Patrick Brown eyes political future
in Ottawa as leader
of the PC Party

di Priscilla Pajdo del March 14, 2022

TORONTO - Well, it’s official. Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown has announced that he is running for the Federal Conservative leadership. He formally declared his candidacy on March 13, in a 25-minute speech, mostly in English with some French, at Queen’s Manor Event Centre in Brampton.

Speaking to a crowd estimated at close to 1,500 people packed in the event space, Brown addressed a variety of issues. His speech focused on the idea of protecting the rights of community and the protection of religious freedom. He addressed inflation, climate change, gas prices and carbon tax increases.

 

(the videos before Brown's speech at Queen’s Manor Event Centre in Brampton)

“I’m confident that together we can come up with a winning position, one that addresses climate change and respects provincial jurisdictions, energy security, energy sector workers, while keeping life affordable”, he said in Sunday’s speech.

As Mayor of one of Canada’s most diverse cities, Brown said he is committed to fighting for a “better future…one that is principled and inclusive”. He added, “I want people who have never voted Conservative - who may have voted for other parties - to feel welcome in our party”.

 

(two parts of Brown's speech at Queen’s Manor Event Centre in Brampton) 

He did not take questions from the media nor from those who came to hear him speak. Brown’s campaign launch comes days after he reached a settlement in his $8 million defamation lawsuit against CTV News after the network had published allegations accusing him of sexual misconduct. The network has since expressed regret over inaccuracies included in a 2018 report which probably cost Brown his position as Leader of the Ontario PC Party months before the provincial election.

His announcement puts to rest weeks of speculation about whether he would throw his name into the mix. Last month, just days after Erin O’Toole was voted out as the leader of the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) by his own caucus, Ottawa-area MP Pierre Poilievre was the first to announce his candidacy for the CPC leadership.

Brown joins three other candidates who have already made their way into the leadership race. Last week, Ontario MP Leslyn Lewis announced her bid on March 8 via Twitter. This is her second run in a Conservative leadership race. She came third behind Erin O’Toole in August 2020.

Other candidates include Independent MPP Roman Baber who declared his candidacy last Wednesday, and former Quebec premier Jean Charest who launched his campaign the next day in Calgary.

Candidates have until April 19 to declare their campaign; and until June 3 to sign up members. The vote to elect the new Conservative leader takes place on September 10. As of today, he can count on at least two members of caucus, Senator Salma Ataullahjan and MP Kyle Seeback.

As for his role as Mayor he may continue to hold his seat while seeking the federal PC party leadership. Meanwhile, the municipal elections are scheduled on October 24, just over one month after the leadership race. However, during the leadership race, Brown said he would donate his paycheck as Mayor to the Osler Foundation, Khalsa Aid and Humanity First organizations.

According to the Municipal Elections Act, members of the Legislative Assembly, the Senate or the House of Commons are not eligible to run for council or mayor. Should Brown win and become the leader of the PC party, that would disqualify him from running municipally. If he wins, he will not have the time.

P. Pajdo is a Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Photo and video credit: P. Pajdo

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