Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne won’t seek snap election as Tories reel from Patrick Brown resignation

Canadian Press

Premier Kathleen Wynne and just-resigned Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown.

Premier Kathleen Wynne and just-resigned Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown.


Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne says she will not seek a snap election before the scheduled June vote following the Opposition leader’s decision to step down amid allegations of sexual misconduct.

Wynne says it’s too early to know what impact Patrick Brown’s resignation as Progressive Conservative leader will have on the province’s political landscape.

The premier would not comment specifically on the allegations levelled against Brown but broadly denounced sexual assault and harassment.

When asked if she would consider changing the date of the provincial election, she said: “No. This is not about politics.”

Brown announced he was stepping down in a statement issued early Thursday morning, following a hastily called news conference in which he “categorically” denied what he called “troubling allegations” about his conduct and his character.

At a press conference Thursday, Progressive Conservative deputy leaders Sylvia Jones and Joe Clark said an interim leader would be chosen by the caucus on Friday. However, they wouldn’t confirm that the interim leader would be the person at the head of the party later this year when an election will take place. That decision, according to Jones, will be up to the caucus.

The future leader, Jones said, will also decide if Brown will be able to run for re-election as an MPP in his riding.

Calling Brown’s resignation a “hiccup,” Jones refused to accept that the Progressive Conservatives have already lost the election months before it’s expected to take place.

In an email to the party’s legislators sent last night, Tory party president Rick Dykstra says he has requested, and legislators have agreed, to select an interim leader.

Dykstra says that interim leader will serve until a new leader is picked in a leadership election, according to the party’s constitution.

It’s not clear from Dykstra’s message when that leadership election will take place.