As the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party caucus prepares to meet at Queen’s Park on Friday morning to discuss appointing an interim leader after Patrick Brown resigned, a northern Ontario MPP says he’s up for the job.
“The phone calls that I started receiving last night were very encouraging. They say, ‘Vic, it’s your time,'” Vic Fedeli told Global News on Thursday evening, adding he hopes to receive the support of caucus members during their meeting.
“I believe we need to be decisive and the leader needs to take the party into the next election.”
Fedeli said he wants to lead the party into the June provincial election instead of having a leadership contest.
“We are smack dab in the middle of the fight of our lives for our party,” he said.
“There’s no time for a leadership race that’s going to take our money, our people, our resources, our time and fight amongst each other instead of fighting our true enemy of Ontario, Kathleen Wynne.”
Other names that have been mentioned as potential contenders in a bid for the Ontario PC leadership include Lisa McLeod, Caroline Mulroney and Rod Phillips.
Brown stepped down as Ontario PC Party leader early Thursday after sexual misconduct allegations were brought against him by two women.
“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,” Brown said in a written statement.
CTV News published a report on Wednesday saying two women came forward accusing Brown of sexual misconduct. The broadcaster said one of the allegations is from over 10 years ago and involved a high school student, while the other incident involved a woman working for the Barrie MP in then-prime minister Stephen Harper’s government in 2012.
The women haven’t been named, and the allegations haven’t been proven in court.
— With files from David Shum