Toronto

Ontario NDP calls for investigation into sexual misconduct allegation against Vic Fedeli

There has been swift reaction to former Ontario PC leader Patrick Brown's new tell-all memoir, including a call for an investigation into an allegation of sexual misconduct against Vic Fedeli, and the removal of the finance minister from cabinet until that investigation is finished.

Former PC leader Patrick Brown made allegation against finance minister in a new tell-all memoir

Ontario Finance Minister Vic Fedeli has been accused of inappropriate behaviour by a female staffer, according to Patrick Brown in his new book. (Nathan Denette/Canadian Press)

There has been swift reaction to former Ontario PC leader Patrick Brown's new tell-all memoir, including an opposition call for an investigation into an allegation of sexual misconduct against Vic Fedeli, and the removal of the finance minister from cabinet until that investigation is finished.

Brown made the allegation in the book, entitled Takedown: The Attempted Political Assassination of Patrick Brown.

Brown writes that in December 2017 — not long before he was ousted as leader of the party —he received a handwritten letter on his desk from a female staffer accusing Fedeli of inappropriate behaviour. CBC News has not seen the letter.

"If a woman has made sexual misconduct allegations against Vic Fedeli, I assume that Doug Ford will be immediately ordering a fully independent investigation, and will be removing Mr. Fedeli from cabinet while that investigation takes place," NDP Deputy Leader Sara Singh said in a written statement on Wednesday.

NDP deputy leader Sara Singh says if a woman has made sexual misconduct allegations against Vic Fedeli, Doug Ford should order a fully independent investigation and remove Fedeli from cabinet while that investigation takes place. (Tijana Martin/The Canadian Press)

"If there is any truth to allegations that the Conservative government is protecting Mr. Fedeli by buying the silence of his victim, Ford needs to come clean with the people of Ontario. Obviously, protecting a powerful man who has committed any sort of misconduct is wrong."

Premier standing by Fedeli

Premier Doug Ford has responded to the allegation on Twitter, calling it a "disgusting smear campaign," and saying he is standing by his finance minister.

"Minister @VictorFedeli is one of the most honourable, ethical, and decent individuals I have ever had the privilege of knowing and working with," Ford tweeted.

"I stand behind him completely from this disgusting smear campaign. He has my full support."

Ford also said he was standing behind Children, Community and Social Services Minister Lisa MacLeod, whom Brown also mentions in his book.

"I stand behind @MacLeodLisa 100%. She is an absolute champion as a Minister and as a mental health advocate," the premier said.

In what's turning out to be a busy evening for the premier on Twitter, he later said he would rather have the endorsement of Kathleen Wynne than Patrick Brown.

"The lies in this book are disgusting," Ford said.