Earlier this week, residents of St. Catharines took to social media after a local politician was spotted with controversial Progressive Conservative leadership candidate Patrick Brown. Mike Britton, city councillor for St. Catharines in the ward of St. George’s, was photographed alongside Brown at PC party headquarters in Toronto. Brown is currently in the middle of a campaign to lead the provincial PC party, only weeks after stepping down as head of the party following the emergence of sexual assault allegations against him by several women. Brown has consistently denied the allegations.
“I do not have an official title on [Brown’s] leadership campaign,” Britton said in an interview with The Brock Press. “I am helping in whatever capacity is needed which involves a variety of tasks.”
“Everyone needs to work to create an environment where victims of any form of harassment are supported,” Britton continued.
He feels that Brown has successfully “disproved” the allegations against him. Britton also stated he has a “clear conscience” supporting Brown.
“False allegations hurt progress towards that goal,” said Britton. “When issues as serious as this are weaponized for political gain, it damages the movement and I fear it could stop victims from coming forward in the future.”
Britton stated that he is supporting Brown in particular because he “stands behind the People’s Guarantee Platform, which puts jobs right at the centre.” Britton highlighted the issues of affordable hydro, lowering taxes and easing access to apprenticeships as reasons why he feels Brown will be the best candidate to lead Ontario in the future.
“The PC Party was heading in an incredibly positive direction under the leadership of Brown which was focused on those issues and helping everyday people,” said Britton. “Under [Brown’s] leadership, the PC party has grown to be the largest in the party’s history and has become more diverse, inclusive and truly reflective of a modern Ontario.”