National Newswatch

Patrick Brown’s departure energizes Tories with surge of volunteers and fundraising, interim leader finds

Feb 14 2018 — Robert Benzie — Getting rid of Patrick Brown has led to a surge in support for the Progressive Conservatives in terms of volunteers and fundraising, according to interim leader Vic Fedeli. In a letter Wednesday updating Conservative MPPs on his clean-up of the Tories over the past three weeks, Fedeli enthused that “our party has never been stronger […]

Dropping Brown has helped Ontario Tories: poll

Feb 12 2018 — Robert Benzie — Dumping Patrick Brown as leader has helped the Progressive Conservatives no matter who wins the party’s leadership, a new poll suggests. In Campaign Research’s first public opinion survey since Brown resigned as leader almost three weeks ago, the firm found all three Tory contenders are more popular than Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne. “When you’ve got […]

Former Etobicoke MPP Chris Stockwell dead after fight with cancer

Feb 11 2018 — Robert Benzie — Chris Stockwell, a maverick Progressive Conservative MPP who became one of the most effective Speakers in Queen’s Park history, has died. He was 60. Stockwell had been battling cancer. Born into a political family in Etobicoke — his father, Bill, was a municipal councillor — Stockwell served on local council and Metro council before jumping […]

Ontario Tories to review questionable candidate nominations

Feb 8 2018 — Robert Benzie — The Progressive Conservatives are reviewing several questionable candidate nomination elections with an eye toward overturning contentious results, the Star has learned. A senior party official said late Thursday they have “uncovered new information on some nominations.” “This information will be handed over to the provincial nomination committee for them to make a decision on whether […]

Christine Elliott urges Tories to opt for experience

Feb 5 2018 — Robert Benzie — Reminding Conservatives of the perils of choosing an untested rookie leader, Christine Elliott says she is battle-hardened and ready to govern. Elliott, a former Progressive Conservative MPP who finished second to scandal-plagued ex-leader Patrick Brown in 2015, said that last leadership race proved to be a cautionary tale. “I think that demonstrates how important experience […]

Ontario Tories clean house after Patrick Brown era

Jan 28 2018 — Robert Benzie — It was a bloody Sunday for the Progressive Conservatives still reeling from the Patrick Brown scandal. Interim leader Vic Fedeli has parted ways with controversial PC executive director Bob Stanley in one of a slew of staff changes at both Queen’s Park and party headquarters. Stanley, a close Brown ally, was a key figure in […]

Fedeli tackling allegations of questionable party spending in Brown era

Jan 28 2018 — Robert Benzie — Progressive Conservative interim leader Vic Fedeli is moving quickly to tackle allegations of questionable party spending during the Patrick Brown era, the Star has learned. Fedeli, elected Friday by Tory MPPs, was spurred to act after a blistering confidential memo was sent to members of the PC Ontario Fund on Saturday morning by Ottawa businessman […]

Patrick Brown’s ex-chief of staff now working for Vic Fedeli

Jan 28 2018 — Robert Benzie — Patrick Brown’s ex-chief of staff, who resigned after the former Progressive Conservative leader rejected his advice to quit following a sex scandal, has returned to Queen’s Park. Alykhan Velshi, one of a group of aides who left Wednesday after CTV revealed allegations of Brown’s sexual impropriety with teenagers, will serve as chief of staff to […]

Patrick Brown resigns as PC leader amid sexual misconduct allegations

Jan 24 2018 — Robert Benzie — Hours after tearfully vowing to fight “false” allegations of sexual impropriety against him, Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown has resigned. In a statement early Thursday, Brown said he could not continue as party leader with an election a little more than four months away. “After consulting with caucus, friends and family I have decided to […]

Spurned PC candidate ends civil suit, but criminal probe continues in Hamilton riding

Jan 24 2018 — Robert Benzie — A spurned Progressive Conservative candidate who sued the party alleging ballot-stuffing at a nomination meeting has withdrawn his civil lawsuit. But Hamilton police are continuing a criminal probe of unnamed Conservatives amid allegations of forgery and fraud at the candidate election last May. Vikram Singh, a Hamilton lawyer and runner-up in the Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas riding […]