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Responses to sexual misconduct allegations against Ontario PC leader Patrick Brown

Last Updated Jan 25, 2018 at 12:00 am PDT

TORONTO – Allegations of sexual misconduct have been reported against Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown, who resigned his position early Thursday while emphatically denying the claims. Here are some of the responses to the situation.

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“These allegations are false and have been difficult to hear. However, defeating Kathleen Wynne in 2018 is more important than one individual. For this reason, after consulting with caucus, friends and family I have decided to step down as Leader of the Ontario PC Party. I will remain on as a MPP while I definitively clear my name from these false allegations.” – Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown

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“These allegations are false. Every one of them. I will defend myself as hard as I can, with all the means at my disposal. I can’t speculate on the motive of my accusers, I can only say they what they are saying is categorically untrue.”

“I know that the court of public opinion moves fast. I have instructed my attorneys to ensure that these allegations are addressed where they should be: in a court of law. In short, I reject these accusation in the strongest possible terms.” – Brown

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“My thoughts are with the brave young women who have spoken out to describe horrible, degrading and unsafe experiences they say happened at the hands of Patrick Brown. I’m disgusted and disturbed by these sexual misconduct allegations. Patrick Brown must resign, immediately. He deserves his day in court, but no person can lead a political party in this province with allegations like these hanging over his head.” – Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath

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“It’s a difficult and brave thing to do to come forward in the way these young women have done tonight. My government and I have been clear on the issue of sexual harassment and assault. In fact our policy and our ad were called ‘It’s Never Okay.'” – Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne.

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“Sexual misconduct and sexual harassment have no place in Canadian society, especially within our political system. I understand how difficult it can be to come forward under these circumstances. The allegations against the Leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservatives are extremely serious and should be fully investigated.” — Federal Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer

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“In the interest of the Ontario PC Party we unanimously agree that Mr. Brown cannot continue serving as the leader. Mr. Brown is entitled to a legal defense and due process, but he cannot lead us into an election as a result of these allegations. — Ontario PC Deputy Leaders Sylvia Jones and Steve Clark

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“Every citizen of Ontario deserves respect. Everyone has the right to be free from unwelcome behaviour or advances. I do not and will not tolerate abuse or harassment, and I will do everything in my power to fight against it. My heart goes out to the women who have been impacted by this behaviour. It takes courage to come forward and make these claims. These women deserve our support and thanks.” – Progressive Conservative MPP Lisa MacLeod.

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“Earlier today all three of us became aware of allegations against Patrick Brown. After speaking with him, our advice was that he should resign as PC Party leader. He did not accept that advice. Since our view is that this advice was in the best interest of the PC Party, we have therefore resigned our positions as, respectively, Campaign Manager, Chief of Staff, and Deputy Campaign Manager (Strategy).” — Joint statement from Andrew Boddington, Alykhan Velshi and Dan Robertson.

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“This evening I learned of allegations against Patrick Brown. As a result, it is in the best interest of the PC Party that he step down immediately. As he has chosen to follow a different route, I am resigning as the PC Party Press Secretary.” – Nick Bergamini, former PC Party Press Secretary

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“We are living in a powerful moment where woman and girls across Ontario, Canada and around the woerld are ending their silence — and their stories of sexual harassment are being heard. This is a sad day.” – Caroline Mulroney.

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