Brampton Mayor Brown challenges ‘politically motivated’ boot from CPC leadership race


Published July 7, 2022 at 11:15 am

Patrick Brown scrum

Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown wants to appeal his removal from the Conservative Party of Canada leadership contest, saying his booting from the race was “politically motivated and preordained.”

Brown was kicked from the race late on Tuesday (July 5), with the head of the party’s leadership committee citing “serious allegations of wrongdoing by the Patrick Brown campaign” which break “the financial provisions of the Canada Elections Act.”

Party president Rob Batherson said Wednesday the allegations came from within Brown’s own campaign team.

And despite party rules saying Brown has no way to fight the decision, the Brampton mayor is refusing to back down from his latest political blow and is threatening litigation in two letters sent to members of the Leadership Election Organizing Committee (LEOC).

“To be clear, Mr. Brown has engaged in absolutely no misconduct,” reads a letter sent to Chief Returning Officer Don Nightingale which was posted online on Wednesday.

While the specific allegations which led to Brown’s dismissal have not yet been made public, one of Pierre Poilievre’s campaign co-chairs filed a complaint against Brown late last month alleging the mayor’s campaign team offered to pay people back for taking out CPC memberships – a move they say is against LEOC rules and illegal under the Canada Elections Act.

Brown has said he was never provided with “full details or evidence of these allegations,” while the LEOC says Nightingale “notified the Patrick Brown campaign of the allegations and asked for a written response.”

LEOC Chair Ian Brodie says information provided by the Brown campaign “did not satisfy concerns about their compliance with our Rules and Procedures and/or the Canada Elections Act.”

In a second letter addressed to Brodie, Brown’s legal counsel say the disqualification “may now be the subject of anticipated litigation” and advise that all documents and records be preserved, including “communication with members of the Pierre Poilievre campaign and other stakeholders.”

Poilievre and Brown have been locked in a tense political fight for months in their attempts to sell party memberships and recruit supporters, with both campaigns filing complaints against the other.

The letters were signed by Toronto-based lawyers Alex Smith and Marie Henein, who say they are acting as Brown’s counsel.

In the letter to Nightingale, Brown’s counsel say the decision to remove Brown from the race will lead to the “disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of Canadians – in particular, new Canadians – that Mr. Brown and his campaign have brought into the Party.”

“Mr. Brown is not prepared to accept your attempt to disenfranchise the important voice of new Canadians in this party,” the letter reads.

Closer to home, Brown and four of his Brampton City Council supporters have been absent from the last four council meetings in an attempt to block the appointment of an interim city councillor.

Brown still has time to run again for mayor of Brampton before the October municipal election should his challenge fail and he is unable to re-enter the CPC race.

But some of Brown’s political critics on Brampton City Council are calling for the mayor to step back from his official duties and even leave town altogether, saying he is working to block a forensic audit of the now-scrapped Brampton University project.

“The CPC took a bold step after conducting its own investigations of Patrick Brown. He didn’t get away with these tactics in his Conservative leadership bid and he shouldn’t get away with them in Brampton either,” Councillors Jeff Bowman, Martin Medeiros, Pat Fortini, Gurpreet Dhillon and Doug Whillans said in a statement provided to

The Conservatives will announce the winner of the leadership race in Ottawa on Sept. 10, and Brown’s name will still appear on the ballot as the party has already sent many out in the mail.

The last day to file nominations for the municipal election is Aug. 19.

With files from The Canadian Press

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