Local reaction to Patrick Brown's PC leadership bid
Published Saturday, February 17, 2018 7:08PM EST
Twenty-four hours after Patrick Brown vowed to reclaim his old job, it’s becoming clear there are deep divisions within the Ontario Progressive Conservative caucus.
Meanwhile, Brown says he’s bolstered by a groundswell of support from grassroots party members, despite sexual misconduct allegations.
“We are in very unchartered waters at this point, we actually have a case where Patrick Brown is applying to replace Patrick Brown,” says Laurentian University professor Michael Johns.
His decision to run for the party’s top job on Friday came hours after interim leader Vic Fedeli kicked Brown out of the PC caucus, making him an independent MPP.
It’s a contentious issue that has formed a deep divide among party members.
MPP Toby Barrett took to Twitter, saying he had no say in banishing Brown from the Tory bench.
“Patrick Brown is a just and upright man. I’ve gotten to know him very well, travelled the north with him several times, his character is stellar,” says Barrett.
Meanwhile, Jane Dunlop from the Simcoe North Riding Association says she’s thrilled Brown has once again thrown his name into the political ring.
“I think Patrick has the ability to resurrect his career and move forward. He’s a strong man, he believes in what he’s doing, he believes in Ontario and we need him as a leader,” Dunlop tells CTV News.
In Brown’s hometown of Barrie, many voters say they’re standing by him.
“I think he should get back in there, I felt that he was set up from the beginning. I think he’s an honest, fair, true man,” one voter says.
CTV Barrie has also confirmed that Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte MP Alex Nuttall will also be involved in Brown’s leadership campaign. Nuttall says that while he has no official title, he’s “helping, supporting, and endorsing” Brown.