Hours after CTV published the firsthand accounts of two women who say they experienced sexual advances and at least one assault from Ontario Conservative Party leader Patrick Brown, Brown has resigned, leaving the party leaderless shortly before a key election.
One woman says that Brown took her to his home, gave her alcohol, then dropped his pants and asked her for oral sex when she was in high school in Barrie, and he was her Member of Parliament.
The other woman says Brown sexually assaulted her when she was 18; he first texted her and offered to help her procure liquor though she was underage, and then he hired her to work for him and tasked her with organising a charity hockey game. After the game, he brought her to an after-hours club and bought her drinks, then when she was "extremely drunk," brought her to his bedroom, and forced her down, lay on top of her and kissed and groped her.
Both women say that Brown, a teetotaler, was sober during the incidents, while both of them were inebriated thanks to Brown's plying them with liquor.
Brown denies both allegations, which have not been proven in court.
Brown has resigned as party leader but says he will continue to sit as a Member of the Provincial Parliament.
His abrupt resignation leaves a vacancy in the Conservative power-structure, months before a likely election showdown with Liberal Premiere Kathleen Wynne. The Canadian Conservative Party has experienced disarray similar to the problems that have plagued US and UK conservative movements, as extremist, racist, and neo-Nazi elements have gained power in the party structures. In Ontario, many lifelong conservatives were disheartened by the antics of Rob Ford, the now-deceased former mayor of Toronto, whose sexual misconduct, drug habits, violent outbursts, racist screeds, attacks on the press, and abusive domestic relations played to the most repellent elements of the conservative base. More recently, the national Conservative Party leadership race included candidates who campaigned as white supremacist conspiracy theorists.
Rumour has it that Brown's seat will be temporarily filled by Caroline Mulroney, a hereditary Conservative whose father, Brian Mulroney, presided over a Thatcher-style remaking of Canadian politics in the 1980s, following on from the rule of Pierre Trudeau, father of current Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
The notion of Mulroney taking over at this crisis moment has a whiff of "glass cliff" to it, when a woman is parachuted in to preside over a collapse precipitated by her male precursors (this happened earlier in Canadian politics, when Kim Campbell stepped in for a very brief tenure as PM after Brian Mulroney resigned, only to preside over a electoral bloodbath that left her party in tatters).
The first incident occurred more than 10 years ago. The woman, a high school student in Barrie at the time, said she and a mutual friend met Brown at a bar.
Brown then invited them back to his home and provided them with alcohol, though the woman was under the legal drinking age at the time.
She says she was drunk when Brown invited her for a tour of his home. When the pair entered the bedroom, Brown closed the door and exposed his penis to her.
"He pulled down his pants said, and I don’t know if he said 'suck my dick' or 'put this in your mouth,' but something along those lines,” she said.
The woman alleges that he then asked her to perform oral sex, which she did for a short time before stopping.
“It was like a controlling thing… like I just remember I wanted to go, but that wasn’t happening."
She says she then left his house and went to a nearby friend’s place.
"He's an old, single, politician preying on young girls. He’s just a sad person," the now-29 year old said.
Patrick Brown denies sexual misconduct allegations from two women, resigns as Ontario PC leader [Rachel Aiello and Glen McGregor/CTV]
(Image: Ontario PCs)