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Conservative leadership prospect Patrick Brown settles lawsuit with CTV: 'His name has been cleared'
March 9, 2022

Patrick Brown, the former Ontario Progressive Conservative leader and current mayor of Brampton, Ont., has reached a settlement in his lawsuit against CTV National News ahead of what many expect will be his entrance into the race for federal Conservative leader.

Brown was forced to resign as leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservatives in 2018, just months before a provincial election, over allegations of sexual misconduct involving two women, as reported by CTV news. Brown has always denied any wrongdoing. The allegations have never been proven in court.

Later that year, Brown filed a defamation lawsuit against CTV, seeking $8 million in damages.

On Monday, CTV National News signed an agreement with Brown indicating that they “have resolved their legal dispute.” CTV also expressed regret for inaccuracies in its reporting that cost Brown his job as Ontario PC leader four years ago.

“Key details provided to CTV for the story were factually incorrect and required correction. CTV National News regrets including those details in the story and any harm this may have caused to Mr. Brown,” said the CTV statement.

One of the women who came forward had originally told CTV she was underage and in high school at the time of the alleged events, but afterwards changed her story to say that she was actually 19 at the time and had graduated high school.

CTV updated its story online “to reflect the first woman’s revised recollection of her age.”

A source close to Brown who spoke to the National Post on the condition of anonymity said that Brown believes that the statement issued by CTV “speaks for itself.”

“He is pleased that this is behind him and is thankful to his wife, family and many supporters from across the country. He is pleased that his name has been cleared and that this chapter in his life is now closed,” added the source.

Since his departure from provincial politics, Brown was elected mayor of Brampton in 2018. He has not announced if he will run for re-election this year. Now that he considers his name “cleared” of the misconduct allegations, it is expected that Brown, who is known as a strong political organizer with many ties to the Greater Toronto Area, will announce his decision whether to run in the leadership race in the coming days.

Brown “has not made a decision to run (in the federal Conservative race) yet, but he hopes to make a decision soon after consulting with family, friends and Brampton residents,” according to a statement issued by spokesman Gary Collins to the Canadian Press last Friday.

Earlier this week, Collins told the National Post there were “no updates” on the matter.

Ontario MPs Pierre Poilievre and Leslyn Lewis have already announced they will be in the race to become the next federal Conservative leader. Former Quebec premier Jean Charest will also confirm his leadership bid on Thursday in a rally in Calgary.

Other potential candidates, such as Ontario MPP Roman Baber, were also rumoured to be interested in running for Conservative leader.

Potential candidates have until April 19 to put their name forward and until June 3 to recruit new members. The name of the new leader will be announced on Sept. 10.