Would Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown run for leader of the Federal Conservatives?
Published February 2, 2022 at 1:23 pm
The Conservative Party of Canada caucus has ousted Erin O’Toole as party leader, but Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown says he has no eyes on Ottawa.
On Wednesday, a majority of Conservative MPs voted to remove O’Toole in a secret ballot vote. He will be replaced by an interim leader after just 18 months.
With a leadership race looming, Brown said his “only focus right now is getting Brampton reopened.”
“It’s been a tough 18 months and I want to see our city reopened,” Brown said when asked if he was considering a Conservative leadership bid. “I want us to move past COVID-19, and that is where my focus is.”
O’Toole’s leadership was put to the test when around one-third of the 118-member caucus signed a letter requesting a leadership review, which triggered Wednesday’s vote.
Brown, who served three terms as an MP for the riding of Barrie, said he wouldn’t “get into hypotheticals” on the outcome of Wednesday’s vote and has repeatedly said he is staying the course with “getting Brampton reopened.”
“I am very happy serving in Brampton and that is my focus and I’m happy to be outside of partisan politics,” Brown said in a September interview with insauga.com publisher Khaled Iwamura.
In that interview, Brown answered a question in French when asked if he spoke the language.
Candidate’s fluency in both of Canada’s official languages – or lack thereof – was a talking point for political pundits during the 2020 Conservative leadership race.
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Conservative strategist Jamie Ellerton said Wednesday he didn’t expect O’Toole’s leadership to survive the vote and that he has “failed to gain traction.”
“Mathematically it’s there, but I just don’t see the support for him at this juncture,” he said in an interview on CP24.
Should O’Toole be ousted, Ellerton said the field of potential leadership “is wide open.”
In 2018, Brown was ousted from the Ontario Conservative leadership over allegations of sexual misconduct. The mayor has denied the allegations, which were never a police matter.
When commenting on the speed at which the Conservatives could choose a new leader if O’Toole is removed, Ellerton pointed to Brown’s ouster and Doug Ford’s provincial election win some six months later.
“Let’s not forget, it was Patrick Brown who resigned in disgrace in January of 2018, Doug Ford elected leader in March and elected premier in June of that same year. So there is definitely a president for moving fast on this and having a more folsom and open debate,” Ellerton said.insauga's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising