Review of the Patrick Brown book tells more of the story about candidate nominations - new light on the Burlington situation.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

January 18th, 2019



When Jane McKenna won the nomination as the Progressive Conservative candidate for Burlington in the June 2018 provincial election she beat Jane Michael by a slim 41 votes.

Michael appealed the vote decision arguing that she didn’t get a copy of the voters list and she wasn’t interviewed by the PC organization until days before the nomination took place.

What the public didn’t know at the time was the Ontario Progressive Conservative party officials who were vetting the candidates and doing the background screening had learned that Jane Michael failed to inform them that she had declared bankruptcy in the past.

Michael from Brown book

From Patrick Brown’s book: Take Down

Things were quite chaotic within the PC bureaucracy at the time and they had to outsource some of the vetting – which took up a little longer than possible.

The Gazette was following the nomination squabble quite closely – and we wondered why the PC party officials were as quick as they were to reject the appeal the Michael’s team had filed. It got turned down in less than 36 hours.

That was because by that time the PC party officials had learned that there was more than one bankruptcy.

Jane Michael and her husband were in the restaurant business where bankruptcies are not unusual.

The Gazette did try on three occasions to talk to Ms Michael but were unsuccessful in having a conversation with her.

What brought the financial background to our attention was a part of Patrick Brown’s book – Take Down in which he mentions the problems with several of the nominations for the June 2017 provincial election. Ray Rivers, our political columnist, was interviewing Brown as part of a series of articles on just what had happened to Brown when he was dumped by the party as leader, got himself nominated as Chair of the Peel Regional Council; Premier Ford eliminated that position and at the 11th hour Brown filed nomination papers to run as Mayor of Brampton and won that race.

Michael was at one point the Chair of the Halton Separate school board where, June of 2016 other media reported that:

Chair of the Halton Catholic District School Board Jane Michael has accused some trustees of dissension, negativism and dishonourable conduct.

“The open mockery of our bishops, the Institute for Catholic Education as suspect, inadequate, false and questionable has been embarrassing and highly inappropriate, said Michael in response to a motion accusing her of not upholding the will of the board.

“The motion of accusation, filed by Burlington trustee Susan Trites at last night’s board meeting, was a response to Michael’s comments in the media after the board’s discipline and safety policy was defeated May 17, after previously being unanimously approved by the policy committee.

Jane Michael

Jane Michael

“Michael was quoted as saying the board was “dragging its feet” in passing policy that was mandated by the Ministry of Education, said Trites.

“The discipline and safety policy was defeated at the May 17 board meeting and returned to the policy committee after some trustees raised concerns about the words sexual orientation and gender identity within the policy when dealing with “a safe, caring and accepting school environment.” Oakville trustee Anthony Quinn who initially raised the concerns, felt that students who “recited their Catholic teaching” could be subject to discipline under the new policy.

“I felt it was essential to respond to the media because of inflammatory motions, reversals and challenges that have not been in keeping with honourable conduct,” said Michael.

“The will of the board was definitively expressed at the board meeting when the discipline policy was sent back to committee, said Trites.

“The chair of this board failed in her duty to always state and uphold the will of the board regardless of personal opinion in all appropriate venues,” alleged Trites.

On May 17th, 2018 other media reported that:

“A Halton Catholic District School Board trustee who has been disciplined for her behaviour says she wishes she could explain what happened, but is bound by confidentiality rules.

“At a private meeting on May 8, trustees determined Burlington representative Jane Michael (Wards 3 and 6) had breached the board’s code of conduct.

“At the board’s public meeting May 15, vice-chair Paul Marai read a motion announcing the sanction and stating the penalty: Michael is barred from attending two board meetings, removed from her position on the discipline committee and excluded from the search for a new director of education “from the beginning to the end of the hiring process.”

Jane MichaelOn August 14th, 2018 Jane Michael was acclaimed as the federal PC candidate for Burlington in the upcoming federal election expected to take place in October of 2019.

Related news story links:

The nomination meeting Jane Michael lost was boisterous.

Rivers on the Patrick Brown interview.

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4 comments to Review of the Patrick Brown book tells more of the story about candidate nominations – new light on the Burlington situation.

  • BJ

    I agree Jim Ridley, but National Council took it upon themselves to give her the position of Federal Conservative candidate.

  • Rob Allan

    Not to condone bankruptcy or in any way support Trump but according to the Washington Post:
    Trump’s companies have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, which means a company can remain in business while wiping away many of its debts. The bankruptcy court ultimately approves a corporate budget and a plan to repay remaining debts; often shareholders lose much of their equity.

    Trump’s Taj Mahal opened in April 1990 in Atlantic City, but six months later, “defaulted on interest payments to bondholders as his finances went into a tailspin,” The Washington Post’s Robert O’Harrow found. In July 1991, Trump’s Taj Mahal filed for bankruptcy. He could not keep up with debts on two other Atlantic City casinos, and those two properties declared bankruptcy in 1992. A fourth property, the Plaza Hotel in New York, declared bankruptcy in 1992 after amassing debt.

    PolitiFact uncovered two more bankruptcies filed after 1992, totaling six. Trump Hotels and Casinos Resorts filed for bankruptcy again in 2004, after accruing about $1.8 billion in debt. Trump Entertainment Resorts also declared bankruptcy in 2009, after being hit hard during the 2008 recession.

  • Bob

    Reads like the Gazette is only scratching the surface on this file.

    Dig deeper is my advice.

    With bankruptcy, I’ve been on the receiving end as a unsecured creditor and it’s not pretty.

    Is this, the best the Conservative handlers can come up?

  • Jim Ridley


    I’d like to know who is Jane Michael and why is she newsworthy, I think you had mentioned in an earlier editorial that she will be the PC candidate in the upcoming federal election. Is that on record?

    In the first half of your article you quote from Patrick Brown’s book about irregularities in the PC candidate contest won by Jane McKenna, and mention Jane Michael’s history of restaurant bankruptcies. It may occur often in the restaurant business but it surely does not represent sound fiscal responsibility.

    The second half of the article brings up the messiness that she was part of at the Halton Catholic School Board, when she was ultimately disciplined,

    The two sections are not related and I had to read the complete article twice to understand the piece. I guess the thread and your point is that she does not appear to be a good choice to represent our community.

    Jim Ridley