Patrick Brown (politician)

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For other people of the same name, see Patrick Brown (disambiguation).
Patrick Brown
Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario
Assumed office
May 9, 2015
Preceded by Jim Wilson (interim)
Member of the Canadian Parliament for Barrie
In office
2006 – May 13, 2015
Preceded by Aileen Carroll
Personal details
Born (1978-05-26) May 26, 1978 (age 37)
Toronto, Ontario
Political party Provincial:
Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario
Progressive Conservative Party of Canada (until 2003)
Conservative Party of Canada (2003-present)
Residence Barrie, Ontario
Profession Lawyer
Religion Roman Catholic[1]

Patrick W. Brown (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 Canadian House of Commons from 2006 to 2015 who represented the riding of Barrie. On May 9, 2015, Brown was elected leader of the Ontario PC Party.[2] He will be the Progressive Conservative candidate in the riding of Simcoe North in a provincial by-election scheduled for September 3.[3]


Brown graduated from St. Michael's College School, a private Catholic school in Toronto, as well as attended the Toronto Speech and Stuttering Institute,[4] and then went on to study political science at the University of Toronto. He then 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 drew criticism 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 support from labour unions[citation needed]. His critics have called him 'policy-lite' since he made no policy statements during the Tory leadership campaign.[6] During his Ontario PC Party leadership campaign, Brown was noted for his ardent social conservatism,[7][8] and his criticism of Ontario's sex education in schools.[9]

In December 2006, while working as an MP, Brown voted to repeal same-sex marriage in Canada.[10][11] 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 of Canada, to prevent discrimination.[12] When Brown was asked by CBC in early May 2015 if he would attend Toronto's LGBT Pride Parade, he did not give a straightforward answer to host Matt Galloway,[citation needed] however, Brown announced on June 26, 2015 that he and his party would attend the parade for the first time.[13]

Municipal politics[edit]

Brown was elected to the Barrie City Council in 2000 at age 22 while still a student. At age 22, he held the distinction of the youngest councillor ever elected to the Barrie City Council.He defeated the incumbent councilor. 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.[14]

Federal politics[edit]

In the 2004 federal election, Brown ran as the Tory candidate in the riding of Barrie. He lost to incumbent Aileen Carroll by 1,295 votes.[15] Brown ran again in 2006 this time defeating Carroll by 1,523 votes.[16] He was re-elected in the 2008 election by 15,295 votes over Liberal candidate Rick Jones.[17] In the 2011 election, Brown was elected to his third term in office.[18]

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.[19] Fellow Ontario MP Rick Dykstra endorsed him.[20]

Provincial politics[edit]

In September 2014, Brown announced his intention to run in the contest to replace former PC Party Leader, Tim Hudak. From the outset of his campaign, Brown positioned himself as an outsider, challenging the leadership of the Tory 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",[19][21] despite attending the announcement in his home riding.[22] Brown's rivals attempted to use this same lack of previous involvement in provincial politics as an argument against his leadership bid.[23][24]

In March, Brown emerged as the front-runner in the race, having sold over 40,000 of the 70,000 memberships in the party.[25][26][27][28] During the campaign, Brown was successful in bringing many new members to the party. The past four leadership contests were won by those who sold the most memberships.[29]

Brown was endorsed by the Campaign Life Coalition and the Ontario Landowners Association.[30][31] During Brown's leadership bid both special interest groups actively supported him by selling Ontario PC Party memberships amongst their members.[32][33]

Brown was criticized by his rivals and in the media for not resigning his federal seat during the leadership campaign.[34] 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 Tory caucus and of any MP between September to December 2014.[35] 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."[36]

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.[37]

Brown, who resigned his seat in the House of Commons on May 13, 2015, days after winning the provincial leadership has been leading the Progressive Conservative party from outside the legislature.[38] On July 22, 2015, Garfield Dunlop agreed to step down as MPP for Simcoe North on August 1st in order to open up a seat for Brown. A provincial by-election was called for September 3, 2015.[39][3]


Photograph of section from 2008 Hockey Night in Barrie flyer sent by MP Patrick Brown claiming that the event in Barrie was his idea.


