Posts Tagged ‘Patrick Brown’

The Patrick Brown legacy lives on.

Tuesday, July 31st, 2018

It is like a bad smell that does not go away. There was some relief in Barrie during the period when Patrick Brown was living the high life in Toronto as leader of the Ontario conservatives. It was the complaints by two young, unidentified Barrie ladies that caused him to resign as conservative leader. And it was the vindictiveness of fellow conservative MPPs that convinced him not to run to replace himself as leader or to contest the Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte provincial electoral district as a conservative.

But like a bad penny, Patrick Brown keeps showing up—recently as a home owner in Mississauga—then as a candidate for Peel Region chair—and then, just as suddenly—candidate for mayor of Brampton.

Patrick Brown of Barrie is a political conniver. Some people think he is a pretty good ‘retail politician’ in the sense that he knows all the angles to work on voters. Yet he abuses those angles. He is slippery and has little respect for truth. He is only in it for himself.

Brown spent years in Ottawa and never made a contribution to his party policy or on behalf of his constituents. On free votes he voted against women’s rights and to re-open abortion arguments.

The old political term for Brown is “carpetbagger.” He little cares for the needs of Peel region voters but he figured to make around $200,000 per year in the newly elected role as regional chair. He took a quick look around when premier Ford slammed close that opportunity and selected mayor Linda Jeffrey of Brampton as the only potential opportunity. He has no personal connection with Brampton but figures, in the current times, his being a conservative and Jeffery being a former provincial liberal cabinet minister gives him a chance at winning. He knew better than to go after Bonnie Crombie in Mississauga (where he now lives) who has done a good job replacing a retired Hazel McCallion.

What reminded me of this was Brown’s acolyte, Alex Nutall MP, who is very proud of taking over Brown’s role at Hockey Night in Barrie this year. I think Royal Victoria Hospital and the other charities getting involved should get a forensic audit of this event in recent years. They might not know the kind of legacy to which they have tied themselves.

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

Patrick Brown is back.

Thursday, July 5th, 2018

The wife was worried with my unrestrained laughter over breakfast. “Brown is back,” I finally managed to tell her. It was word in the Toronto Star that Barrie’s own Patrick Brown is running for chair of Peel Region that had sent me into paroxysms of laughter.

She did not think it was funny at all. Her first question was “Could he win?” I thought about that for about half a minute and nodded. “Yes.”

It is the same area in which Brown launched his scheme to win the leadership of the Ontario conservatives. The Hindu temples that he used as base to link all areas of sub-continent immigrants in Ontario are in the Brampton area which is the heart of Peel Region.

While I am sure my old friend Hazel McCallion, former mayor of Mississauga, could make short work of a putz such as Brown, you have to remember she is 97. He has a good chance in a large field of mediocre candidates such as those already nominated.

A four-year sinecure as Peel chair, paying about $175,000 per year plus lots of expense money, would please Mr. Brown no end. He could even use it as a calculated catbird seat for his future ambitions in Ontario politics.

Brown’s ‘tell-nothing’ book should be out in time for the October 22 election. It will probably be a rather fictionalized version of events leading to his downfall as Ontario conservative leader.

But neither can it include discussion of the reports from the young ladies who caused his downfall. That is the stuff of a lawsuit with CTV television. I expect the Bell Canada lawyers are going to be digging into that problem soon enough and Mr. Brown might have an undisclosed, but still handsome sum, to put aside for a rainy day.

I understand that Patrick has a ‘fiancé’ these days to keep him out of bars where underage ladies might be skulking in wait for him.

Just what he sees as the opportunity in the Peel regional chair eludes me. Admittedly, Paul Godfrey, went from regional chair in Toronto to some heavy wheeling and dealing in the newspaper business that has left him in a quite respectable position in which to retire.

But like in any other skulduggery, it is always a question of following the money. Running for regional chair is not an inexpensive undertaking. From the lakefront in Mississauga to the northern tip of Caledon is not a hop, skip and jump. There are about 1.4 million residents in that area and it keeps growing. You do not run for chair on a ward-healer’s budget.

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

From Penny Dreadful to false news.

Thursday, June 28th, 2018

If you think false news is new news, you are only about 300 years behind the news. Watching the efforts of past politician Patrick Brown to communicate with his constituents during his time in Ottawa, I used to think of his efforts in terms of the penny dreadful publications that originated in England in the early 1800s. They had the same lack of accuracy and quality and the same misleading enticements to want to read the following edition.

Most of the early penny dreadful material was fictional about highwaymen or vampires and so was much of Patrick Brown’s efforts. He seemed to accept anything without question from the party offices or as quoted from questionable sources. What was most annoying was his use of local charities to promote himself. He was doing a disservice to the charities but they could hardly say ‘no’ to him.

