Has Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown burned both bridges?


Published April 18, 2022 at 10:29 am


Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown is calling Justin Trudeau “the worst Prime Minister in Canadian history” while at the same time asking the feds for more than $1 billion in infrastructure investments.

Brown has been at odds with both Trudeau and political rival Pierre Poilievre since announcing a run for the Conservative Party of Canada leadership last month.

Through his CPC leadership platform website on Thursday (April 14), Brown issued a statement calling Trudeau “the worst Prime Minister in Canadian history.”

But as the mayor of Brampton, Brown is also part of a council currently asking the Trudeau Liberals for some $1.7 billion for the Hurontario LRT project, as well as funds for green climate change initiatives, a Cybersecure Catalyst grant, and an expansion of the city’s active transportation network.

In his statement, Brown attacks Trudeau for political scandals, the national debt, as well as saying the Prime Minister has put “thousands out of work” and “robbed Canadians of their freedoms.”

Brown also took aim at Poilievre saying a Conservative Party led by the Ottawa-area MP would help “lock in four more years” of a Liberal government, pointing to a recent Leger poll which found 27 per cent of respondents would vote for the Liberals if Poilievre were CPC leader.

RELATED: Brown and Poilievre trade blows in Conservative leadership rivalry

Brown said in his statement that the Conservative Party needs a “leader who can win, and that leader is me.”

But the numbers would tend to disagree with Brown.

That same Leger poll found just 4 per cent of respondents felt Brown “would make the best leader for the Conservative Party” while Poilievre came in with 19 per cent.

The poll found Poilievre is the current front runner in the CPC race with former Quebec Premier Jean Charest in second and Brown trailing both by a wide margin in third.

While Poilievre is drawing crowds by the thousands during his campaign, Brown has been criss-crossing the country, making his case to rooms of sometimes only as many as 20.

Brown has been courting communities of immigrant and racialized Canadians to buy party memberships as the clock ticks down to the June 3 deadline.

In videos posted to Facebook, Brown says his “path to victory is bringing new people in and having a decent level of support within the party.”

He said they have a large campaign in the Sikh, Muslim, Tamil and Chinese communities “that have all felt mistreated by the party.”

An apology to the Tamil community, improving cricket infrastructure, and putting a visa office in Kathmandu are just some of the promises Brown has made in hopes of becoming the next leader of the Conservative Party of Canada.

Brown has not signalled any intent to resign as mayor of Brampton while seeking the federal party leadership, and has said he would donate his salary to various causes including the William Osler Health System Foundation for the duration of the race.

The leadership vote is scheduled for Sept. 10 and potential candidates have until April 19 to enter the race with a $200,000 entry fee on top of a $100,000 deposit.

But Brampton is also scheduled for a municipal election on October 24, and even though the two races are a little more than a month apart the mayor can still retain his local seat while seeking out a federal leadership bid.

Brown’s past political history saw him serve three terms as an MP for the riding of Barrie before becoming leader of the Progressive Conservative Party in Ontario.

But in 2018 Brown was ousted over allegations of sexual misconduct, which the mayor has denied and resulted in a defamation lawsuit and settlement with broadcaster CTV News.

Brown was then replaced as leader by Doug Ford, who was elected premier some six months later.

With files from The Canadian Press

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