Patrick Brown, the previous leader of the the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party, has officially dropped out of the current race for his old position. Brown, who had resigned in January due to allegations of sexual misconduct, had announced earlier last week that he would be re-running for the position.
The decision to drop out of the race came Monday evening after reports had been given by two senior members of Brown’s campaign team claiming that Brown and his family had been subjected to death threats and harassment. The reports also cited the hospitalization of his mother, who was admitted to Sunday with chest pains, caused by stress and anxiety.
Brown released a statement on his Twitter account which called out the integrity of CTV news for the way they’ve reported on the allegations made against him.
“I am a strong supporter of the #MeToo movement, but false allegations broadcast by the media diminish that movement and minimize the voices of women who come forward honestly and with pure intentions,” he stated in a release. “ That could not be allowed to stand. It had to be challenged.”
Within the statement, Brown also placed a strong emphasis on a hope for the continuation of the “People’s Guarantee”, the five-point platform aimed at cutting taxes, lowering electricity prices and more.
Brown had been accused of sexual misconduct by two women, prompting his resignation from leadership on January 25. He would later be ejected from the Ontario PC caucus on Feb. 16, only shortly to be followed by his being given the “green light” to run for the position of his own replacement on Feb. 21.
The choice to re-run for his position had created a significant amount of confusion and perplexity in the Ontario PC party, some choosing to stand behind his decision, like Mike Britton, city councillor for St. Catharines in the ward of St. George’s, who had volunteered to work on Brown’s campaign.
Other Ontario PC politicians were not so supportive, like leadership hopeful Caroline Mulroney, who had gone on record to suggest that Brown should step down due to his taking emphasis away from the problems the PC party is looking to address. These problems include putting a spotlight on the chaos within the party, further jeopardizing its chances to win in the coming June provincial election.
“Our goal is to fire Kathleen Wynne and we’re losing sight of that,” Mulroney said Friday night to reporters. “We need someone who will stand up for our values.”
Mulroney would go on to suggest that she is the only viable choice of leadership, discrediting fellow leadership candidate Christine Elliott as lacking commitment and Doug Ford as not knowing the price behind his “random ideas”.
Beyond the allegations of sexual misconduct, Brown has also been accused of breaching legislatures ethics rules by allegedly accepting lavish gifts and income. It is also alleged that he conducted business deals without informing Ontario’s integrity commissioner, an action that he is required to do by provincial law. Brown has not only denied these allegations against him but has claimed that they are “make believe” and “entirely fictional.”
The complaint, filed by PC MPP Randy Hillier, was addressed by Brown in a two page letter posted on Brown’s Twitter account, calling out the actions of Hillier as a smear-tactic. Hillier, in his complaint, questioned how Brown was able to afford his $2.3 million mortgage on his house and had failed to follow provincial guidelines by disclosing any additional sources of income. Hillier also questioned how Brown could afford his numerous trips overseas.
Now that Brown has quit the race for leadership of the Ontario PC party, the race comes down to Mulroney, ex-Toronto councillor Doug Ford, MPP Christine Elliott, and social conservative activist Tanya Granic Allen.