He used to make fanciful claims about what he did for charities in Barrie. He even used to take the credit for the Royal Victoria Hospital summer hockey event, saying he thought of it and started it, until enough people said “No, he did not.” He used to politicize the event to the point of needlessly polarizing the community.

But this is not to say that all of Patrick Brown’s schemes were not effective. He was easily re-elected for three terms as member of parliament for Barrie. When Brown saw the handwriting on the wall on the conservatives’ chances in 2015, he made the jump for the brass ring in Ontario. By signing up close to 40,000 immigrants from the Indian sub-continent (with or without payment), he swamped the then low membership of the Ontario conservatives and took the leadership—for a while anyway.

But we should hardly be surprised that the two city councillors—acolytes of Patrick Brown—who were there to fill in for him in the new electoral districts for the 2015 federal election, are following in his footsteps.

Messrs. Brassard and Nutall, both MPs for different halves of Barrie, sent out a penny dreadful the other day to announce that they are playing hockey down at the cenotaph on July 1. I, for one, just have better things to do than sit in the hot sun watching a mediocre game of shinny by people who are supposed to be adults.

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

Did Brown lay the table for Ford?

Sunday, June 17th, 2018

The only newspaper in Ontario that gave a real damn about the lynching of conservative leader Patrick Brown back in January was his hometown Barrie Advance. It is owned by the Toronto Star and while it is just a poor quality shopper in which to wrap grocery flyers, the publication has editorials just like a real newspaper. It is the only regular print media in a city of close to 150,000 people. This past week (it is a weekly publication), it had an editorial saying that “Brown’s work helped Ford win.”

This bravura assertion is questionable. There is probably a long list of people who helped Doug Ford win the Ontario conservative leadership and then the provincial election. I think we can all agree that the first name on that list should be premier Kathleen Wynne. Her quitting the race a week before election day was the guarantee that Ford would win.

A close second was new democratic leader Andrea Horwath. Her inadequate and incompetent leadership of her party left Ontario voters no choice. Her hidebound position on the York University strike before the election left voters with the clear impression that she could only follow the party line.

I thought the guy who really helped Ford was Patrick Brown’s friend Walied Soliman. He was chair of Brown’s campaign team and “The People’s Guarantee” that Walied’s team put together and had Brown present last November was one of the most brilliant pieces of propaganda that I have seen for a long time. Weak in content, it made up for it in slickness. Ford only loathed it because it had Brown’s picture on the cover.

But the unknown person who orchestrated the charges against Brown by the two young ladies was the real hero of the hour. The timing was perfect. It also showed that the person was not a liberal. It had to be a conservative who recognized that the momentum for whomever became conservative leader could be unstoppable.

And why Walied and his team all told Brown they were resigning and leaving him in the lurch back in January made little sense. As a lawyer, Walied was obviously not thinking as one to leave his friend in such a situation. And any lawyer taking on Brown’s case against CTV might just do very well on a contingency fee.

Brown was a timebomb for the Ontario conservatives. We knew how women felt about him and it was certainly his Achilles’ heel. The only thing he did to help Ford win, was to resign.

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

Don’t blame me, I voted liberal!

Friday, June 8th, 2018

From the catbird seat yesterday: I felt as though I was on the lip of an active volcano watching the devastation of the countryside. It was both a sad and a challenging night. A new day dawns and Kathleen Wynne is gone; that is good. We thought Ontario voters were too smart to elect Trump-lite and we found we were wrong. Ontario voters can be just as stupid as Americans.

But what choice did they really have? Kathleen Wynne gave them license to riot. There are no apologies. Her final act was to cut the party adrift. She has been a target for the last two years. She should have quit when we first saw the problems she was having. Ed Clark of TD Bank was her nemesis.

That was quite an aria we heard from Andrea Horwath yesterday. She was always the problem and never a solution. The new democrats in Ontario are tired and hopelessly out of date. It is a party without a future. Socialism betrays them. The party never had its own agenda.

But speaking of agendas folks (as Mr. Ford calls us) you need to start taking a hard look at the horde Mr. Ford has brought to the gates of Queen’s Park.

It started over a year ago as we looked at the chicanery going on in the conservative party under boy-leader Patrick Brown. Whomever set up that take-down of Brown in January did the party a favour. Though, in time, people will regret the results.

And if you think Mr. Ford will be the problem as premier, it will not be that bad. Ford is just incompetent. It is people in the horde you need to watch. We saw Caroline Mulroney’s father being rude to a Global TV reporter in that safe conservative country club electoral district she had picked last night. Brian is back folks.

