Patrick Brown, currently mayor of Brampton, Ontario, says the Conservative Party leadership race should not be an ideological ‘purity test.’ [i]
Does than mean that Brown believes conservative principles are now optional for the Party’s leader?
More concerning to the CSSA is Brown’s “non-aggression pact” with Jean Charest who, as we wrote last week, supports universal registration of all firearms and tighter restrictions on licensed gun owners.
On March 10, the Toronto Star reported that Patrick Brown and Jean Charest had forged a “non-aggression pact” for the Conservative Party leadership contest.[ii]
The two have spoken at length about the leadership race. I’m told to expect neither will say a bad word about the other — a non-aggression pact, if you will — and that they will “publicly” help one another.
Their goals are similarly aligned: a united but more inclusive party that represents the country. Each anticipates the other’s supporters will mark him as their second choice on the party’s ranked ballots, and they may make that expectation clear when members start receiving their ballots this summer.
“It is my opinion that Mr. Brown contravened section 20 of the Act by failing to disclose income in his private disclosure statement in 2016 and again in 2017,” wrote Ontario Integrity Commissioner J. David Wake in his final report.[iii]
“Mr. Brown admitted that he received income from renting his property on various occasions using Airbnb in 2016 and to a friend in 2017, which he failed to disclose to me.
“It is also my opinion that Mr. Brown contravened section 20 of the Act by failing to disclose a liability in his private disclosure statement in 2016 and again in 2017. Mr. Brown admitted that he received a loan for $375,000 from Mr. Johal which he used to purchase a waterfront property in his riding, and that he failed to disclose this loan to me.
“Of the four breaches of the Act, the most serious are those related to the non-disclosure of the loan from Mr. Johal. On all the evidence, I found that the non-disclosure of the loan, as with the rental income, was deliberate, and not through inadvertence.”
Carbon Tax Flip-Flop
As leader of the Ontario PC Party, Patrick Brown heartily endorsed carbon taxes, despite opposing them throughout the 2015 Ontario Progressive Conservative Party leadership race.
Today he says he will consult Conservative party members on how to deal with the carbon tax if he wins the leadership contest.
“I can definitely admit that [not consulting the membership] is not the right approach,” Brown said.[iv]
CPC Policy #28 states: “We believe that there should be no federally imposed carbon taxes or cap and trade systems on either the provinces or on the citizens of Canada. The provinces and territories should be free to develop their own climate change policies, without federal interference or federal penalties or incentives.”[v]
Sexual Misconduct Allegations and Defamation Lawsuit
In January 2018, Patrick Brown resigned as leader of the Ontario PC Party after CTV News published allegations of sexual misconduct against him. Brown vehemently denied the allegations and launched an $8 million defamation lawsuit against the network.
“CTV has reached a settlement with Patrick Brown, the former Ontario Progressive Conservative leader and current mayor of Brampton, Ont.,” CTV wrote on March 9th.[vi]
“Key details provided to CTV for the story were factually incorrect and required correction. CTV National News regrets including those details in the story and any harm this may have caused to Mr. Brown.”
CTV made a point of emphasizing that the settlement did not include any money to Brown, but would not explain which details were “factually incorrect.”
Elected Mayor of Brampton
Eight months after resigning the leadership of the Ontario PC party in disgrace due to the CTV News allegations of sexual misconduct, Patrick Brown ran for mayor of Brampton and won.
As mayor, he continues to fight for bail reform and other public safety measures.
On January 24, 2020, Brown expressed his gratitude to Premier Doug Ford for providing $20 million in funding to Peel Region to combat drug and gang violence.[vii]
Bail Reform Advocate
In August 2020, Patrick Brown renewed his demand for bail reform after Darian Henderson-Bellman was shot five times and killed, allegedly by Darnell Reid, her ex-boyfriend.
Darnell Reid was subject to numerous No Contact Orders and three Firearms Prohibition Orders when he allegedly murdered Henderson-Bellman.[viii]
“The individual, who has now been charged with murder, breached his (bail) release on four different occasions… On the fifth, it was too late,” Patrick Brown said.[ix]
CSSA Caution to Members
Is Patrick Brown just another politician who will say anything to get elected?
Brown definitely brings a lot of political and organizational skill to the contest.
His defeat of front-runner Christine Elliott in the 2015 Ontario PC Party leadership race is a testament to his political prowess, as is winning the mayorship of Brampton just eight months after resigning that leadership in 2018 over allegations of sexual misconduct.
But… Patrick Brown is friends with Jean Charest and made a deal to help Charest during the CPC leadership contest.
Does that mean Brown agrees with Charest’s publicly stated positions on firearm registries and gun bans?
We don’t know, but Brown’s ethical lapses, combined with his “non-aggression pact” with Charest, mean we’re unable to ask CSSA members to support him.
“To win this time,” Althia Raj wrote in the Toronto Star[x], “Charest and Brown need to change the makeup of the party, and dilute the influence of hard-core social conservatives.”
During Patrick Brown’s time as leader of the Ontario PC Party, he supported carbon taxes and moving the party to the centre of the political spectrum.
If he brings this same approach to the Conservative Party of Canada, he will simply repeat the mistakes that cost Erin O’Toole both the 2021 federal election and the party leadership.