Doug Ford calls Patrick Brown's claims 'shameful and disgusting' during heated Queen's Park exchange
In his tell-all book, Brown said there was a sexual misconduct allegation against Vic Fedeli
Premier Doug Ford slammed former PC leader Patrick Brown as a person with "zero credibility" and said the claims in his new book are "shameful and disgusting" during a heated exchange today at Queen's Park.
Ford responded to pointed questions from Andrea Horwath, in which the NDP leader called on the premier to launch an independent investigation into a sexual misconduct allegation against Vic Fedeli.
Brown wrote about the accusation in his explosive new tell-all memoir, Takedown: The Attempted Political Assassination Of Patrick Brown, in which he outlines his dramatic exit from the Progressive Conservative party earlier this year over allegations of sexual misconduct. He has vigorously denied the claims.
In the book, Brown says a female staffer left him a note accusing Fedeli of inappropriate behaviour in December 2017. Brown says the woman was later let go for undisclosed reasons.
"I have 100 per cent confidence in Minister Fedeli," Ford said during question period. "I stand beside him shoulder-to-shoulder. He's a man with honour. He has integrity."
Ford said a third-party investigation into Fedeli has already been completed, and that it did not reveal "a shred of evidence" against the finance minister.
After further prodding from Horwath for an independent investigation, Ford expressed anger at both Brown and the Leader of the Opposition for levelling the claims, which he said are wholly unsubstantiated.
"That's disgusting, that is absolutely disgusting that you would side with someone like Patrick Brown," he said to Horwath with indignation.
Ford then described Brown, as "a person, who in my opinion, has zero credibility."
Horwath persisted, arguing that a review should be completed and its results made available publicly.
"We have a cabinet minister, really one of the top cabinet positions, who's implicated in this situation and it really begs the question about Mr. Ford's choices when it comes to cabinet ministers," Horwath later told reporters.
After his resignation as PC leader, Brown attempted to run for regional chair of Peel Region, but the Ford government cancelled that election.
Brown, 40, was elected mayor of Brampton in October.
Brown questions MPP's mental heath issues
However, both Ford and Horwath took aim at Brown's allegation that PC MPP Lisa MacLeod may have faked her mental health issues in an effort to endear herself to voters.
While speaking to reporters during a break at the legislature, Horwath roundly condemned Brown's comments about MacLeod.
"I think it is disgusting that someone would suggest that that's not true, and accuse a person of lying," she said.
MacLeod, the minister of Children, Community and Social Services, has called the suggestion "disgusting and cruel."