Parry Sound-Muskoka MPP Norm Miller said he was shocked to learn of the sexual misconduct allegations against Ontario Progressive Conservative Party leader Patrick Brown. The allegations made by two women were made public Wednesday night. In a late-night press conference, Brown denied those allegations. He resigned as party leader a few hours later “after consulting with caucus, friends and family,” he said in a release, adding that he “will remain on as a MPP while I definitively clear my name from these false allegations.”
“I was shocked to learn the recent news about Patrick Brown. This is an issue I take seriously, and I know we all agree that sexual harassment is never OK,” said Miller in a written statement to Doppler.
Miller said the Conservative caucus discussed the issue yesterday and came to a unanimous conclusion.
“Last night our caucus unanimously agreed that as a result Patrick Brown must no longer lead our Party and I believe MPP Brown has done the right thing by resigning his leadership,” said Miller.
The resignation leaves the party without a leader as elections scheduled for June 7, 2018 draw near. Many are hopeful that runner-up Christine Elliott may get another chance to challenge the Wynne government in the upcoming election.
Christine Elliott came in second during the 2015 leadership race that saw Patrick Brown elected. She served as MPP for Whitby-Oshawa, same riding held by her late husband Jim Flaherty before he entered federal politics and went on to become finance minister. Since July 1, 2016, Elliott has served as Ontario’s first patient ombudsman, a position created to investigate complaints regarding people’s experiences with the health care system. It is still uncertain whether Elliott will consider the leadership, with Brown’s resignation.
“Our caucus is meeting shortly to determine our path moving forward and I assure you that I remain committed to serving the people of Parry Sound-Muskoka,” stated Miller this afternoon.
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