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Patrick Brown running for mayor of Brampton

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Former Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario Leader Patrick Brown, who had been registered to run for chair of Peel region, is now running for the mayor’s office in Brampton.

“I think there’s real challenges here with crime, with gridlock, with a lack of good paying jobs that need to be confronted and the same, old broken approaches aren’t going to work,” Brown told reporters Friday afternoon.

“Frankly the team here at Brampton City Hall they haven’t met the challenge.”

READ MORE: Ontario to introduce legislation to cut Toronto city council seats by nearly half

Premier Doug Ford‘s government announced intentions Friday to scrap upcoming elections for Peel and York region chair, along with slashing the size of Toronto City Council. The previously appointed chair positions were set to be contested at the ballot box for the first time this year.

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Brown said he wouldn’t speculate on the reason the Ontario government is looking to cancel the election of a Peel Region chair.

“I was surprised by the premier’s decision to cancel the regional elections in favour of an appointment, but I still want to contribute,” he said.

“My preference would have been democracy over appointments … I’m looking forward, I’m not looking backward. Obviously that decision has been made.”

When asked about his connection to Brampton and his residence in Peel Region, he said his fiance was born and raised in Mississauga and that he has practiced law in Brampton for an extended period of time. Brown also touted his father’s connection to the city as a lawyer.

Incumbent Mayor Linda Jeffrey, who is running for re-election, targeted Brown on Twitter Friday afternoon over his residence location and questioned his candidacy.

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“While I welcome Mr. Brown’s entry into the race, I would like to bring to the attention of Brampton voters that the ink barely dried on his lease before he decided to seek our city’s highest office,” she wrote.

“Compare this to my 35 plus years of living, working and volunteering in Brampton as well as representing constituents on city council and in the legislature prior to being elected mayor.”

In the same Twitter thread, Jeffrey continued to contrast her previous experience with Brown’s.

“In this election voters will have a clear choice between my track record of standing up for Brampton and fighting for a safe, diverse and dynamic city in contrast with his little knowledge of our community,” she said.

“If Mr. Brown was serious about representing the people of our city he should have invested some time to get to know and be involved in our community instead of using the Mayor’s office to rehabilitate his political career.”

READ MORE: Former Ontario PC leader Patrick Brown confirms he’s running for chair of Peel Region

Brown was asked about Jeffrey’s comments after filing his nomination papers and said he wasn’t going to engage “in personal attacks.”

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“I think an incumbent mayor — or any candidate — who has to resort to personal attacks on other candidates frankly is an example of not being proud of your own record,” he said.

Brown resigned as PC leader in late January after CTV News published allegations of sexual misconduct involving two young women. Brown strongly denied the allegations and filed an $8-million lawsuit against the broadcaster.

READ MORE: Former Ontario Tory leader Patrick Brown writing book on his ‘political assassination’

The former MPP for Simcoe North also served as an MP and city councillor for Barrie.

Friday is the deadline for candidates to run in Ontario’s municipal elections.

Election day is on Oct. 22.

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