Rivers on Patrick Brown Part Two - He said, She said

Rivers 100x100By Ray Rivers

December 22, 2018



“Sexual misconduct is an umbrella term for any misconduct of a sexual nature that is of lesser offence than felony sexual assault (such as rape and molestation)…” (Wikipedia)

The allegations against Patrick Brown by two women, who remain anonymous, do not involve criminal charges. Though one of the women, who had worked in his federal constituency office, is calling her ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’ encounter a sexual assault, He apparently tried to kiss her.

Patrick Brown Looking sideways

A younger but still very wary young Patrick Brown.

Brown’s accusers are claiming ‘sexual misconduct’, a non-legal construct, but the core essence of the #MeToo movement. The purpose is to bring some measure of accountability for the untold sexually motivated actions not covered by criminal law. These accusations have cost Patrick Brown his job as Ontario PC leader and with that most likely the premiership of the province.

In response Brown has levied a multi-million dollar defamation suit against the CTV news network responsible for the investigation and for breaking the story of the allegations against him. Rumours that Brown had apologized to and paid-off one of the accusers in the past may have prompted this investigation, but Brown denies that he paid anyone off. So we’ll have to see what the trial brings.

As for the other accuser she claimed she was still in high school at the time of the alleged incident and that Brown and a mutual friend picked her up at a bar and drove her back to Brown’s house. When the datelines didn’t match up with Brown’s timelines she changed them, which also made her a year older and of legal drinking age.

She also got the identity of the friend wrong. But the gist of the allegation is that Brown offered her a tour of the house and when they got to the bedroom he allegedly asked her to perform oral sex. She consented briefly before deciding that the act didn’t suit her taste.

Brown, in his book, has suggested that there was a conspiracy against him which led to these women coming forward. He flew up the pole the theory that Kathleen Wynne and her Liberals had a motive to try to do him in. Indeed his poll numbers were stellar, he’d built up an impressive war chest and membership list, and had won the last several provincial by-elections.

Brown PG-cover-1-227x300

Cover of the election campaign magazine that set out Brown’s platform. It was the kind of thing even Liberals would like.

Brown had come off a very successful policy conference with a platform that would appeal even to Liberals who’d grown tired of their own leader. Taking him out mere months before the June election would have thrown the Tories into confusion, one might think, giving his main opponent a badly needed edge.

But while Wynne may have had the motive, did she or her party have the wherewith-all? If, as many conservatives hold, that the CBC is slightly to the left of centre, CTV (Conservative TV) is clearly to the right. It is questionable that Wynne would have had much influence with that network. And to suggest she had done this covertly when she had trouble cobbling together an effective election campaign is a major stretch.

Brown also mused that it might be the Russians. Russia is getting blamed for a lot these days and for good reason. There is concern that Russia is planning to intercede in Canada’s federal elections next year, though it’s questionable who they might want to help. But if so why not practice on Canada’s largest province by taking out the premier-in-waiting. And they are effective – they did give us Donald Trump.

There is so much intrigue I can hardly wait for the movie… and the trial. Of course it could also have been his own party that turned on him, the many disaffected traditional PCs. Perhaps they were trying to send their leader a message about the Liberal sex education curriculum he’d endorsed.

Brown hounded out of Queen's Park

Patrick Brown being hounded out of the provincial legislature by media after his press conference announcing hes resigning as leader of the Progressive Conservative party.

Brown has demanded that the accusers report their complaints to the police if they are sincere. But Brown studied law and he knows that ‘put up or shut up’ no longer works in the era of #MeToo. These are not criminal offences or he might be fighting for his dignity from the big house.

Those female accusers might have been paid to voice these accusations. Or they might just be scorned women who want to get back at that SOB who tried, or didn’t try, to get into their pants. Or they might just be ordinary people who cared enough about the future to try to prevent the man they believe is synonymous with sexual misconduct from becoming premier of this province.

Takedown coverAnd the beauty of #MeToo is that it empowers us to accuse without having to fully account, to prove our allegations or even identify ourselves. These accusers may be right that Mr. Brown is unfit to govern the highest office in the province because of what they consider his proclivity for sexual misconduct. But what if they are wrong? Where is Patrick Brown’s MeToo moment.

To be continued…..

