The heir to the populist revolution of the late Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is running for the leadership of the Ontario Conservatives.
Doug Ford, who is a former Toronto councillor and an outspoken critics of liberal elites in the provincial Progressive Conservative Party, injected himself into the leadership race Monday as the party continues to implode.
Early Thursday morning, former Conservative leader Patrick Brown resigned after two women came forward with sexual misconduct allegations. On Sunday, the party president, Rick Dykstra, also jumped ship when he was accused of sexually assaulting a staffer.
Declaring himself “deeply troubled” over the news of the past few days, Ford told a news conference Monday that it is time to take the party back from the liberal elites whom he says are poised to capture it.
“But I am here to give you a voice, the hardworking taxpayers of this province. People who have been ignored for far too long.”
Brown, who is officially on a “leave of absence” as the party continues to recoil from sexual misconduct stories, was no ally of Ford. Although he won the party leadership on a platform of strong fiscal and social conservativism, Brown had ceaselessly moved to the left on a variety of economic and social issues since taking over.
Ford would offer a vastly different political path.
Even though the current Ontario Liberal government of Premier Kathleen Wynne was widely expected to lose the upcoming provincial election to Brown’s Tories, Conservative chaos has thrown that prediction to the wind. “Right now the party needs strong leadership, someone who is ready to clean up this mess and lead us into the June election,” Ford said.