Patrick Brown (politician)

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Patrick Brown
Patrick Brown MPP.jpg
Leader of the Opposition in Ontario
Assumed office
September 14, 2015
Preceded by Jim Wilson
Leader of the Ontario PC Party
Assumed office
May 9, 2015
Preceded by Jim Wilson (interim)
Member of the Ontario Provincial Parliament
for Simcoe North
Assumed office
September 3, 2015
Preceded by Garfield Dunlop
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Barrie
In office
January 23, 2006 – May 13, 2015
Preceded by Aileen Carroll
Succeeded by Riding Abolished
Personal details
Born Patrick Walter Brown
(1978-05-26) May 26, 1978 (age 38)
Toronto, Ontario
Political party Provincial:
Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario (2015-Present)
Federal: Conservative Party of Canada (2003-2015)
Relations Joe Tascona (uncle)
Residence Barrie, Ontario
Alma mater University of Windsor (LL.B.)
University of Toronto (B.A.)
Profession Lawyer
Religion Roman Catholic

Patrick Walter Brown, MPP (born May 26, 1978) is a Canadian politician. He is the leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario and was a federal Conservative member of the House of Commons of Canada from 2006 to 2015 who represented the riding of Barrie. On May 9, 2015, Brown was elected leader of the Ontario PC Party.[1] He was elected Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) for Simcoe North in a provincial by-election on September 3, 2015.[2][3] Brown is Ontario's Leader of the Official Opposition.


Brown is the nephew of Joe Tascona, a Barrie Progressive Conservative MPP in the Mike Harris government. Additionally, Brown is the son of Edmond, a lawyer and former New Democratic Party candidate. He graduated from St. Michael's College School, a private Catholic school in Toronto, and attended the Toronto Speech and Stuttering Institute.[4] He studied political science at the University of Toronto, and graduated with a law degree from the University of Windsor. During his second year at law school, he was one of 10 recipients of the prestigious As Prime Minister Awards. He also worked for Magna International in their legal department over a period of four years.

Brown served two terms as President of the Progressive Conservative Youth Federation (PCYF) from 1998 to 2002. He also served on the executive of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario, as a Vice President. As PCYF President, Brown was one of the early supporters of a united right and was criticized for his decision to support a united right from party leader Joe Clark and Member of Parliament Scott Brison. Nonetheless, Brown was later re-elected as PCYF president with 81 percent of the vote against Jonathan Frate of Manitoba.

Brown was the Deputy Chairman of the International Young Democrat Union (IYDU).[when?] He has also represented Canada on a number of international assistance projects hosted by the IYDU.

Hockey Night in Barrie[edit]

Shane Corson, Patrick Brown, and Mike Gartner 2012
Shayne Corson, Don Cherry, MP Patrick Brown, and Mike Gartner at Hockey Night in Barrie 2012.

For several years, Brown has been involved in the event, which raised $250,000 for the Royal Victoria Hospital in 2014 and more than $1.1 million in total over the previous six years. The charity hockey tournament features current and retired hockey players and other celebrities.[5]


Political views[edit]

Brown characterizes himself as a 'pragmatic conservative' and has noted his limited support from labour unions.[citation needed]

During his Ontario PC Party leadership campaign, Brown was noted for his social conservatism,[6][7] and his criticism of Ontario's sex education in schools.[8] However, since his victory he has been successful in pushing the Ontario PC Party towards the "political centre." [9] Patrick Brown would go on to become the first Ontario PC Leader to march in the Toronto Pride Parade.[10] At his first Ontario PC Convention as Leader, Brown boldly affirmed his belief in anthropogenic climate change and announced his support for a revenue-neutral price on carbon.[11]

His new progressivism, stands in contrast to his voting record from a decade ago. In December 2006, as an MP, Brown voted to repeal same-sex marriage in Canada.[6][12] Brown also voted against several bills between 2011 and 2013, which were aimed at amending the Canadian Human Rights Act to include gender expression and identity, and the Criminal Code, to prevent discrimination.[13]

Patrick Brown's first Private Member's Bill in the Ontario Legislature, Bill 151 the Estate Administration Tax Abolition Act, was an attempt to eliminate the death tax.[14] His bill was voted down at Second Reading by the Liberal Government's majority.

His critics have called him 'policy-lite' since he made no policy statements during the Progressive Conservative leadership campaign.[15] Since winning the Leadership, he has focused his plan on four key pillars which he suggests will lead to a more "prosperous province"; less red tape, improved transportation corridors, affordable energy, and addressing Ontario's growing skills gap.[16] As Leader he kick-started the largest grassroots policy consultation process in the Ontario PC Party's history.[17] The cornerstone of the policy process is a website,, where anyone can input their suggestions for policy to be included in the 2018 election platform.[17]

Municipal politics[edit]

Brown was elected to the Barrie City Council in 2000 at age 22 while still a student, becoming the youngest councillor ever elected to the Barrie City Council. He defeated the incumbent councillor. He was re-elected in 2003 with 72 percent of the vote.