The real difference between Ford and Trump is that Ford knows he cannot do it all. He has never been the schemer and dealer as is Trump. Heck, even his sister-in-law knows he is incompetent in business.

(It reminds of the three Peterson boys. Jim, David and Tim were all elected as liberals at one point and the employees of their father’s old firm were allowed to run the company properly.)

We live in interesting times.

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

Picking politicians.

Monday, May 7th, 2018

We now have our main candidates here in Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte. No, nothing exciting. The local liberals had an acclamation. Only one candidate came forward. The conservatives appointed their candidate when Doug Ford got impatient. So much for democracy in the electoral district!

Ford appointed a loser. He is a former Orillia councillor who ran against Jill Dunlop for the Simcoe North nomination. Since he lost to Dunlop, Doug Ford appointed him to run in Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte as a consolation prize. His name is Doug Downey and he tells people that he sees it as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity—to lose twice in the same election?

Downey is a lawyer and the go-to guy in Severn Township for the conservative party. He has held several political appointments in the Severn Township area.

Downey almost had a rerun of his contest with Jill Dunlop when former MPP Garfield Dunlop filed for nomination papers in Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte. The senior Dunlop said his bid for the nomination was ignored by the party hierarchy because of his close relationship with former leader and former candidate Patrick Brown. Dunlop said his application was not turned down, it was just ignored.

Without Patrick Brown and a parachuted candidate from outside the electoral district, this will be a much tighter race than was expected this time around. While the rural townships of Springwater and the western half of Oro-Medonte are predominantly conservative, the north half of Barrie has been known to vote liberal. The final recount in the last federal election in the same area was a conservative win by just 86 votes. A better organized and better run liberal campaign in this election could make all the difference.

When the party headquarters sees an electoral district that is that close, they will make sure the leader’s tour makes several calls in the area. In addition, there will be extra attention given to requests from the local campaign.

Not having heard from the liberal candidate yet, I will reserve judgement.

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

“The Long Goodbye.”

Friday, April 27th, 2018

Not to give it the suspense of mystery writer Raymond Chandler’s character Philip Marlowe, but Patrick Brown has taken far too long to say goodbye. It has been two months since he called a hasty news conference at Queen’s Park. Within the day, he was gone from being party leader and poster boy for the Conservative “Guarantee” booklet and a renewed leadership race was on.

To put it mildly, Patrick let the dogs out! We soon understood what his fellow MPPs at Queen’s Park thought of him. His seat in the Ontario Legislature was moved to an out-of-the-way corner. He was ejected from caucus. He was ostracized. Interim leader Vic Fideli did not want him running in the coming provincial election.

The only thing the caucus could not do was prevent him from running in the leadership race to succeed himself. He was in and then he was out without any sensible explanation.

What made no sense at all was the statements that CTV News released from the two women complaining about Brown. One told him she did not want to go to bed with him and he drove her home. The other did not like his penis in her mouth, so he did up his fly and drove her home. Luckily, one of them admitted later that she really was old enough at the time.

But what did these young ladies expect when he invited them up to his bedroom: to play with his electric trains? Patrick needs to pick up his casual companions at a better class of bars. He should also just be friends with his staff and play with ladies in his own age group.

What amazes us though is that Patrick never stops holding himself up for ridicule. Last week, he published a four-page, four-color insert in the local newspaper. It reads like a job application. It is a terrible waste of money but I have a suspicion that the taxpayers footed the bill. It is nothing but self-aggrandisement that takes you through his career at city hall, in parliament in Ottawa and at Queen’s Park. And that was just page one. The next three pages are presented as snapshots of his days in office. All I got out of it was that he has had three jobs, did little and accomplished less. And he has absolutely no idea as to what to do next.

We hope you find a new job soon Patrick.

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

Please come back Patrick Brown.

Tuesday, April 17th, 2018

We will have to take back some of those nasty names we have called Barrie’s Patrick Brown. Sure, he is a sleazebag but he is hardly as ignorant or as frightening as Doug Ford. If we could just have our choice of sleazebag, I guess we would prefer the one we know.

The main difference between the two conservatives is that Brown is a more experienced politician. He would still not know the difference between a good policy idea or a dumb policy idea but he does know some smart people who would. He got those smart people to create a policy booklet for him that was introduced last November as ‘The People’s Guarantee.’ With that booklet in hand, Patrick’s conservatives were running higher in the polls than where Ford is today.

I must have been laughing as hard as other progressives as we watched Doug Ford slag Patrick’s ‘guarantee’ booklet throughout the conservative’s desperation leadership contest. All leadership candidates had signed pledges that they would run on the ‘guarantee’ booklet’s promises but Doug Ford’s word is not very good. In breaking ranks, he forced the other candidates to break their promises. He trashed Patrick’s promise of a having a carbon tax instead of the Wynne government’s Cap and Trade program.

