March 13, 2022 (CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY)
You need to know something about me.
Every morning I wake up thinking about two key moments that changed everything for me.
These moments – they drive everything that I do.
They have shaped who I am.
The first moment happened when, in the hospital, I stood beside my strong, beautiful wife and laid my eyes upon the face of my son for the first time. I saw his strength. I felt his potential. I saw my family. And I saw our future.
And two years after that, I again sat beside my wife Genevieve, my equal. A woman who has stood beside me and lifted me up through trials no family should ever have to go through.
In that second life changing moment, I held my daughter Savannah for the first time. I felt her power. I felt love. And I saw our future.
Every battle that I have fought in the past pales in comparison at the one ahead of us now.
A fight for their future.
That is something worth fighting for.
My family – we have thought long and hard about what comes next for us, because in recent days we have won some hard fought battles.
It would be easy to stay still in the life that we have built, and to keep my head down.
But when I wake up and think about those moments that changed my life, and the responsibility that I have to my children and to each of you, I know that I have to keep fighting.
So many of you are tired and frustrated, and our nation needs to heal.
We have all suffered the cost of two years of lost freedoms, and a federal Liberal government that has weaponized our fears and our divisions to cling to power.
We deserve a future where no matter what part of the country we live in, we can get a good paying job.
We deserve a country where every region and province can succeed.
We deserve a country where we are free to express our religion without fear of getting fired.
We deserve a country that is governed by the rule of law and democratic values, not the historic overreach of the emergencies act.
We deserve a government that actually helps Canadians and doesn’t saddle them with generations of debt and a heavy burden of new taxes.
We deserve a federal government capable of doing what it takes to protect us against an unstable world, protect allies like those the people of Ukraine, and to stand against tyrants like Vladimir Putin.
That is a future we must fight for with everything that we have.
And that is why today I am asking you to help me fight for this future as Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada.
I am more than ready for this fight.
I know what it takes to keep fighting when everyone comes against you, and still win.
When the media tried to make me cancel culture’s latest victim by smearing me with false allegations, I fought back and I won.
And even when this battle was still raging, the people of Brampton stood behind me and lifted me up, and chose me to fight for them as Mayor.
I have always fought for a justice system that works for victims and not just the criminals.
When serial pedophile Madelyn Harks moved into Brampton. This monster had 60 victims and 200 offenses. I led the charge that resulted in police putting the perpetrator back behind bars and started a national conversation on protecting the rights of a community over the rights of repeat dangerous offenders.
When my constituent Darun Henry was attacked in a local park and was re-traumatized by her assaulter being granted bail, I worked with her to build a national campaign for bail reform.
I have fought criminals and gangs who bring illegally imported guns into the GTA.
When everyone else was silent against legislation that bans religious symbols, I fought to protect religious freedom.
Religious freedom is a foundational value in our country. No one should ever lose their job based on their faith. We must fight for the right of equality of opportunity for every Canadian – no matter if they wear a turban, a cross, a hijab, or a kippa.
I’ve fought this fight and I’ve delivered. When the government told our multi-faith city that a bus driver couldn’t display “Merry Christmas” on his bus, I intervened and won. Brampton now allows all faith celebrations on our transit system.
And when COVID-lockdowns threatened the freedom of families and businesses – and the mental health of Canadians – I was one of the only big city Mayors to speak out and demand an end to restrictions.
I’m the only big-city mayor in Canada that has frozen taxes every year I’ve been in office while delivering four consecutive balanced budgets.
These are fights worth having and I’ve never backed away from them.
I say the things no one else wants to say and back my words with action.
So I will fight to build a stronger Conservative Party – one that’s rooted in our values and principles, and that can topple the Liberals.
The only thing that matters to me is a better future for you.
The Conservative Party I am fighting for is one that is principled AND inclusive.
I want people who have voted for other parties to feel welcome in our Conservative family.
I want people who have been turned off by recent Conservative Party infighting to get inspired and fight alongside me for a better vision for our county.
I will do this. And we will win.
That’s because I know what it takes to be a good leader, and I’ve done it.
I know that to lead Canada, a Prime Minister has to speak to every Canadian. It doesn’t matter what province or territory that you’re from, who you love, what your faith is, or if you live on a farm or in a city, you need a Prime Minister who hears your voice.
And that’s me.
That’s how I led as a federal Member of Parliament, as a provincial conservative party leader, and now as a Mayor of one of Canada’s most diverse cities.
I also have real life experience. I’m a trained lawyer – I’ve been one for 17 years. I know what it takes to fight for people who need a strong voice.
A leader needs to work hard, and no one works harder than I do.
A leader needs to put their own interests aside and stand for what is right.
A leader also needs to know how to build and empower a team.
To my existing team here at the City of Brampton, I want to thank you for all your hard work. Together, we have honoured our commitment to get Brampton Back on Track.
I also want to thank city councilors for encouraging me to seek to lead the Conservative Party of Canada. Because of this, I will donate my pay cheque as mayor to the Osler Foundation, Khalsa Aid and Humanity First. I thank you for the commitment you have made to support me in my local duties as mayors. With this we will be setting an example for other elected officials in this race.
