elected I would hope that John Tory decides against working with such an individual.

    Our democracy and the public good is not well served by such dishonest and disreputable election campaigning and I like to think that John Tory is above all that.

  8. Paul Brennan says:

    folks will see thruogh it

  9. Ian Howard says:

    If Tory is dithering so is Olivia.
    This election will not be some existential search for meaning but a metaphor for the absurdity that is the universe.
    Estragon: “We are all born mad. Some remain so. “

    • reformatory says:

      Thanks for pointing that out. I totally agree she is lame so far and she also is not announcing her plans. All these fancy people claim to love Toronto and BLAH BLAH BLAH, and all these people claim to hate ROFO and BLAH BLAH BLAH- but nobody throws their hat into the race.

      Looking at what ROFO stands for and has done while being the biggest loser mayor- you would think there would be a lineup from the WHO’s WHO list from all walks of life rolling up their sleeves to save this city. But everyone is mum.

      Interesting how things work!!!

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