Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown has announced his plan to run for that office again, days after he was ousted as a candidate for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada. He re-enters the Brampton municipal race amid swirling controversy over some of his actions during his term as mayor that have resulted in a deeply divided council.
It started right after his election, when Brown hired several former Niagara Region officials who had been implicated in a high-profile political scandal involving a cabal of politicians who engineered the hiring of a CAO using insider information to get their favored candidate the job. Many other instances of insider deals were revealed in an investigation by the Ontario Ombudsman. During Brown’s term of office there were no less than four former Niagara politicians either holding down senior jobs in Brampton or receiving consultant contracts who had been involved in the Niagara mess. The only common thread was that all of the ex-Niagara men were connected with the Ontario PC’s. One of them was David Barrick who was named in the Niagara scandal by the Ombudsman and had no experience. On his appointment as Brampton CEO, Barrick immediately gave over $100,000 worth of consulting contracts to another crony from Niagara. Brown also hired a city solicitor with no municipal experience, who subsequently supported Brown with his advice as Brown frequently clashed with his council. Finally, this year, a slim majority of Brampton Councilors banded together and fired all of Brown’s appointees. It appears things were closing in on Brown at Brampton City Hall even as he sought the Conservative leadership. With word of him being dumped from the leadership race, the same group of councillors issued a statement yesterday claiming Brown has what they describe as a “clear and alarming pattern of behaviour.” The statement went on to say a number of forensic investigations are
“He didn’t get away with these tactics in his Conservative leadership bid and he shouldn’t get away with them in Brampton either,” the councillors wrote. “Democracy in Brampton is under siege because of Patrick Brown.”