Canada: Patrick Brown skips Ontario legislature for PC leadership campaign

Patrick Brown says Ontario PCs must be united heading into election

However, Brown after returning to the legislature will have to sit as an Independent as he has been kicked out of the Tory Caucus after charges of sexual harassment were brought against the former PC leader by two women. "To be vilified without due process is absolutely gutting", he said.

Some Tory officials acknowledged the complicated vetting process has caused some confusion inside and outside the party.

Fedeli, in a news release, says "We are committed to ensuring our Party is in the best position for our future Leader".

Premier Kathleen Wynne said earlier this month that the first piece of legislation her government will pass is a bill aimed at countering protectionist measures put in place by some US states.

Brown's abrupt resignation plunged the Progressive Conservatives, who had been leading in the polls, into turmoil, triggering the kind of infighting rarely seen in Ontario politics.

PC MPP Randy Hillier said Patrick Brown "has engaged in dirty and crooked politics", and he maintained that he can back up those allegations.

CTV News stands by its reporting. The Canadian Press has not independently verified the allegations.

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On Friday, the Progressive Conservative Party booted Brown from caucus, but Parks denies that his endorsement represents an affront to the party's vision. "This includes bank statements, mortgage information, legal documents, all of which is legally protected and personal information". He says support from party members is growing every day.

Brown is also officially nominated as the party candidate in the riding of Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte. An internal audit ordered by Fedeli following Brown's resignation found 133,000 members.

Brown said Sunday the last three weeks have given him time to clear his name. "He should be allowed to speak but won't be allowed to because he will speak the truth".

A Tory legislator said Tuesday he would be filing a complaint with Ontario's Integrity Commissioner regarding Brown's alleged conduct.

Brown, who is also facing allegations of corruption from his own party, is not expected to attend the legislature's opening session today.

Brown has spent the last few weeks clearing his name of those allegations, which he says hit him like a ton of bricks.

"I don't know what the end result will be in terms of all of this mess but it's certainly garnering a lot of attention", said NDP Leader Andrea Horwath.

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