Ontario premier Ford likes to bring some back-up when he is doing a Covid-19 presentation. It was a surprise last weekend when one of the smirking faces in the conservative back-up was that of Brampton mayor Patrick Brown. Oh, how well we know that weaselly countenance. He was even wearing a new suit to impress us.
Last time I checked, I was under the impression that Ford hated Brown. It was Ford who cancelled the election of the new Peel County Chair, who was to be the new super mayor of Caledon, Brampton and Mississauga. It forced Brown to drop down from running in that race to just running for mayor of Brampton. It was a bit of a come-down for a former member of parliament and a former leader of the Ontario conservatives. It was a step up for the guy who wrote a book about how certain conservatives in Ontario stabbed him in the back.
I first met Brown during the 2004 federal election. He was at my condo door in Barrie, Ontario, offering to shake hands. I just glared at the hand and asked him what he wanted. Here was the most unappealing person I had met in a long time and he wanted me to vote for him. It did him no good that I could see the conservative symbol on his literature. That confrontation led to a mutual dislike that has lasted.
As politicians go, Brown is an interesting study. At an early age, he probably decided that he did not like working for a living and entered politics. People familiar with politics think of him as a fairly good ‘retail’ politician. He knows how to sell the external package but you know the inner part of that melon is rotten. In parliament, he reminded me of the line from Gilbert and Sullivan that “He always voted at his party’s call.” I could never pin down what he did for his constituents.
In Ottawa, as an MP, he was an acolyte of Jason Kenney, minister of everything slippery in the Harper government.
It was Kenney who showed him how to pick strong ethnic groups for support and set him up with his trips to India. He and that hard-ass Indian president Narendra Modi were made for each other. It is why Brown had no problems winning the Sikh and sub-continent support to oust the Brampton mayor. Mind you, I am waiting for Brown to convert most of the parks in Brampton to cricket pitches—as he promised his Sikh supporters.
Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry
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