Ontario Tory leadership candidates face off

Caroline Mulroney is one of four registered candidates for the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party leadership along with Tanya Allen Christine Elliott and Doug Ford

Ontario Tory leadership candidates face off

Then I went to my local hospital for a pre-planned surgery and everyone in the waiting room shook my hand and said 'we believe in you.' I realized that people back home wanted me to fight for myself and fight for what I've been working on my entire life, which was public service to make our province and our community and our country stronger.

The accused had said Brown had forced on her when she visited the then PC leader's bedroom. "You lied. You defamed me", he said in a Facebook post on Wednesday. It was like getting hit by a truck and getting hit by a truck all over again.

Former Toronto councillor Doug Ford says he would wait to get all the facts before making a decision, while social conservative advocate Tanya Granic Allen says she wouldn't allow Brown to run, though she stressed it was not because of the sexual misconduct allegations that triggered his resignation. "He categorically told CTV that this was completely untrue." wrote Brown.

By 4:20 p.m., the Elections Ontario website listed him as the fifth candidate to enter the race. I filed my papers to be a candidate in our leadership.

Brown deflected criticism from the other leadership candidates.

I don't like Patrick Brown, and I don't think he's an angel. The support of the party membership has really inspired me. "Brown removed Jack MacLaren from the PC Caucus".

"Shortly after becoming interim leader, I asked Patrick Brown to step aside from the PC Caucus". "Earlier today, Mr. Brown was notified that he has been removed from the PC caucus effective immediately".

Brown's ouster came just two hours after The Star posted a recording from one of two conference calls with Tory MPPs late on the night of January 24.

CTV News Toronto obtained an audio recording of Brown informing members of caucus that he was resigning as leader of the Progressive Conservative party.

The sources also said that if the PC party goes ahead with the vote on March 10 it could be met with a legal challenge, and that Brown is being encouraged to take his seat in the chair of leader of the Opposition when the legislature resumes on February 20.

In that interview, Brown contended that a resignation letter was sent out on his behalf "without" his permission and that he didn't know what he "would have done the next day".

Brown, who remains the MPP for Simcoe North, also said in his Thursday post that his plans now are still up in the air.

In an interview on Global TV Wednesday, he suggested that a third party was behind the allegations, saying one of the women had voiced support for him on social media long after the alleged incident. He has also alleged both accusers know CTV reporters socially, and that the broadcaster has left out contradicting witness accounts in its reports. "I am the leader that can unite the party and beat Kathleen Wynne", Elliott tweeted.

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