Brown was seen as a very active member of council, serving on various Committees, including the Budget Committee. Brown's primary focus while on council was health care, despite it being a provincial responsibility. In response to a shortage of doctors, Brown founded the Physician Recruitment Task Force with the Royal Victoria Hospital to help attract more doctors to Barrie.[18]

Federal politics[edit]

In the 2004 federal election, Brown ran as the Conservative Party candidate in the riding of Barrie. He lost to incumbent Aileen Carroll by 1,295 votes.[19] Brown ran again in 2006 this time defeating Carroll by 1,523 votes.[20] He was re-elected in the 2008 election by 15,295 votes over Liberal candidate Rick Jones.[21] In the 2011 election, Brown was elected to his third term in office.[22]

On September 28, 2014, he announced his intention to run in the 2015 Ontario party leadership election. He registered as a leadership candidate on November 20, 2014. He said that, unlike the other candidates, he was not involved in the four consecutive losses that have kept the Ontario PCs out of power since 2003.[23] Fellow Ontario MP Rick Dykstra endorsed him.[24]

Provincial politics[edit]

In September 2014, Brown announced his intention to run in the contest to replace PC Party Leader, Tim Hudak. From the outset of his campaign, Brown positioned himself as an outsider, challenging the leadership of the PC Party, which had been defeated in the last four provincial elections. In the most recent election campaign, in 2014, the party election platform included a commitment to "cut 100,000 government jobs". As the only one of the original five leadership candidates who was not a member of the Ontario legislature, Brown claimed not to have been involved in the promise, which he considered "ill-advised",[23][25] despite attending the announcement in his home riding.[26] Brown's rivals attempted to use this same lack of previous involvement in provincial politics as an argument against his leadership bid.[27][28]

In March, Brown emerged as the front-runner in the leadership election, having sold over 40,000 of the 70,000 memberships in the party.[29][30][31][32] During the campaign, Brown was successful in bringing many new members to the party. The past four leadership contests had been won by those who sold the most memberships.[33]

Brown was endorsed by the Campaign Life Coalition and the Ontario Landowners Association.[34][35] During Brown's leadership bid both special interest groups actively supported him by selling Ontario PC Party memberships amongst their members.[36][37]

Brown was criticized by his rivals and in the media for not resigning his federal seat during the leadership campaign.[38] Brown was frequently absent from the House of Commons for votes during the leadership campaign and had one of the worst voting attendance records in the Conservative Party caucus and of any MP between September to December 2014.[39] A spokesperson for Prime Minister Stephen Harper confirmed that members aren't expected to step down but are expected to "continue to fulfill their parliamentary responsibilities, including membership on committees and attendance at votes."[40]

The campaign started with five candidates including Vic Fedeli, Lisa MacLeod, and Monte McNaughton. All three withdrew in early 2015 citing membership recruitment or financial reasons. On May 9, 2015, Brown was elected leader, defeating his only remaining opponent, Christine Elliott, winning with 61.8% of the membership vote.[41]

Brown, who resigned his seat in the House of Commons on May 13, 2015, days after winning the provincial leadership, led the Progressive Conservative party from outside the legislature during most of the summer.[42] On July 22, 2015, Garfield Dunlop agreed to step down as MPP for Simcoe North on August 1 in order to open up a seat for Brown. A provincial by-election, called for September 3, 2015, was won by Brown.[2][3][43]



In 2008, Brown sent out a flyer in which he claimed that the Hockey Night in Barrie fundraiser for the Royal Victoria Hospital held that year was his idea,[44] when the event had actually taken place twice before, first as "Hockey Night in Barrie" on November 19, 2004 and then again on April 21, 2006 under the banner "Go For The Goal".[citation needed] In a 2010 article about the fundraiser, retired NHL player Shayne Corson stated that it was he and a number of people from the Royal Victoria Hospital who started the original fundraiser.[45] A November 13, 2004 article confirms Corson's involvement in the November 19, 2004 edition of the fundraiser, but makes no mention of Brown.[46] Brown is mentioned, as a participant, in an April 16, 2006 article about the fundraiser.[47]


In November 2010, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation expressed concern about how Patrick Brown used his Canadian House of Commons account. He sent flyers to his riding which included a letter of support and a flyer from Barrie City Councillor Michael Prowse. Brown used his House of Commons account to pay for the mailing because Michael Prowse could not afford to send the flyer out himself.[48]

Electoral record[edit]

