Con­tro­ver­sial MPP booted from PC cau­cus,

Brown’s pa­tience snaps af­ter 2012 tape shows MacLaren bad­mouthing bilin­gual­ism


It was an ejec­tion or a re­jec­tion.

Pro­gres­sive Con­ser­va­tive Leader Pa­trick Brown has fi­nally turfed con­tro­ver­sial MPP Jack MacLaren from cau­cus af­ter a fourth in­ci­dent em­bar­rass­ing to the party.

But MacLaren claimed Sun­day he quit the Tories to join the fledg­ling right-wing Tril­lium party “af­ter months of de­lib­er­a­tion and dis­cus­sion with my con­stituents.”

“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 said in a state­ment on Twit­ter.

Ear­lier on Sun­day, MacLaren, who did not re­turn mes­sages from the Star, was re­moved by the Tory cau­cus af­ter CFRA Ra­dio in Ot­tawa posted video of him from 2012 dis­parag­ing bilin­gual­ism in Eastern On­tario.

“You don’t have to con­vince me what’s wrong with French-lan­guage ed­u­ca­tion in On­tario,” the Car­leton—Mis­sis­sippi Mills MPP told peo­ple lament­ing French-lan­guage re­quire­ments for many jobs in the Ot­tawa area.

“You’re right, but you won’t hear it be­cause we’re try­ing to get elected. We have lots of things that we’re go­ing to do that we won’t say be­fore the elec­tion be­cause we won’t get elected,” he con­tin­ued in the 23-minute video.

While MacLaren was a key player in Brown’s suc­cess­ful 2015 lead­er­ship cam­paign, that fourth trans­gres­sion was the tip­ping point.

“I am build­ing a mod­ern, in­clu­sive On­tario PC Party, one where it doesn’t mat­ter where you’re from, who you love, where you wor­ship, what lan­guage you speak or how much money you make,” said Brown.

“Un­for­tu­nately, I have come to the con­clu­sion that Jack MacLaren does not share these val­ues. This video is the fi­nal straw. I have ex­pelled Jack MacLaren from the PC cau­cus. The ex­pul­sion is in­def­i­nite. He will not be a PC can­di­date in the next pro­vin­cial elec­tion,” the Tory leader said. “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. And each and ev­ery time, he has dis­ap­pointed those who have put their trust in him,” he said.

“This video is part of a pat­tern with Jack MacLaren. Clearly the real Jack MacLaren is the one we heard mak­ing deroga­tory com­ments to­wards 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.”

That’s a ref­er­ence to the Star re­veal­ing last spring that MacLaren made sex­ist re­marks about his fed­eral coun­ter­part, Lib­eral MP Karen McCrim­mon, at a can­cer fundraiser in front of 350 peo­ple. Af­ter­ward, Brown or­dered MacLaren to stay away from the leg­is­la­ture un­til he com­pleted sen­si­tiv­ity train­ing.

The Ot­tawa Cit­i­zen then found the MPP’s of­fi­cial web­site con­tained six fake tes­ti­mo­ni­als from sat­is­fied “con­stituents” ac­com­pa­nied by pho­tos lifted from the In­ter­net.

And MacLaren was forced to apol­o­gize for declar­ing that it was danger­ous to have a zero-tol­er­ance pol­icy for doc­tors ac­cused of sex­u­ally abus­ing their pa­tients.

His for­mer cau­cus mates praised Brown for tak­ing ac­tion, say­ing MacLaren was a li­a­bil­ity who could have jeop­ar­dized the Tories’ chances of top­pling Premier Kath­leen Wynne’s Lib­er­als next year.

“Not a team player. Bye bye,” tweeted pop­u­lar Con­ser­va­tive MPP Lisa MacLeod (Ne­pean-Car­leton). MacLeod was among sev­eral MPPs help­ing ri­val can­di­dates chal­leng­ing MacLaren for the nom­i­na­tion in the newly re­dis­tributed rid­ing of Kanata-Car­leton, just west of Ot­tawa.

He will now run as a Tril­lium can­di­date, which could hurt the Tories’ chances in the rid­ing if the con­ser­va­tive vote splits.

Against that back­drop, some PC ac­tivists are ques­tion­ing Brown’s tim­ing. One in­sider, who spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity in or­der to dis­cuss in­ter­nal party machi­na­tions, won­dered if Brown kicked MacLaren out be­cause he might have won the Kanata-Car­leton nom­i­na­tion over pre­ferred can­di­date Mer­rilee Fuller­ton.

“This video has been around for years — it was well known that Jack had pub­licly said this kind of stuff. So why now?” the in­sider said.


Con­tro­ver­sial Pro­gres­sive Con­ser­va­tive MPP Jack MacLaren an­nounced on Sun­day via Twit­ter that he will now join the right-wing Tril­lium party.

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