PC Intrigue: A Timeline

Rafiq Habib - 1B Management
Posted on: February 23, 2018

The last five weeks for the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario (PC Party) have been full of twists, turns, and more drama than most believed possible. With just over four months to go before a general provincial election in June, the airwaves have been dominated with scandal, accusations, and rumours galore. In case you’ve been living under a rock these last weeks, or have been buried under too many textbooks to catch the news, here’s a full timeline of the most important events that have happened:

Jan 24: Two anonymous women accuse Patrick Brown of sexual misconduct. Among the claims is that Brown gave one of the women drinks while she was a minor and then asked her to perform sexual acts on him. Patrick Brown holds a last-minute press conference to deny these claims outright, and vows to stay on as leader of the PC Party. During the press conference, Brown’s chief of staff, campaign manager, advertising chief, and press secretary all tweet their resignations.

Jan 25: At 1:25 am, after a conference call with the PC caucus, it is announced that Brown will step down as leader of the PC Party.

Jan 26: Vic Fideli, the PC finance critic and MPP for Nipissing, is elected interim leader by the Progressive Conservative Caucus. The PC Executive Committee announces that a leadership contest will take place to determine a new permanent leader that will lead the party into the election.

Jan 27: PC Party President Rick Dykstra announces his resignation following sexual assault allegations dating back to 2014.

Jan 29: Doug Ford, former Toronto city councilor and the brother of late Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, announces his candidacy for the PC leadership from his mother’s basement. He vows to fight the political elite and get rid of inefficiencies in the provincial government if elected.

Jan 30: Vic Fideli announces that he will not seek the permanent leadership, saying that he needs to dedicate all his time to “root out the rot” in the party so that the PC Party is the readiest to win the election and govern.

Feb 1: Christine Elliott, the former MPP for Whitby-Oshawa and current Patient Ombudsman for Ontario, announces her candidacy for the PC leadership. She believes that her prior experience as a MPP for ten years, two prior leadership campaigns, and time as a Healthcare Ombudsman make her all the more prepared to hit the ground running and be ready for the June election.

Feb 3: Vic Fideli announces that the PC Party has just 133 000 members, 67 000 less than Patrick Brown had claimed in 2017.

Feb 4: Caroline Mulroney, a high-ranking business executive and the daughter of former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, announces her candidacy for the leadership of the party. She believes that her business experience and freshness to politics is what voters are looking for, instead of long-time politicians.

Feb 5: Tanya Granic Allen, the president of lobbying group Parents as First Educators, announces her intention to join the PC leadership race. She believes that power must be brought back to grassroots volunteers and that the current sex-ed curriculum is unacceptable and must be revised to incorporate more parental control in education.

Feb 7: The first PC leadership debate is held. All candidates agree that a carbon tax should not be implemented and that the minimum wage must increase more slowly to avoid causing adverse impacts on small businesses. Granic Allen fiercely attacks Patrick Brown’s actions during his time as leader, proclaiming that he consolidated power in his office and did not listen to the opinions of the grassroots volunteers in the party.

Feb 14: In a TV interview, Patrick Brown denies the sexual misconduct allegations, and continues by taking accusers to task on Facebook. He also suggests that he did not actually agree to the resignation, and that the resignation memo that was released was sent out by a staffer without his knowledge.

Feb 16: An audio tape of Patrick Brown agreeing to resign during his caucus conference call on January 25th is leaked to the media. Patrick Brown announces that he will file papers to join the new leadership election and reclaim his position to clear his name and win the election.

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