Ontario provincial by-election, September 3, 2015: Simcoe North
Resignation of Garfield Dunlop
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
Progressive Conservative Patrick Brown 21,095 53.68 +9.74
Liberal Fred Larsen 9,281 23.62 –8.90
New Democratic Elizabeth Van Houtte 6,637 16.89 +1.34
Green Valerie Powell 1,791 4.56 –3.43
New Reform James Gault 200 0.51
People's Political Party Kevin Clarke 146 0.37
Libertarian Darren Roskam 104 0.26
Pauper John Turmel 47 0.12
Total valid votes 39,301 100.0
Total rejected, unmarked and declined ballots 170 0.43
Turnout 39,471 40.71
Eligible voters 96,950
Progressive Conservative hold Swing +9.32
Canadian federal election, 2011
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
Conservative Patrick Brown 32,121 56.69 +4.32
New Democratic Myrna Clark 11,846 20.91 +8.90
Liberal Colin Wilson 9,111 16.08 -7.80
Green Erich Jacoby-Hawkins 3,271 5.77 -5.33
Libertarian Darren Roskam 150 0.26 -0.23
Marxist–Leninist Christine Nugent 82 0.14 -0.02
Canadian Action Jeff Sakula 77 0.14
Total valid votes/Expense limit 56,651 100.00
Total rejected ballots 174 0.31
Turnout 56,825 60.70
Conservative hold Swing -2.29
Canadian federal election, 2008
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
Conservative Patrick Brown 27,927 52.37 +10.5 $91,512
Liberal Rick Jones 12,732 23.88 -15.3 $80,023
New Democratic Myrna Clark 6,403 12.01 -0.2 $16,038
Green Erich Jacoby-Hawkins 5,921 11.10 +4.3 $58,204
Libertarian Paolo Fabrizio 260 0.49 N/A $171
Marxist–Leninist Christine Anne Nugent 84 0.16 N/A $0
Total valid votes/Expense limit 53,327 100 $92,671
Canadian federal election, 2006
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
Conservative Patrick Brown 23,999 41.88 +1.8 $81,530
Liberal Aileen Carroll 22,476 39.18 -3.5 $69,313
New Democratic Peter Bursztyn 6,984 12.18 +1.5 $14,496
Green Erich Jacoby-Hawkins 3,874 6.76 +0.2 $19,036
Canadian federal election, 2004
Party Candidate Votes %
Liberal Aileen Carroll 21,233 42.7
Conservative Patrick Brown 19,938 40.1
New Democratic Peter Bursztyn 5,312 10.7
Green Erich Jacoby-Hawkins 3,288 6.6