The carbon tax support was an untypically smart move by Brown. He must have been told that Cap and Trade confuses voters and is too secretive, while a carbon tax is very straight forward and transparent. And since the federal government was saying it would impose a carbon tax anyway, why would Brown not support it?

And Brown would have had the political experience to handle Tanya Granic Allen. The social conservatives with their oppressive demands are scaring Doug Ford but Brown would have Tanya toeing the line or out of the contest to be a conservative candidate. As a social conservative himself, Brown learned the lesson the hard way and he would take control.

If I was a really loyal liberal, I guess I would concede that Ford is easier for Wynne to tear apart in a debate. Did he really agree to that one debate? It is my guess that the conservatives will try to keep Doug Ford as far away from Kathleen Wynne as possible.

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

The redemption of Patrick Brown?

Monday, March 19th, 2018

How do you like those phone calls you get from automated polling systems? The worst of them are the ones that want you to press one if you intend to vote conservative and two if liberal. I always have lots of fun with them by pressing numbers at random.

But I had to pause and think about a series of those calls last week. After two calls on subsequent evenings, I thought it might be the local mayor testing the waters for his political future. I sent him an e-mail kidding him about the surveys and suggesting that his party needs him at Queen’s Park.

But when the third automated polling call came that evening, I had an even better idea. What if it is former conservative leader Patrick Brown checking out his options? He has been told that he is not getting a pass from the conservatives to run for them in my electoral district of Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte. The only path for redemption left for him would be the mayor’s chair in Barrie.

He could hardly come back as a councillor. That was where he started 14 years ago. He did not seem to like practicing law or whatever he was doing after finally passing bar admission. He only stayed a councillor until, on a second try, he finally won a federal seat for the conservatives.

The mayoralty could be the ideal route back. He can hardly disprove somehow that he prefers younger girls. From now on he should solemnly promise to check their driver’s licences before inviting any of them to his Shanty Bay home to admire his hockey memorabilia.

And he never has been mayor of Barrie. The job pays well. It is an easy job. You get your picture in the local media all the time. You get to cut a lot of ribbons and greet visiting dignitaries. It is not as though you are expected to really run things. The toughest part of the job is getting the ward councillors to maintain some decorum at open council meetings.

And it would free up the incumbent mayor to do something useful. Having a guy who graduated from the London School of Economics worrying about the high householder taxes in Barrie is a terrible waste of talent. The city staff will continue making all the decisions anyway. The mayor is just for show.

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

In defence of populism.

Saturday, March 17th, 2018

From the first time I met John George Diefenbaker, I have admired populist politicians. For the benefit of our younger folk, John Diefenbaker was a Prairie populist politician who served as prime minister of Canada from 1957 to 1963. As a young liberal, I did not agree with much of ‘Dief the Chief’s politics but some of what he did changed this country forever.

Conservatives considered John Diefenbaker a radical. He did crazy things like appointing the first Canadian woman to the federal cabinet. His government passed the first Canadian Bill of Rights. He gave Canada’s aboriginal peoples the vote. He appointed the first aboriginal person to the senate. These were not the actions of your typical conservative.

Mind you, as a former member of Canada’s air force, I was royally pissed with Dief when he cancelled the spectacularly advanced Avro Arrow. He caved in to the Americans and left Canada as perpetual water boy to the Yankees.

I got to thinking about populism recently when reading a very misleading column by Chantal Hébert in the Toronto Star. She was saying that one-member-one-vote selection in political party leadership benefits populists. That is B.S. from an usually more knowledgeable reporter.

Her problem was that the examples she used were hardly populists. Doug Ford is not a populist. His late brother Rob was a populist and the difference could not have been more obvious. Rob Ford believed in Ford Nation, he was part of it. Doug Ford wants to use Ford Nation but he is hardly part of it. He is a dilettante. He talks the talk but hardly walks the walk. I will put money on him crashing and burning before the Ontario election. He is just another embarrassing Premier Mike Harris in waiting.

And Hébert mentioning Patrick Brown as an example of populism is a sad joke. Patrick Brown is a sleazy political manipulator and user who finally got his comeuppance.

Brown and Jagmeet Singh both swamped their party memberships with ethnic sign-ups from the Indian sub-continent. The only difference was that the Sikhs have been proud of Jagmeet Singh and would have insisted in paying for their own memberships.

Populism is a rare feature of Canadian politics and we need more of it. It is that ability to be part of the masses, articulate their needs, motivate them and rise to lead those masses. It is a combination of empathy and vision and communication. When you see it; you will recognize it.

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me