April 25, 2018

Ontario Tories will select permanent leader by spring election

29 January 2018, 09:06 | Yvette Williams

Rick Dykstra steps down as leader of Ontario PC party

Ontario PC party president Rick Dykstra resigns

The executive committee will decide if a leadership vote will still be taken by party members, and speculation is that a vote will take place.

It was announced later in the day on Friday that PC Party executives have voted to hold a leadership race sometime before March 24, before the election campaign.

"Our party is stronger when all of our members across the province have their voices heard about who will lead us into the next election", she said in a statement on Twitter.

"I think he's ideal for the job", said Anthony, who described Fedeli as a consensus builder who's able to grab hold of a situation and make the best of it.

"Those are all options that are on the table right now". The move will please some candidates and grassroots party members who insisted they should have a direct say in the leadership decision but runs contrary to the wishes of the party's caucus, which named Tory finance critic Vic Fedeli as interim leader earlier in the day.

"The next steps are for the party executive to exercise their responsibility under the party constitution and chart the course for our next leadership election process where party members will select the next permanent leader of the Ontario PC Party".

When asked if she would consider changing the date of the provincial election, she said: "No". "The PC party needs to be introduced at these functions and I need to be introduced to the various groups. Let's not fool ourselves".

One of the stories that PC MPP Lisa MacLeod knew about, was that of the woman who had worked in Brown's constituency office in 2013 while she was a university student.

They were reported to the party's war room "two or three times before Christmas".

The premier would not comment specifically on the allegations levelled against Brown but broadly denounced sexual assault and harassment.

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MacLeod said her message to the women is "you got this".

Leeds-Grenville MPP Steve Clark is enthusiastic about the choice of his legislature seat-mate Vic Fedeli as interim leader of the Progressive Conservatives, saying he'll be an "exceptional leader".

Brown "categorically denies" the allegations and has said that he will vigorously fight them.

While some MPPs called in from out of town or vacation spots, the former leader remained in seclusion at an undisclosed location.

But no matter what happens, the Ontario PC Party must not run on the "Liberal-lite" platform of Patrick Brown.

Calling a leadership convention for the party's 200,000 members could take about eight weeks. "And over the next couple of months, we will see the party coalesce around a new leader".

Would-be nominees and local party officials in as many as 14 ridings across Ontario have complained about voter fraud and broken rules at nominations, or ballot-box stuffing.

While he was careful not to mention any names, these include lawyer Caroline Mulroney, who is running in York-Simcoe, and former CivicAction head Rod Phillips, the PC candidate in Ajax.

This is not the first time Ford has considered running for the leadership.

"He is just a stellar guy who has been in two of the biggest portfolios being energy and finance", Walker said.

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