The former leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservatives is not pulling punches when it comes to social services minister Lisa MacLeod.
Brampton’s newly elected mayor Patrick Brown is scheduled to release ‘Take Down: The Attempted Political Assassination of Patrick Brown’ later this week.
In an advance copy shared with Global News, Brown unleashes on MacLeod saying, “When I think about Lisa MacLeod, I think about a person who is always angry. She was just angry with everything, with everyone and with her situation in life.”
Brown also claims, “Members of caucus hated her. If anyone else in caucus went off script the way MacLeod did, they’d be kicked out.”
Brown resigned from the party early this year after allegations of sexual misconduct were leveled against him. The allegations have not been proven in court.
Brown questioned in the book if MacLeod was one of the architects behind his exit from Queen’s Park.
“Might it be that she was involved?” he wrote. “I had heard that MacLeod had been conspiring against me for some time.”
Brown also questioned MacLeod’s loyalty, especially in the hours and days following his resignation.
Brown alleges he heard rumors MacLeod ‘cut a deal’ with Vic Fedeli.
“MacLeod and Fedeli appeared to be the first to immediately benefit from my takedown, he by becoming interim party leader and she by being named the finance critic, the top job after being leader,” Brown wrote.
In his book, Brown references a late night conference call with members of PC caucus that took place on the evening of his departure from Queen’s Park.
Brown dubs the evening, ‘The Night of Knives.’
He references MacLeod’s remarks on that conference call, saying, “We’re going into a campaign and we’ve just lost it now. I think Patrick, with all due respect, you don’t have the confidence of your campaign team. You don’t have the confidence of our caucus. You actually have to give those on this call and those candidates you recruited a fighting chance on June 7.”
In response Brown writes, “Which Lisa was this talking about doing right for the team? Would it be the Lisa, of the ‘I can’t keep staff cause I’m so nasty’ Lisa? Or perhaps the ‘I can’t work well with anybody’ Lisa? I couldn’t believe my ears.”
Brown also writes of MacLeod’s struggles with mental health.
He said Eastern Ontario party organizers and members of MacLeod’s team believed “that MacLeod made up the mental health issues she claimed to have suffered during the nomination races in order to endear the public to her and to make it difficult for her to be defeated in the nomination.”
Brown claims he told organizers to give MacLeod the benefit of the doubt but added, “None of what I did for MacLeod ever registered.”
When asked about the release of Brown’s book this week by Global News, MacLeod originally said, “I don’t comment on fiction.”
But after the publication of the story on Wednesday, MacLeod issued another statement.
“I am proud to be a member of the PC Government with our Premier Doug Ford. Our caucus is united, strong and focused on bringing relief to the people of Ontario after 15 years of Liberal mismanagement.
“The work environment at Queen’s Park, under this administration, is one that is supportive, inclusive and respectful. Unfortunately that was not the case during my time with the former Leader of the Opposition. He was not focused on supporting his team or creating an atmosphere where staff and MPPs were respected.
“The comments made by the former Leader of the Opposition regarding my battle with mental health in his book are disgusting and cruel. After much support from my family, friends and medical community, I came forward with my own struggle, that is shared by millions of people across the province. The dangerous claims made in this book will make it harder for children, teens and all Ontarians to share their stories and seek help. It takes courage to speak openly about mental health struggles. Since I shared my story I made it my mission to be a mental health advocate and champion for others who might not have the support that I have.
“I will not comment further on the allegations he makes in his book towards me, as I will not give any credence to the outlandish claims he has made, except to say they are categorically false.”