  1. ^ Brown, Patrick (2015-05-10). "Patrick Brown wins Ontario PC leadership race". CBC News. Retrieved 2015-05-10. 
  2. ^ a b "Ontario PC leader Patrick Brown seeking seat in Simcoe North riding". Globe and Mail. July 22, 2015. Retrieved July 22, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "PC Leader Patrick Brown projected to win in Simcoe North byelection". CBC News. September 3, 2015. Retrieved September 3, 2015. 
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ "Former Colts join Hockey Night in Barrie lineup". Barrie Examiner. July 8, 2014. Retrieved 2015-03-25. 
  6. ^ a b Hébert, Chantal (May 11, 2015). "Is Patrick Brown as socially conservative as he appears". Toronto Star. 
  7. ^ "Ontario PCs failing in sex-ed debate", Toronto Star, Feb 25 2015.
  8. ^ Fisher, Robert (2015-05-09). "Patrick Brown must reach out beyond PC Party faithful to challenge Liberals". CBC News. Retrieved 2015-05-11. 
  9. ^ Benzie, Robert. "Patrick Brown pulls Ontario Tories towards political centre". The Star. Toronto Star. Retrieved 4 June 2016. 
  10. ^ Taber, Jane. "Why Ontario PC Leader Patrick Brown embraced Pride". The Globe and Mail. The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 4 June 2016. 
  11. ^ "Patrick Brown says he supports putting a price on carbon". The Canadian Press. 
  12. ^ "Patrick Brown says Ontario PC 'establishment' to blame for recent losses". May 5, 2015. 
  13. ^ "Patrick Brown's Federal Voting Record". 
  14. ^ Artuso, Antonella. "PC leader moves to kill death tax in Ontario". Toronto Sun. Toronto Sun. Retrieved 4 June 2016. 
  15. ^ Taber, Jane (May 10, 2015). "New Ontario PC leader Patrick Brown focused on uniting party". The Globe and Mail. 
  16. ^ "Patrick Brown - Canadian Club of Toronto". Canadian Club of Toronto. Retrieved 4 June 2016. 
  17. ^ a b Brown, Patrick. "PC LEADER HAS HIS SAY". The Mississauga News. Retrieved 4 June 2016. 
  18. ^ Watt, Laurie (Feb 12, 2006). "MP Brown off to Ottawa 'to make Barrie better'". Huntsville Forester. 
  19. ^ "Election results...riding by riding". The Globe and Mail. June 29, 2004. p. A14. 
  20. ^ "Election results...riding by riding". The Globe and Mail. January 24, 2006. p. A16. 
  21. ^ "Ontario Results". The Toronto Star. October 15, 2008. p. U2. 
  22. ^ Bowe, Raymond (May 3, 2011). "Brown wins third term". Barrie Examiner. Retrieved 2015-03-25. 
  23. ^ a b "Tory MP Patrick Brown joins Ontario PC leadership race". 2014-09-28. Retrieved 2015-03-25. 
  24. ^ "Rick Dykstra will not seek Ontario PC leadership bid". News Talk 610 CKTB Radio. September 12, 2014. Retrieved 2015-03-25. 
  25. ^ Morrow, Adrian (September 28, 2014). "Brown launches bid for Ontario PC leadership, promises ‘fresh start’". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved March 26, 2015. 
  26. ^ Benzie, Robert; Ferguson, Rob; Brennan, Richard J. (May 9, 2015). "Patrick Brown wins Ontario PC leadership". Toronto Star. Retrieved May 10, 2015. 
  27. ^ Benzie, Robert (February 11, 2015). "Sparks fly at PC Debate over Patrick Brown's lack of a seat". Toronto Star. Retrieved March 26, 2015. 
  28. ^ McInroy, Ian (September 28, 2014). "Brown seeking Ontario PC leadership". Barrie Examiner. Retrieved March 3, 2015. 
  29. ^ Benzie, Robert; Ferguson, Rob (March 1, 2015). "Patrick Brown sells more than 40,000 Ontario PC memberships". Toronto Star. Retrieved April 4, 2015. 
  30. ^ Chase, Sean (2015-03-29). "Patrick Brown promises to reset PC party". Daily Observer. Retrieved 2015-04-27. 
  31. ^ Maloney, Ryan (April 14, 2015). "Patrick Brown Leads Christine Elliott In Ontario PC leadership race, poll suggests". The Huffington Post Canada. Retrieved April 27, 2015. 
  32. ^ Matys, Frank (April 21, 2015). "Patrick Brown: From long shot to front runner". Barrie Advance. Retrieved April 27, 2015. 
  33. ^ Benzie, Robert; Ferguson, Rob (March 1, 2015). "Patrick Brown sells more than 40,000 Ontario PC memberships". Toronto Star. Retrieved March 26, 2015. 
  34. ^ "Patrick Brown wins Ontario PC leadership". Toronto Star. May 9, 2015. 
  35. ^ "Ontario PCs pick a pro-lifer to lead their rebirth". Toronto Star. May 9, 2015. 
  36. ^ "Ontario Progressive Conservatives to crown new leader". Innisfil Examiner. May 9, 2015. 
  37. ^ "Ontario PC Leadership Endorsement by CLC". Campaign Life Coalition. January 29, 2015. 
  38. ^ "Christine Elliott says she didn't know specifics of job cut plan". February 12, 2015. Retrieved March 26, 2015. 
  39. ^ Fekete, Jason (January 16, 2015). "Ontario PC leadership contender Patrick Brown has spotty voting attendance in Commons". Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved March 26, 2015. 
  40. ^ O'Malley, Kady (January 22, 2015). "Patrick Brown does double duty as MP and Ontario PC leadership contender". CBC News. Retrieved March 26, 2015. 
  41. ^ Elliot, Josh (May 9, 2015). "Patrick Brown elected leader of Ontario PC party". Retrieved May 9, 2015. 
  42. ^ "Barrie MP Patrick Brown resigns seat as he shifts to lead provincial PCs". Ottawa Citizen. May 13, 2015. Retrieved May 14, 2015. 
  43. ^ "Wynne changes course, gives PC leader chance to run in early byelection". Toronto Star. Retrieved August 2, 2015. 
  44. ^ "Photo of section from 2008 Hockey Night in Barrie Newsletter sent by Member of Parliament for Barrie, Patrick Brown". 
  45. ^ Sweet, Stephen (August 13, 2010). "Hockey night a real winner". The Barrie Examiner. Retrieved 15 January 2015. 
  46. ^ Browne, Cheryl (November 13, 2004). "Pucks for Buck$". The Barrie Examiner. 
  47. ^ Cruickshank, Nicki (April 16, 2006). "Royal Victoria Hospital fundraising takes centre ice". The Barrie Examiner. 
  48. ^ Raj, Althia (2010-11-14). "Call for review of MPs' mailing privileges". Toronto Sun. Retrieved 2010-12-03. 

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Tasha Kheiriddin
Progressive Conservative Youth Federation

1998 – 2002
Succeeded by
Keith Marlowe