Who could replace Patrick Brown? A look at potential candidates
The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, January 25, 2018 11:36AM EST
Last Updated Thursday, January 25, 2018 3:04PM EST
The abrupt resignation of Ontario's Opposition leader amid allegations of sexual misconduct has many speculating on who could take Patrick Brown's place and guide the Progressive Conservatives through an upcoming provincial election. Here is a glance at some potential successors.
The woman who mounted the most formidable challenge to Brown as he sought the party leadership in the first place is seen by many as a logical choice to take his place. Elliott came in second during the 2015 leadership convention that saw Brown become leader. At the time, Elliott had served as an Ontario legislator for nine years for the riding of Whitby-Oshawa, the same riding previously held by her late husband Jim Flaherty before he went on to become federal finance minister.
Since July 1, 2016, Elliott has served as Ontario's first patient ombudsman fielding complaints about people's experience with the provinces' health care system. Elliott has not issued any statements about the Brown scandal or her future plans since his resignation was announced.
The long-time Ontario politician has emerged over the years as a high-profile Progressive Conservative. MacLeod was first elected to the Ontario legislature in 2006 in the riding of Nepean-Carleton, a position she has held ever since. She mounted a bid for the PC party leadership, but withdrew a few months before the convention and threw her support behind Elliott.
MacLeod was one of the first party members to issue a statement when allegations against Brown first surfaced. "Every citizen of Ontario deserves respect," she said in a statement. "Everyone has the right to be free from unwelcome behaviour or advances. I do not and will not tolerate abuse or harassment, and I will do everything in my power to fight against it. My heart goes out to the women who have been impacted by this behaviour. It takes courage to come forward and make these claims. These women deserve our support and thanks."
Her political career may be in its early stages, but Mulroney has had exposure to high public office since childhood. The daughter of former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney recently announced a desire to enter politics when she secured the PC nomination to run in the riding of York-Simcoe. She had hoped to secure her first seat in the legislature during the June election. Prior to announcing her political plans, Caroline Mulroney served as vice-president of Toronto-based BloombergSen Investment Partners, and used to work at a venture debt fund. She also co-founded the Shoebox Project for Shelters, which collects and distributes gifts to women who are homeless or at risk.
Mulroney did not announce intentions to seek the party leadership, but issued a brief statement following Brown's resignation.
"We are living in a powerful moment where woman and girls across Ontario, Canada and around the world are ending their silence - and their stories of sexual harassment are being heard. This is a sad day," she said.