Patrick Brown is gone. What now for Ontario politics?
Ontario politics was thrown into chaos in the late hours of Wednesday night. Ontario’s Progressive Conservative leader, Patrick Brown, was forced to resign after two women came forward with serious accusations of sexual assault.
Patrick Brown is now on a growing list of men who are accused of using their position of power to sexually harass and assault women.
We are living in a powerful time of change, where predatory sexual behaviour and violence is finally being brought to light by a growing number of brave women who are inspiring others to also speak out.
We must all be vigilant about ensuring this kind of behaviour is not tolerated in our work places, our unions – all places. This is our collective responsibility. We must not stay silent when we witness inappropriate behaviour and we must support the women who have the courage to speak up.
We can be relieved if the accusations against Patrick Brown prove true, that a man capable of this behaviour will not become the next premier of our province. But with his resignation just months away from the next election, what does it mean for Ontario?
There are some within the Conservative party that will be celebrating the demise of Patrick Brown. Many have strongly voiced their concern that he was trying to take the party too far to the centre. They are looking for a leader who will return them to what they feel are their core values – tax cuts, service cuts and social conservatism.
The party has little time for a new leader to get ready to take them into the election. With no obvious successors, it will be interesting to see who they choose.
With so much unknown, it is incumbent upon all of us to do all we can to make the next election about the things we know our communities need and the kind of Province we all want to live in.
Fred Hahn Candace Rennick