“The unanimous decision of the Provincial Nomination Committee (PNC) was that Patrick Brown will not be an eligible candidate for nomination in Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte,” party president Jag Badwal said in a statement Thursday evening, adding the decision was made earlier in the day.
Shortly after the statement was sent out, Brown said on Twitter he won’t be running in the election “after much thought.”
“I am confident that Barrie – Springwater – Oro-Medonte will have a PC Party candidate that will hit the ground running and work hard on behalf of our constituents,” he wrote.
“Thank you to the people of #Barrie and Simcoe County for your unwavering support over the last 17 years.”
Brown stepped down as the party’s leader on Jan. 24 amid sexual misconduct allegations, which triggered a leadership race that ultimately saw Doug Ford become Ontario PC Party leader. He was named to the post during the party’s convention in Markham on Saturday.
The party also announced it’s setting aside a candidate’s nomination in Hamilton and reopening nominations in three Greater Toronto Area ridings.
In the riding of Hamilton West–Ancaster–Dundas, the PNC said the decision was made to set aside the nomination “as a result of the flawed process.”
After finishing second to Ben Levitt in the May vote, Vikram Singh launched legal action, alleging “gross irregularities and voter fraud” on the part of Brown and party officials. In January, he announced he dropped the lawsuit.
In a statement issued on Jan. 24, Singh said he accepts that “PC Party officials, staff and volunteers were dedicated to achieving the fairest result for the Hamilton community, and can no longer maintain that there was any untoward behaviour on their part.”
Hamilton police launched a criminal investigation into the fraud allegations in November.
Meanwhile, nominations will be reopened in the ridings of Brampton North, Mississauga Centre, Newmarket–Aurora.
Ford said in a statement Thursday evening he was “pleased” with the decisions made by the PNC and that he is “fully focused on the June election.”
Election day in Ontario is set for June 7.
— With files from Rick Zamperin
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