Patrick Brown (politician)

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Patrick Brown
MPP
Patrick Brown.jpg
Leader of the Opposition in Ontario
Assumed office
September 14, 2015
Premier Kathleen Wynne
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 Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario
Other political
affiliations
Conservative Party of Canada
Relations Joe Tascona (uncle)
Residence Barrie, Ontario
Alma mater University of Windsor (LL.B.)
University of Toronto (B.A.)
Profession Lawyer

Patrick Walter Brown, MPP (born May 26, 1978) is a Canadian politician who is the leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario and Ontario's Leader of the Official Opposition. Brown was a federal Conservative member of the House of Commons of Canada from 2006 to 2015 representing the riding of Barrie. In May 2015, Brown was elected leader of the Ontario PC Party, and stepped down as MP. He was elected Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) for Simcoe North in a provincial by-election on September 3, 2015. Before being elected to federal office, Brown worked as a lawyer.

Background[edit]

Brown is the nephew of Joe Tascona, a Barrie Progressive Conservative MPP in the Mike Harris government. Additionally, Brown is the son of Edmond Brown, a lawyer and former New Democratic Party candidate. He graduated from St. Michael's College School, a private Catholic school in Toronto.[1] 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 As Prime Minister Award. 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),[2] a position he held 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.

Politics[edit]

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,[3][4] and his criticism of Ontario's sex education in schools.[5] However, since his victory, he has been successful in pushing the Ontario PC Party towards the "political centre." [6] Patrick Brown would go on to become the first Ontario PC Leader to march in the Toronto Pride Parade.[7] At his first Ontario PC Convention as Leader, Brown confirmed his belief in anthropogenic climate change and announced his support for a revenue-neutral price on carbon.[8]

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.[3][9] 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.[10] On September 26, 2012, Brown voted in favour of Stephen Woodworth's private member's bill to create a special committee to examine the legal definition of when a fetus becomes a human being,[11] which many argued would reopen the abortion debate in Canada. Brown did so, even though then Prime Minister Stephen Harper voted against the bill and said that Canadians did not want to reopen the abortion debate.[12][13] Since becoming Ontario's Progressive Conservative party leader, Brown has stated that it's not a provincial issue, and doesn't intend to revisit it in the Ontario Legislature.[14]

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.[15] 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.[16] Since winning the leadership race, he has focused his plan on four main issues 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.[17]

Municipal politics[edit]

Brown was elected to the Barrie City Council in 2000 at age 22, and was re-elected in 2003.[2]

Brown served 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 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.[22]

In the 2011 election, Brown was elected to his third term in office.[23]

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.[24] At the time of his jump to provincial politics, he chaired the Conservative Party of Canada's Greater Toronto Area caucus and the Canada-India Parliamentary Association.[2]

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",[24][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][42]

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.[43] 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.[44][45][46]

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

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Patrick Brown elected leader of Ontario PC party". CTVNews. Retrieved 2016-10-07. 
  2. ^ a b c "Patrick Brown was once an obscure MP. But he has risen from the ranks in his bid for the Ontario PC leadership.". Ottawa Citizen. May 9, 2015. Retrieved September 27, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b Hébert, Chantal (May 11, 2015). "Is Patrick Brown as socially conservative as he appears". Toronto Star. 
  4. ^ "Ontario PCs failing in sex-ed debate", Toronto Star, Feb 25 2015.
  5. ^ Fisher, Robert (2015-05-09). "Patrick Brown must reach out beyond PC Party faithful to challenge Liberals". CBC News. Retrieved 2015-05-11. 
  6. ^ Benzie, Robert. "Patrick Brown pulls Ontario Tories towards political centre". The Star. Toronto Star. Retrieved 4 June 2016. 
  7. ^ Taber, Jane. "Why Ontario PC Leader Patrick Brown embraced Pride". The Globe and Mail. The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 4 June 2016. 
  8. ^ "Patrick Brown says he supports putting a price on carbon". CBC.ca. The Canadian Press. 
  9. ^ "Patrick Brown says Ontario PC 'establishment' to blame for recent losses". May 5, 2015. 
  10. ^ "Patrick Brown's Federal Voting Record". 
  11. ^ "Vote #466 on September 26th, 2012". Retrieved 3 October 2012. 
  12. ^ Payton, Laura (September 21, 2012). "'Human being' motion excuse to open abortion debate, MPs say". CBC News. 
  13. ^ Payton, Laura (September 26, 2012). "Motion to study when life begins defeated in Parliament". CBC News. 
  14. ^ Matys, Frank (April 21, 2015). "Patrick Brown: From long shot to front runner". Barrie Advance. 
  15. ^ Artuso, Antonella. "PC leader moves to kill death tax in Ontario". Toronto Sun. Toronto Sun. Retrieved 4 June 2016. 
  16. ^ Taber, Jane (May 10, 2015). "New Ontario PC leader Patrick Brown focused on uniting party". The Globe and Mail. 
  17. ^ "Patrick Brown - Canadian Club of Toronto". Canadian Club of Toronto. 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. ^ Raj, Althia (2010-11-14). "Call for review of MPs' mailing privileges". Toronto Sun. Retrieved 2010-12-03. 
  23. ^ Bowe, Raymond (May 3, 2011). "Brown wins third term". Barrie Examiner. Retrieved 2015-03-25. 
  24. ^ a b "Tory MP Patrick Brown joins Ontario PC leadership race". 2014-09-28. 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". CTVNews.ca. Retrieved May 9, 2015. 
  42. ^ "Patrick Brown wins Ontario PC leadership race". CBC News. 2015-05-10. Retrieved 2015-05-10. 
  43. ^ "Barrie MP Patrick Brown resigns seat as he shifts to lead provincial PCs". Ottawa Citizen. May 13, 2015. Retrieved May 14, 2015. 
  44. ^ "Ontario PC leader Patrick Brown seeking seat in Simcoe North riding". Globe and Mail. July 22, 2015. Retrieved July 22, 2015. 
  45. ^ "PC Leader Patrick Brown projected to win in Simcoe North byelection". CBC News. September 3, 2015. Retrieved September 3, 2015. 
  46. ^ "Wynne changes course, gives PC leader chance to run in early byelection". Toronto Star. Retrieved August 2, 2015. 

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Tasha Kheiriddin
President
Progressive Conservative Youth Federation

1998 – 2002
Succeeded by
Keith Marlowe