Patrick Brown breached ethics laws, investigation concludes
Integrity commissioner rules former Ontario PC leader failed to disclose a loan and income
Former Ontario PC leader Patrick Brown broke the legislature's ethics laws, the province's integrity commissioner reported Thursday.
Brown failed to disclose rental income from his personal residence and failed to disclose a loan from a would-be PC candidate, according to the investigation conducted by Integrity Commissioner J. David Wake.
Wake is recommending that the Legislature reprimand Brown.
The inquiry was in response to a complaint filed by PC MPP Randy Hillier after Brown was forced to resign as party leader in the wake of allegations of sexual misconduct.
Wake's report found that Brown received a loan of $375,000 from Jas Johal, who was acclaimed as a PC candidate for Brampton North in November 2016. Brown used the loan to help pay for a $2.3 million waterfront property in his home riding of Simcoe North.
"I can say categorically that if I had been made aware of this loan that I would have included it in Mr. Brown's public disclosure statements for each of 2016 and 2017," Wake wrote.
While Wake did not find any evidence to suggest the loan influenced Johal's acclamation as a PC candidate, he said the existence of such a loan should have been made public.
"When the leader of a political party is substantially indebted to a candidate for election as an MPP for that party, the interests of transparency require that the indebtedness be made known so that people have an appropriate context to assess the relationship between the leader and the candidate," Wake continued.
Brown did not receive travel gifts
The report also found that Brown did not disclose income from a property he rented "on various occasions" using Airbnb in 2016, for a total of $5,914 of rental income. He also rented the property to a friend in 2017.
"The non-disclosure of the loan, as with the rental income, was deliberate, and not through inadvertence," Wake concluded.
While Hillier had also alleged that Brown failed to disclose gifts of travel to the integrity commissioner's office, Wake said he found no evidence that Brown either accepted or failed to disclose any such gifts.
Brown responded to the findings on Twitter Thursday, in which he accepted the reprimand and apologized for not disclosing what he called his "limited rental income and temporary second mortgage."
I thank the Honourable J. David Wake, Integrity Commissioner for today’s report. “There was no evidence that he “Brown” accepted or failed disclose gifts of travel”. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/onpoli?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#onpoli</a> 1/2—@brownbarrie
I accept the reprimand and apologize for not disclosing my limited rental income and temporary secondary mortgage. Glad this matter is now closed. 2/2—@brownbarrie