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Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford : ventures into unlamented Patrick Brown turf for rally

May 13th, 2018 | by Richard Paul
Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford : ventures into unlamented Patrick Brown turf for rally
Business and Finance
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Doug Ford ventures into unlamented Patrick Brown turf for rally

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BARRIE, Ont. — Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford ended his campaign day Friday with a rally on the home turf of his predecessor, Patrick Brown, who resigned under a cloud just months ago amid allegations of sexual misconduct he denies.

While the crowd of a few hundred offered Ford a warm if not a resoundingly enthusiastic welcome, no one appeared to miss the former leader.

“He was on the edge when he was with us, so it’s better that he’s not,” Peter Gellatly said of Brown. “I didn’t think he was 100 per cent for anything, really.”

Adriana Sibley, who described herself as a Tory supporter “totally disgusted at what the Liberals have not accomplished,” said she was one of those who had supported Brown, who made his political mark in Barrie, a fast growing community about 90 minutes north of Toronto.

“We voted for him because there was nobody else, but he wasn’t really our first choice,” Sibley said. “He doesn’t speak well, he doesn’t come across as a go-getter. So, I think Mr. Ford will be a good leader.”

**Ottawa Citizen use only; not for re-use** 1109 editorial cartoon

**Ottawa Citizen use only; not for re-use** 1109 editorial cartoon

Several in the crowd said they wanted to hear what Ford would say policy-wise before making up their minds about whether they would offer him their full support — even if they intended to vote Progressive Conservative anyway.

Marcia Cudmore said she wanted someone in the premier’s office who would stand up for Ontario people, something she said Ford would do as a “kick-butt kind of guy.” With her husband in hospital with dementia unable yet to access long-term care, Cudmore said she wanted to hear what Ford would say about the elderly.DZ_nordikspa_pt3_04___Gallery

In his unscripted half-hour speech that hit his pet points — high electricity rates and untrustworthy Liberals who spend like drunken sailors and have no respect for hard-pressed taxpayers — Ford promised to revamp elder care if elected June 7. He also thumped his pledge to cut taxes.

“The party with the taxpayers money is over,” Ford said to applause in the community centre. “We’re going to put money back into your pockets.”

Ford promised to repeal the province’s sex-ed curriculum — an idea that has much favour among social conservatives.

Kunle O-Emmanuel said he liked what he heard, adding Brown no longer mattered as long as the province gets good government. Ford, with his tax-cut and sex-ed promises, would definitely make a better premier than Liberal Kathleen Wynne, O-Emmanuel said.

Gellatly, however, offered only tempered enthusiasm for Ford, who he said was making promises aimed at appealing to voters that might never get kept.

In addition, Gellatly wondered whether Ford would be able to transcend his suburban Toronto roots.image (51)

“This is a provincial election,” Gellatly said. “I think he’ll be a bit biased on Toronto.”

Ford, who planned to campaign on his own west-end Toronto turf on Saturday, was elected party leader in March, two months after the allegations from two women that prompted Brown to resign.

He has since launched a defamation lawsuit against CTV News over its reporting of the allegations.

Ford completely tossed out the party’s election platform developed under Brown and has been largely winging it since.

“It would be so great if I could say our leaders are good leaders,” Cudmore said. “We’re all at the mercy of whatever happens to befall them.”

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