Patrick Brown has formally joined the race to guide the federal Conservatives, with a promise to heal the fractures which have erupted within the social gathering over current years.
Brown, 43, launched his marketing campaign in Brampton, Ont., the place he has served as mayor since 2018.
He walked on stage on the Queen’s Manor Occasion Centre together with his spouse, Genevieve, and their two youngsters Sunday as the group chanted his identify.
Brown’s speech pitched a marketing campaign that provides a better voice for caucus members and a much bigger Conservative tent.
“I need individuals who have by no means voted Conservative, and voted for different events to really feel welcome in our household,” Brown advised the group Sunday.
Brown, recognized throughout the social gathering as a hardworking organizer, is the fifth candidate to enter the Conservative management race, already populated by former federal Progressive Conservative chief Jean Charest and Ottawa-area MP Pierre Poilievre. Rookie Ontario MP Leslyn Lewis and Unbiased Ontario MPP Roman Baber are additionally operating.
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Brown’s political roots run deep in Brampton, and it’s part of the nation the place Conservatives know they should develop their assist in the event that they hope to kind authorities.
He promised to try this with out sacrificing seats in western or rural Canada, and advised the social gathering must cease treating Conservative members within the west “like an ATM and begin delivering election victories.”
In his speech, Brown addressed the principle concern raised about his candidacy by social gathering membership: his assist for carbon pricing throughout his time as chief of the Progressive Conservatives in Ontario.
Many social gathering members reject carbon pricing as an ineffective “tax,” together with Poilievre, who has vowed to repeal the federal client carbon value and attacked Brown over his assist of the coverage.
Simply earlier than Brown introduced his management candidacy, Poilievre’s crew launched an assault advert with the tag line “Patrick Brown will say and do something,” stating his inconsistent place on environmental coverage.
“Previous makes an attempt by conservative events in Canada to handle local weather change, together with one which I led, haven’t been finished with session with our membership or caucus,” he mentioned.
“Belief me from expertise, I can undoubtedly admit that isn’t the fitting method.”
He mentioned, if elected chief, the social gathering would determine on its environmental coverage collectively.
“I’m assured that collectively we will give you a successful place, one which addresses local weather change and respects provincial jurisdictions, vitality safety, vitality sector staff, whereas maintaining life inexpensive,” he mentioned.
Brown not too long ago penned a letter asking Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland to forgo a deliberate enhance for April 1, citing the value of fuel and different affordability points.
Brown additionally made a pitch to rebuild belief with Canada’s “cultural communities,” a voter base who name the nation’s largest cities and suburbs residence and whose assist Conservatives should win over in the event that they hope to win the following election.
Brown’s speech touted his opposition to Quebec’s Invoice 21, a controversial secularism regulation in that province that prohibits public servants in positions of authority from sporting spiritual symbols on the job.
As Brampton’s mayor, Brown spearheaded a plan for cities to pledge cash to assist fund a authorized problem of the regulation.
He additionally condemned the Conservatives’ guarantees for a barbaric cultural practices hotline and a niqab ban through the 2015 election as an try to stifle spiritual freedoms and normalize intolerance. These insurance policies have been the rationale Conservatives misplaced that race towards Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, he mentioned.
Brown’s turbulent political profession has been outlined by its ups and downs.
Born in Toronto, he was a younger Tory who in 2000 was elected as a metropolis councillor in Barrie, Ont. From there, he grew to become an MP in former Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper’s authorities.
Brown left federal politics after successful management of Ontario’s Progressive Conservative social gathering in 2015, the place he served because the province’s Opposition chief till 2018.
Inside months of an election — at a time when the Liberal authorities had spent greater than a decade in energy — in January 2018 CTV revealed allegations of sexual misconduct from two ladies towards Brown.
The allegations haven’t been confirmed in court docket, nor have they been independently verified by The Canadian Press. Brown has lengthy denied them.
However after initially promising to remain within the job, Brown resigned the following day and inside weeks was kicked out of caucus.
He then ran for mayor of Brampton, Ont., and was elected in October 2018. He has remained in that position ever since.
Final week, Brown and CTV resolved a years-long defamation lawsuit he launched after the 2018 story.
In his speech Sunday, he provided the controversy for instance of his preventing spirit.
“When the media tried to make me cancel tradition’s newest sufferer by smearing me with false allegations I fought again and gained,” he mentioned, to cheers from the group.
An announcement launched by the broadcaster and Brown mentioned CTV regrets some factual inaccuracies their authentic story contained. The assertion didn’t specify what these inaccuracies have been and a CTV spokesperson declined to elaborate.
The unique article features a correction that updates the age of one among two ladies who accused Brown of sexual misconduct.
The information community mentioned no cash exchanged fingers within the settlement.
Conservatives will discover out who their new chief is Sept. 10. Candidates have till June 3 to enroll new members and April 19 to declare they’re operating.
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