MPP Vic Fedeli was chosen as interim leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservatives on Jan. 26, after Patrick Brown’s resignation following sexual misconduct allegations.
On Thursday morning following the resignation, Ryerson’s Campus Conservatives made a formal statement. They said, “In response to the unfortunate news and allegations brought to light last night, we would like to assure Ryerson students that we stand in solidarity with victims of sexual violence. Coming forward as a victim a very difficult and brave thing to do. No one ever deserves to be sexually exploited, especially by a person in a position of power. These allegations are very concerning, and as the situation develops, we will respond and adjust our operations accordingly.”
Denying the allegations, Brown initially refused to resign as party leader, though hours later he did just that after pressure from within the party.
“There would have been no legal obligation that he resigns at this time,” said William Reid, the lawyer who provides legal services to students in the Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU).
In the meantime, Brown remains on as MPP for the riding of Simcoe North in hopes of clearing his name.
Both incidents with the women are alleged to have occurred in Brown’s home in Barrie, Ont., after the women had been drinking. Both women were students at the time they say the incidents occurred. Brown was already a well-known Barrie politician at the time and was then serving as a member of Parliament.
Brian Baum, Ryerson Campus Conservatives vice-president of operations, said, “the group will continue on as normal. There are many incredible PC MPPs in Ontario that share the group’s values. The Ryerson Campus Conservatives unequivocally support victims and their bravery.”