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,[40] 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.[41] A November 13, 2004 article confirms Corson's involvement in the November 19, 2004 edition of the fundraiser, but makes no mention of Brown.[42] Brown is mentioned, as a participant, in an April 16, 2006 article about the fundraiser.[43]


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.[44]


On September 26, 2012, Brown voted in favour of Tory MP 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,[45] which many argued would reopen the abortion debate in Canada. Brown did so, even though Prime Minister Stephen Harper voted against the bill and repeatedly said that Canadians do not want to reopen the abortion debate.[46][47] Since becoming PC leader, Brown has stated that it's not a provincial issue, and thus doesn't intend on revisiting it in Ontario Legislature.[48]

Electoral record[edit]

Ontario provincial by-election, September 3, 2015: Simcoe North
Resignation of Garfield Dunlop
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
Progressive Conservative Patrick Brown
Liberal Fred Larsen
New Democratic Elizabeth Van Houtte
Green Valerie Powell
People's Political Party Kevin Clarke
New Reform James Gault
Libertarian Darren Roskam
Pauper John Turmel
Total valid votes
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. ^ Coyle, Jim (2015-05-03). "Would-be Ontario PC leader Patrick Brown driven to win". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2015-05-09. 
  2. ^ Brown, Patrick (2015-05-10). "Patrick Brown wins Ontario PC leadership race". CBC News. Retrieved 2015-05-10. 
  3. ^ a b "Ontario PC leader Patrick Brown seeking seat in Simcoe North riding". Globe and Mail. July 22, 2015. Retrieved July 22, 2015. 
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ "Former Colts join Hockey Night in Barrie lineup". Barrie Examiner. July 8, 2014. Retrieved 2015-03-25. 
  6. ^ Taber, Jane (May 10, 2015). "New Ontario PC leader Patrick Brown focused on uniting party". The Globe and Mail. 
  7. ^ "Is Patrick Brown as socially conservative as he appears", Toronto Star, May 11, 2015.
  8. ^ "Ontario PCs failing in sex-ed debate", Toronto Star, Feb 25 2015.
  9. ^ Fisher, Robert (2015-05-09). "Patrick Brown must reach out beyond PC Party faithful to challenge Liberals". CBC News. Retrieved 2015-05-11. 
  10. ^ "Patrick Brown says Ontario PC 'establishment' to blame for recent losses". May 5, 2015. 
  11. ^ "Is Patrick Brown as Socially Conservative as he Appears". May 11, 2015. 
  12. ^ "Patrick Brown's Federal Voting Record". 
  13. ^ "Conservative Leader Patrick Brown to March in Toronto Pride Parade". June 26, 2015. 
  14. ^ Watt, Laurie (Feb 12, 2006). "MP Brown off to Ottawa 'to make Barrie better'". Huntsville Forester. 
  15. ^ "Election results...riding by riding". The Globe and Mail. June 29, 2004. p. A14. 
  16. ^ "Election results...riding by riding". The Globe and Mail. January 24, 2006. p. A16. 
  17. ^ "Ontario Results". The Toronto Star. October 15, 2008. p. U2. 
  18. ^ Bowe, Raymond (May 3, 2011). "Brown wins third term". Barrie Examiner. Retrieved 2015-03-25. 
  19. ^ a b "Tory MP Patrick Brown joins Ontario PC leadership race". 2014-09-28. Retrieved 2015-03-25. 
  20. ^ "Rick Dykstra will not seek Ontario PC leadership bid". News Talk 610 CKTB Radio. September 12, 2014. Retrieved 2015-03-25. 
  21. ^ Morrow, Adrian (September 28, 2014). "Brown launches bid for Ontario PC leadership, promises ‘fresh start’". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved March 26, 2015. 