Rivers hand to faceRay Rivers writes regularly on both federal and provincial politics, applying his more than 25 years as a federal bureaucrat to his thinking.  Rivers was once a candidate for provincial office in Burlington.  He was the founder of the Burlington citizen committee on sustainability at a time when climate warming was a hotly debated subject.   Ray has a post graduate degree in economics that he earned at the University of Ottawa.  Tweet @rayzrivers



Background links:

#MeToo –      More #MeToo –      Sexual Misconduct

CTV –      Doubts about Accusations –     Sexual Allegations

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7 comments to Rivers on Patrick Brown Part Two – He said, She said

  • D Walker

    Yes, yes, the frequent refrain that the #metoo movement has “gone too far” and “become a witch hunt”, as if the women making the accusations don’t face criticism, shame, or even death threats (see Christine Blasey-Ford). I’m tired of seeing people pretend that the #metoo movement has resulted in a whole bunch of false rape claims. (See – “Young men are more likely to be sexually assaulted than to face false allegations” – https://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/ct-life-false-rape-allegations-20181011-story.html )

    How long did it take Bill Cosby to go to trial, even though his accusers (with incredibly similar stories) numbered in the dozens? How long have men in power been shielded by pay offs, denials, or suggesting that their accusers are “gold diggers”? Donald Trump, Bill Cosby, Kevin Spacey, Larry Nassar, Charlie Rose, Matt Lauer, Harvey Weinstein and more have all been outed as predatory by the #metoo movement (with multiple accusations against each), but yeah, let’s suggest that it’s a witch hunt where men will lose everything based on one false accusation.

    I don’t think so. Where people lost their jobs (Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose, Les Moonves), their companies investigated the situation thoroughly before proceeding. To fail to do so would open them up to major lawsuits of wrongful dismissal. Moreover, how often in all these cases were the men previously shielded from accusations through pay-outs, threats, or their HR department neglecting to address the concerns of the victims? Let’s stop pretending that these men need more protection than they already received.

    Regardless of the veracity of the claims against Patrick Brown, his situation was still murky from all of his back-door dealings which I mentioned in my comment on your previous article. He is hardly a clean candidate being smeared, and it was not a me-too moment alone that got him outed from his own party.

    To be honest, I understand that you may be trying to play the devil’s advocate for Mr. Brown here, but the language you use regarding the #metoo movement is enough to dissuade legitimate sexual assault victims from going to the police. There are already many men and women who do not report their sexual assaults for fear that no one will believe them. Leaning towards the idea that women are dishonest in order to be vengeful or make money is an unhelpful characterization.

  • Stephen White

    It strains credulity to believe that Kathleen Wynne had any involvement, direct or indirect, in Patrick Brown’s demise. A far more likely scenario are rogue elements within the Progressive Conservative Party backrooms and caucus who conspired to facilitate his removal.

    Patrick Brown was never a favourite of the PC Party establishment. His election as leader was an upset, and was largely due to his ability to forge alliances and connect with different ethnic and community groups. His stand on climate change and the carbon tax also didn’t endear him to the PC Party brass. Interesting how his caucus and Party officials pushed for him to step down even before an investigation was launched or the veracity of the allegations were confirmed. Proving defamation in a court of law is extremely difficult, and I can’t believe that Brown, who is a lawyer, would launch a lawsuit unless he had conclusive proof or solid evidence of wrongdoing.

    Brown’s ouster had more to do with a blatant power grab than the influence of the #Me Too movement.

  • Gary

    “And they are effective – they did give us Donald Trump.”

    You appear to know a lot more about the American presidential election than anybody else, Mr. Rivers. That there was a Russian attempt to affect the outcome is undeniable. But to my knowledge, there is no evidence suggesting these attempts were the cause of the election swinging Trump’s way. In fact, Clinton got more votes than Trump in the popular count, which would seem to tilt in favour of minimal Russian influence in the voters’ minds.

    By the way, the item in your story that D. Duck found offensive, made me laugh at your irony.

    • Hans

      Re “…Clinton got more votes than Trump in the popular count, which would seem to tilt in favour of minimal Russian influence…” – maybe, or perhaps the interference was substantial and Clinton would have won much more without it; we’ll probably never know……

  • Steve D

    Seems to me that a movement that started out with the right intentions is quickly being weaponized for many nefarious reasons. Politics being the main one.

  • d.duck

    “that the act didn’t suit her taste”


    Very inappropriate choice of words. You should know better.

  • William Statten

    Good summary of the situation with Patrick Brown. Thanks Ray.