Patrick Brown's campaign says Ontario's Progressive Conservative party is allowing its ousted leader to run as a candidate in the spring election, greenlighting his leadership bid.
"Patrick Brown is the only leader for the Ontario PC Party that has given the north the attention we have been demanding for decades", Parks wrote in his endorsement. The festivities Saturday get underway at 1 p.m.
Patrick Brown stepped down from his position late last month amid sexual misconduct allegations, which he has repeatedly and categorically denied.
Fedeli removed Brown from the PC caucus Friday morning, forcing him to sit as an independent MPP and signalled that Brown should not be allowed to run as a PC candidate in the June 7 election.
But beyond the allegations that forced Brown from the party helm, the number of card-carrying Tories the politician offered up is also in contention. "This small group of insiders will stop at nothing in their attempts to derail us".
Sources say the leadership process involves filing the appropriate paperwork to register, paying $125,000 in different fees, and then going through the vetting process.
Brown said the deal never happened and accused a former senior staffer of leaking personal and financial information to the media. "This includes bank statements, mortgage information, legal documents, all of which is legally protected and personal information".
"Our membership has gone from 12,000, and whether it's 145,000 or 180,000 or 200,000, it's still the largest we have ever been". An internal audit ordered by Fedeli following Brown's resignation found 133,000 members.
Speaking to a room full of enthusiastic supporters at his official campaign launch in Mississauga, Ont., Brown said in response to reporters that the specific numbers aren't what matters. "Our role is to represent the membership", he said. "Brown did not have my confidence to be party candidate in Barrie", Fedeli said.
Moments later on Twitter, a Tory member of provincial parliament attacked Brown on the membership numbers.
Brown said the memberships in question expired a few weeks after he made his statements about the figures and that they were accurate at the time.