Brown's first impressions of Queen's Park

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Newly-minted PC Leader Patrick Brown sat down with the Toronto Sun Monday to talk about his first impressions of Queen’s Park:


His first day: “It has been a jam-packed day to the point that it has been meeting after meeting after meeting so I haven’t even had the chance to look at my e-mail or text … We’ve got an excellent caucus leadership that has been helping me with some of the procedures … It has been a really enjoyable first day.”

Finding a common message with divided PC caucus: “One of my criticisms of the party in the past is it seemed like policy was created only out of Queen’s Park — last time there was a policy platform committee of 32 people. I think the lesson from the last few election campaigns is that doesn’t work. We’re going to broaden how we build policy.”

His first official speech: “I was highlighting how Quebec has a balanced budget and affordable energy rates. I know the Liberals get very sensitive when you talk about balanced budgets and affordable energy rates, but frankly I think most of Ontario would like to see a balanced budget at Queen’s Park, most of Ontario businesses, families are concerned about energy rates. Those will be issues that I’ll raise regardless of whether it makes the Liberals feel uncomfortable or not.”

Question about same sex marriage: “My response was I think the country moved on 10 years ago from the debate about gay marriage, longer than 10 years ago. Frankly, if someone is married and a heterosexual couple or a same-sex couple, whatever they can find love, I’m happy for them. I’ve attended Pride events in the City of Barrie. I think I was the first Conservative MP to attend a Pride event in the City of Barrie.”

Question about abortion: “We are not going to revisit that issue. It will not be part of my platform.”

Question about Ontario’s controversial sex-ed curriculum: “I have been very critical of the government on sex education … We have parents pulling their kids out of classrooms to the point of — in Kathleen Wynne’s own riding — you saw record numbers of students pulled out by their parents. I think the premier should go back to the drawing board. If I were premier, I’d go back to the drawing board … Let parents decide what’s age appropriate for children.”

Position on partial Hydro One sale: “The fact that we’re only putting half (the proceeds) of the sale towards hydro debt, I think is wrong. I don’t think you should be selling Crown assets, potentially not getting proper value, to enable new spending … this is a government with a spending problem.”

Biggest surprise: “The only thing that I found unusual is that when people ask me a question … I have to look at the (TV) camera. I find it entirely new to learn that I don’t actually look at the person who’s asking me a question. I almost feel rude not looking at you when you ask me the questions.”