Saturday, April 1, 2017

Patrick Brown (politician) 2017 03 31

Patrick Walter Brown, (politician)

Political views

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]

Federal politics

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

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]