PCs boot con­tro­ver­sial Jack MacLaren from cau­cus

The Hamilton Spectator - - CANADA & WORLD - AL­LI­SON JONES

TORONTO — A con­tro­ver­sial Pro­gres­sive Con­ser­va­tive politi­cian was kicked out of the cau­cus Sun­day after a video from 2012 emerged show­ing him hint­ing at a hid­den agenda and mak­ing neg­a­tive com­ments about French lan­guage rights.

Pro­gres­sive Con­ser­va­tive Leader Pa­trick Brown called it the “fi­nal straw” with Jack MacLaren.

“Each time Jack MacLaren is caught mak­ing dis­parag­ing or in­sen­si­tive re­marks about oth­ers he asks for for­give­ness and a sec­ond chance. And a third chance. And a fourth,” Brown said Sun­day in a strongly worded state­ment.

“And each and ev­ery time, he has dis­ap­pointed those who have put their trust in him.”

MacLaren — who rep­re­sents the Ot­tawaarea rid­ing of Car­leton-Mis­sis­sippi Mills — is ex­pelled in­def­i­nitely from the PC cau­cus and will not be a can­di­date for the party in next year’s provin­cial elec­tion, Brown said.

The video, posted on­line by Ot­tawa ra­dio sta­tion CFRA, shows Jack MacLaren talk­ing to a group of peo­ple and agree­ing with peo­ple lament­ing French lan­guage rights in east­ern On­tario.

“You don’t have to con­vince me what’s wrong with French lan­guage in east­ern On­tario,” MacLaren says.

“You’re right, but you won’t hear it, be­cause we’re try­ing to get elected.”

In the video, MacLaren says an elec­tion will likely come after the Lib­er­als se­lect a new leader — the party picked Kath­leen Wynne in 2013 and an elec­tion was held in 2014.

“We have lots of things that we’re go­ing to do that we won’t say to peo­ple be­fore the elec­tion be­cause we won’t get elected,” MacLaren says.

Brown pre­vi­ously or­dered MacLaren to stay away from the leg­is­la­ture un­til he com­pleted sen­si­tiv­ity train­ing after he made vul­gar re­marks about a fe­male MP at a men’s night fundraiser.

As MacLaren shared the stage at a fundraiser with Lib­eral MP Karen McCrim­mon, he made a joke in­volv­ing a story about a mar­ried cou­ple, in­sert­ing the names of McCrim­mon and her hus­band, with a punch­line about oral sex.

He also came un­der fire for fake tes­ti­mo­ni­als on his web­site and for sug­gest­ing a ze­ro­tol­er­ance pol­icy for the sex­ual abuse of pa­tients is dan­ger­ous.

Brown said this video is part of a pat­tern with MacLaren.

“Clearly the real Jack MacLaren is the one we heard mak­ing deroga­tory com­ments to­ward women at the Carp Fair Men’s Night, who pub­lished fake tes­ti­mo­ni­als prais­ing him­self from fake con­stituents on his web­site, and who came out against a zero-tol­er­ance pol­icy against sex­ual abuse,” Brown wrote.

MacLaren, who served as Brown’s cam­paign co-chair in his 2015 lead­er­ship bid, posted on Twit­ter sev­eral hours after the an­nounce­ment that he had joined the Tril­lium Party of On­tario.

“The Tril­lium party will give me the op­por­tu­nity to speak freely on my con­stituents’ be­half, to vote freely on their be­half, and to have in­put into all pol­icy-mak­ing on their be­half,” he wrote.

TORONTO STAR FILE PHOTO

MPP Jack MacLaren ex­pelled from cau­cus.

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