Brampton MPP Called an Idiot in the Legislature by Fords Finance Minister

Brampton MPP Called an Idiot in the Legislature by Ford\s Finance Minister
Patrick Brown says Vic Fedeli dodged a bullet in relation to sexual misconduct allegations in new book
Former Ontario PC leader Patrick Brown comes out swinging in a new tell-all memoir, claiming the province's current finance minister, Vic Fedeli, has also been the subject of a sexual misconduct allegation.

Brown's new book also contains allegations that his former party spied on him as far back as 2015.

“If a woman has made sexual misconduct allegations against Vic Fedeli, I assume that Doug Ford will be immediately ordering a fully independent investigation, and be removing Mr. Fedeli from cabinet while that investigation takes place. If there is any truth to allegations that the Conservative government is protecting Mr. Fedeli by buying the silence of his victim, Ford needs to come clean with the people of Ontario. Obviously, protecting a powerful man who has committed any sort of misconduct is wrong.

Ford says sexual misconduct allegations against minister are smear campaign

Entitled Takedown: The Attempted Political Assassination of Patrick Brown, the book follows Brown's rise in politics, starting with his nine-year-old self writing a letter to then-prime minister Brian Mulroney and ending with reflections on his life after his abrupt resignation as Progressive-Conservative leader earlier this year, following allegations of sexual misconduct.

“A little-known fact is that in December 2017, I received a hand-written note from an individual who worked for the party. In that note she accused Fedeli of inappropriate behavior. The letter had been left on my Queens Park office desk. While, frankly, the accusations were not anything I could picture being consistent with Fedelis character, my personal assessment of him was obviously irrelevant and not enough to disregard the allegations, Brown continued.

"I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy," Brown told CBC News in sit-down interview, describing the night he was forced to resign.

Brown, who recovered from the scandal and was elected mayor of the City of Brampton in October, takes aim in the book at a number of PC caucus members and former staffers, and claims he was stabbed in the back by those in his inner circle.

After publication of the story on Wednesday, Fedeli added: These accusations from Patrick Brown are categorically false and without any merit. Facts relating to Mr. Browns lack of credibility are well documented and on the public record, as are his motivations in using his book to pursue old grievances.”

Brown is in the midst of an $8-million defamation lawsuit against CTV News for publishing the original story detailing the allegations against him, which he has always denied. CTV has filed a statement of defence. The case has not yet been heard in court.

In his new book, Take Down: The Attempted Political Assassination of Patrick Brown, former Ontario Progressive Conservative leader and current Brampton mayor-elect Patrick Brown says finance minister Vic Fedeli dodged a bullet in regards to allegations of sexual misconduct against him.

In the book, Brown directs a series of blows at current Finance Minister Vic Fedeli, accusing him of once being the subject himself of an allegation of sexual misconduct.

Regarding the specific allegations the press release stated, Vic Fedeli would greet me and then proceed to kiss and hug me. Upon releasing me from the embrace he would glide his hands up against the side of my breasts.

Brown writes that in December 2017 — not long before he was ousted as leader of the party — he received a handwritten letter on his desk from a female staffer accusing Fedeli of inappropriate behaviour. CBC News has not seen the letter.

Brown references that statement in his book writing, He believed the women? I was surprised at Fedelis cavalier, holier-than-thou attitude, given that he knew full well that he may have dodged a bullet himself.

The allegations aren't detailed in the book and neither is the name of the staffer. But while he was still PC leader, Brown said he informed Fedeli that he would look into the matter. In the book, Brown claims that when Fedeli became the interim party leader, the woman was let go — for undisclosed reasons — but kept on the legislative payroll.

The findings of that investigation have never been made public. Global News has also been told by sources the woman signed a non-disclosure agreement and received a financial settlement in relation to her departure.

In the days following Brown's resignation, Fedeli was a harsh critic of the former party leader.

It reads in part: As discussed, I have a client that is prepared to make a public statement in respect of conduct amounting to workplace sexual harassment and misconduct by Vic Fedeli.

"We watched in shock and horror and disappointment and sadness at these allegations," Fedeli told CBC News at the time. "This is just plain and simply horrible."

It reads in part: The incidents of sexual harassment and misconduct occurred numerous times over the past 12 months at the females workplace, Queens Park.

A month later, Fedeli wrote to the party president saying that Brown didn't have the confidence to be a party candidate in his Barrie riding.

In 2017, a letter was leaked to news organizations and posted on social media after Brown was forced to resign over his own allegations of sexual misconduct.

"I was surprised at Fedeli's cavalier, holier-than-thou attitude, given that he knew full well that he may have dodged a bullet," Brown writes in the book, referring to Fedeli's remarks about him after he resigned.

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CBC News has independently verified the allegation was made against Fedeli. The allegation has never been tested in court.

"These accusations from Patrick Brown are categorically false and without any merit. Facts relating to Mr. Brown's lack of credibility are well documented and on the public record, as are his motivations in using his book to pursue old grievances, Fedeli said.

Brown wrote that he informed Fedeli that he intended to look into the allegations and also told him not to have contact with the accuser.

He added he has "retained legal counsel" and is "prepared to take whatever action is necessary to hold any person making these false allegations accountable."

Global News confirmed Fedeli was the subject of an investigation related to allegations made by a former female Queens Park staffer.

"I assume that [Ontario Premier] Doug Ford will be immediately ordering a fully independent investigation, and be removing Mr. Fedeli from cabinet while that investigation takes place," Singh said in a statement.

But Ford is standing by Fedeli, calling him "one of the most honourable, ethical, and decent individuals I have ever had the privilege of knowing and working with."

After Browns resignation Fedeli said, I believe the women…I will not sign Patrick Browns nomination papers.

"I stand behind him completely from this disgusting smear campaign. He has my full support," Ford said on Twitter. 

READ MORE: ‘It was a coordinated effort’: Patrick Brown discusses end as PC leader, grudges in new book

Brown claims in the book that in the weeks following his resignation, he hired a private investigator to look into who may have been behind his "setup."

Also leaked with the letter was a draft press release allegedly from Wilcoxs firm dated January 30, 2018.

In the process of that investigation, Brown said he learned he himself had been surveilled in 2015 and 2017. Brown claims the person who hired investigators was a lawyer with ties to the PC party, and that this individual paid the firm $118,000 for the surveillance work.

ABOVE: 'It was a coordinated effort': Patrick Brown discusses his ouster as PC party leader.

Brown believes it was for nefarious purposes, but told CBC he still isn't clear what the motive may have been.

"I never thought that politics in Canada could be reminiscent of House of Cards or a movie, but some of the stuff that I've gone through is frankly out of a movie." Brown said.

In the years prior to Brown's resignation, there were questions within the PCs about his ability to lead them to an election victory in 2018.

In the book, Brown frequently describes himself as a "red conservative." He writes that he felt disliked by the party for his more progressive stance on issues such as gay marriage, climate change and the carbon tax. 

"I would say to Ford that the social conservatives are dinosaurs who are becoming less and less relevant every single day," Brown writes.

Asked what he hopes will be the key takeaway from his book, Brown said he wants to expand people's views on the current form of conservatism.

"I believe you can be a proud, progressive conservative who cares about gay rights and cares about the environment and have a social conscience," said Brown.

"I believe there is a place within conservatism for that Bill Davis style of politics. I hope that we'll see some champions for that in the future."

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