‘Truth will come out’ — Brown

For­mer On­tario Tory leader breaks silence

Kenora Daily Miner and News - - ONTARIO NEWS - PAOLA LORIGGIO THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

TORONTO — The for­mer leader of On­tario’s Pro­gres­sive Con­ser­va­tives broke his silence Tues­day, say­ing “the truth will come out” about the sex­ual mis­con­duct al­le­ga­tions that prompted him to step down abruptly last month.

In a brief mes­sage posted on Twit­ter, Patrick Brown said that while he ap­plauds the #MeToo move­ment, which has sparked an in­ter­na­tional con­ver­sa­tion on sex­ual ha­rass­ment and as­sault in re­cent months, false al­le­ga­tions “un­der­mine that good work.”

Brown, who had not pub­licly spo­ken since his res­ig­na­tion in late Jan­uary, said he is “im­mensely grate­ful” for the sup­port he and his fam­ily have re­ceived.

He has ve­he­mently de­nied the al­le­ga­tions against him, which were made to CTV News and have not been in­de­pen­dently ver­i­fied by The Cana­dian Press. His sis­ter, Stephanie Brown, has also de­nounced the al­le­ga­tions as a “po­lit­i­cal hit.”

Brown’s res­ig­na­tion plunged the Pro­gres­sive Con­ser­va­tives into tur­moil in late Jan­uary, forc­ing the party to se­lect an in­terim leader and plan a lead­er­ship race that will be held be­fore the spring elec­tion.

So far, three high-pro­file can­di­dates have an­nounced they will vie for the job, in­clud­ing the politi­cian who came in sec­ond to Brown in the last lead­er­ship race.

Chris­tine El­liott, a for­mer On­tario leg­is­la­tor, launched her cam­paign via so­cial me­dia last week, days af­ter for­mer Toronto city coun­cil­lor Doug Ford an­nounced his bid.

Car­o­line Mul­roney, a Toronto lawyer and the daugh­ter of for­mer prime min­is­ter Brian Mul­roney, threw her hat in the ring over the week­end.

Those look­ing to lead the party have un­til Feb. 16 to reg­is­ter as can­di­dates. Votes will be placed on­line in early March, with the re­sults an­nounced on March 10.

The party has also had to grap­ple with the res­ig­na­tion of its pres­i­dent, Rick Dyk­stra, in the face of re­ported sex­ual as­sault al­le­ga­tions that he de­nies.

The two de­par­tures have led some to ques­tion the party’s pro­cesses for deal­ing with such al­le­ga­tions, par­tic­u­larly af­ter a long­time Pro­gres­sive Con­ser­va­tive leg­is­la­tor said she flagged ru­mours about Brown to his cam­paign team weeks ear­lier.

Lisa MacLeod said the al­le­ga­tions re­lated to “in­ap­pro­pri­ate touch­ing,” among other things, and were sim­i­lar to those that prompted Brown to re­sign. MacLeod said she was told the al­le­ga­tions were un­founded.

THE CANA­DIAN PRESS FILES

For­mer On­tario Pro­gres­sive Con­ser­va­tive leader Patrick Brown says “the truth will come out” about the sex­ual mis­con­duct al­le­ga­tions that prompted him to step down abruptly last month.

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