  22. ^ Benzie, Robert; Ferguson, Rob; Brennan, Richard J. (May 9, 2015). "Patrick Brown wins Ontario PC leadership". Toronto Star. Retrieved May 10, 2015. 
  23. ^ Benzie, Robert (February 11, 2015). "Sparks fly at PC Debate over Patrick Brown's lack of a seat". Toronto Star. Retrieved March 26, 2015. 
  24. ^ McInroy, Ian (September 28, 2014). "Brown seeking Ontario PC leadership". Barrie Examiner. Retrieved March 3, 2015. 
  25. ^ Benzie, Robert; Ferguson, Rob (March 1, 2015). "Patrick Brown sells more than 40,000 Ontario PC memberships". Toronto Star. Retrieved April 4, 2015. 
  26. ^ Chase, Sean (2015-03-29). "Patrick Brown promises to reset PC party". Daily Observer. Retrieved 2015-04-27. 
  27. ^ 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. 
  28. ^ Matys, Frank (April 21, 2015). "Patrick Brown: From long shot to front runner". Barrie Advance. Retrieved April 27, 2015. 
  29. ^ Benzie, Robert; Ferguson, Rob (March 1, 2015). "Patrick Brown sells more than 40,000 Ontario PC memberships". Toronto Star. Retrieved March 26, 2015. 
  30. ^ "Patrick Brown wins Ontario PC leadership". Toronto Star. May 9, 2015. 
  31. ^ "Ontario PCs pick a pro-lifer to lead their rebirth". Toronto Star. May 9, 2015. 
  32. ^ "Ontario Progressive Conservatives to crown new leader". Innisfil Examiner. May 9, 2015. 
  33. ^ "Ontario PC Leadership Endorsement by CLC". Campaign Life Coalition. January 29, 2015. 
  34. ^ "Christine Elliott says she didn't know specifics of job cut plan". February 12, 2015. Retrieved March 26, 2015. 
  35. ^ Fekete, Jason (January 16, 2015). "Ontario PC leadership contender Patrick Brown has spotty voting attendance in Commons". Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved March 26, 2015. 
  36. ^ O'Malley, Kady (January 22, 2015). "Patrick Brown does double duty as MP and Ontario PC leadership contender". CBC News. Retrieved March 26, 2015. 
  37. ^ Elliot, Josh (May 9, 2015). "Patrick Brown elected leader of Ontario PC party". Retrieved May 9, 2015. 
  38. ^ "Barrie MP Patrick Brown resigns seat as he shifts to lead provincial PCs". Ottawa Citizen. May 13, 2015. Retrieved May 14, 2015. 
  39. ^ "Wynne changes course, gives PC leader chance to run in early byelection". Toronto Star. Retrieved August 2, 2015. 
  40. ^ "Photo of section from 2008 Hockey Night in Barrie Newsletter sent by Member of Parliament for Barrie, Patrick Brown". 
  41. ^ Sweet, Stephen (August 13, 2010). "Hockey night a real winner". The Barrie Examiner. Retrieved 15 January 2015. 
  42. ^ Browne, Cheryl (November 13, 2004). "Pucks for Buck$". The Barrie Examiner. 
  43. ^ Cruickshank, Nicki (April 16, 2006). "Royal Victoria Hospital fundraising takes centre ice". The Barrie Examiner. 
  44. ^ Raj, Althia (2010-11-14). "Call for review of MPs' mailing privileges". Toronto Sun. Retrieved 2010-12-03. 
  45. ^ "Vote #466 on September 26th, 2012". Retrieved 3 October 2012. 
  46. ^ Payton, Laura (September 21, 2012). "'Human being' motion excuse to open abortion debate, MPs say". CBC News. Retrieved 3 October 2012. 
  47. ^ Payton, Laura (2012-09-26). "Motion to study when life begins defeated in Parliament". CBC News. Retrieved 2015-03-27. 
  48. ^ Matys, Frank (2015-04-21). "Patrick Brown: From long shot to front runner". Barrie Advance. Retrieved 2015-04-22. 

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Tasha Kheiriddin
Progressive Conservative Youth Federation

1998 – 2002
Succeeded by
Keith Marlowe