Patrick Brown admits he’s ‘upset’ with Jack MacLaren
Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown insists he has done enough to punish rogue MPP Jack MacLaren.
“Obviously, I was upset,” Brown said of MacLaren, who in the past week has been forced to apologize for making a sexist joke about a female Liberal MP in front of 350 people and for posting testimonials from fake constituents on his official website.
“It was the totality of events, not one single (thing),” said the Tory leader, who removed the Carleton-Mississippi MPP from his largely ceremonial post as chair of the Tories’ Eastern Ontario caucus.
“This is a post just like a regional minister would be. It’s speaking to the riding associations. It’s a leadership position in the party,” said Brown, who has handed the symbolic title to MPP Jim McDonell (Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry).
“It was important to express that I wasn’t happy and there’s consequences and that’s why he was demoted from that position. The demotion speaks for itself,” he said.
MacLaren, who brushed past reporters Wednesday after uttering a terse apology for the website ruse, wasn’t seen at Queen’s Park on Thursday and could not be reached for comment.
But, privately, his caucus colleagues are fuming that he hasn’t been sanctioned more severely.
“This is basically meaningless,” said one senior Tory, noting MacLaren never once chaired a meeting of the Eastern Ontario caucus.
“Jack made Patrick look bad and he made all of us look bad,” said the insider.
The Tory caucus got a much-needed morale boost Thursday afternoon when former prime minister Brian Mulroney dropped by Queen’s Park to give them a pep talk.
“I’m in town to do an event tonight and Patrick, who’s an old friend of mine, asked me to come by and say hello to the caucus. We had a great meeting,” Mulroney told the Star. (Source: Toronto Star)