To all members of the Conservative Party, I will lead us to victory.
I will grow our strong caucus by recruiting hardworking, principled, and diverse candidates in unheld seats. I will work closely with EDA presidents and activists to make sure their ridings are ready and capable of winning.
I will unite our existing caucus. No matter what candidate they choose to support – each of our MPs will have a home in my team. With my leadership, I will empower their voices, not shoot them down. A good leader always puts people around them that challenges them – not dismiss voices they might not instantly agree with.
With me, our caucus will have a leader that will listen, that will give the glory to the team and not to myself, take ownership for mistakes, and heal the fractures that have erupted over the past three years.
Let’s be honest – I am the only leader in this race that can do this.
And a leader must humbly address concerns that people might have about them.
So let me talk about a concern that you might have about me.
Here in Brampton, people are paying about $1.80 per litre for gas. We’re paying outrageous prices for groceries. We can’t afford this.
That’s why last week, I was the first Conservative to call for the Liberals to cancel the carbon tax increase that’s planned for April 1st. This is no joke – in about two weeks liberals will make gas even more expensive. This has to be stopped.
I also know that Conservatives care about protecting the environment and lowering greenhouse gas emissions.
I certainly do. The Conservative Party must be part of the solution to address the challenge of climate change.
However, unlike the Liberals, our party cares about keeping life affordable, making sure we have energy security – particularly in light of Putin’s atrocious invasion of Ukraine, and protecting energy sector jobs.
Past attempts by conservative parties in Canada to address climate change, including one that I led, haven’t been done in consultation with our membership or caucus.
Trust me – from experience I can definitely admit that is NOT the right approach.
True leaders learn from experience and move forward.
I know we have to get this right.
Justin Trudeau’s Liberals have raised taxes, made life unaffordable, and decimated Canada’s energy sector – and greenhouse gas emissions have gone up at the same time.
We must do better.
And I’ve already started. Here in Brampton, I have made sure we were Canada’s first city with a fully electrified public transit system.
Green, clean and efficient.
I did this without raising taxes.
This is the type of conservative environmental policy that Canada needs.
My late mentor, former Premier Bill Davis, actually created Ontario’s first Ministry of the Environment in Ontario. He knew there can be no contradiction between caring about the environment and the economy.
As leader, I will oversee a Conservative Party membership wide consultation on the environment. I’ve learned from experience that our members need to decide the position of our party, and I am confident that together we will come up with a winning position.
One that addresses climate change and respects provincial jurisdiction, energy security and energy sector workers, while keeping life affordable.
But to do any of this – to change any Liberal policies, Conservatives need a leader who can win.
Let me repeat – leadership candidates can make all the promises they want, on eliminating taxes, on making life affordable, on anything- but if they have to be able to be elected as Prime Minister to get them done.
The question every person who votes in this leadership race needs to ask themselves is “can this candidate become Prime Minister, or will they keep our party in the opposition benches”.
I don’t know about you, but as a Conservative party member I am tired of fighting hard only to watch our party lose.
For two straight elections and under two very different leaders, Conservatives have won the national popular vote but lost the election.
Justin Trudeau is still Prime Minister.
Why haven’t we won?
It’s time to face the facts.
Conservatives need a leader who knows how to build support in the communities, regions, and seats where we need to break through to form a government.
We need a leader that can build the broad multicultural, multifaith, values-driven coalition necessary to win in the areas where we keep losing – without compromising on what it means to be a Conservative or letting down those who have been party members for years.
That leader is me.
I have been able to unite Canadians behind a positive conservative vision, and I’ve won.
There are many Conservatives who talk a big game about knowing how to break through in the seat-rich GTA but have never delivered.
But my team here in the GTA has already gotten the job done.
Brampton has been a Liberal fortress for three straight elections, but I built a winning coalition here as a Conservative.
As provincial leader, I won by-elections in areas the conservatives haven’t held in years, like Scarborough Rouge River.
Mark my words, with me as Conservative Party leader there will no longer be free passes for Liberal seats in suburban Canada.
In fact, with me, there will be no safe seat for the Liberals anywhere.
But to do this, I would never sacrifice votes in Western and rural Canada.
And as a proud leader in Ontario, I know we need Western Canada and rural Canada to win.
Conservatives must, above all else, make sure Western Canadians are equally represented in Ottawa.
I would never, ever, abstain on a vote that gave Western Canada less voice in the House of Commons, as another leadership candidate did just last week.
To win, the Conservative Party must stop treating Western Canadian members like an ATM and start delivering election victories.
As leader, Western Canadians can count on me to deliver them a victory.
I will make sure Conservative MPs and candidates from every part of Canada actually go to Western Canada, not just to ask for money for their campaigns, but to listen to the concerns of the people and deliver results.
It’s long past time for the rest of the Conservative Party to visit Western Canada, since it is so often the other way around.
Western Canadians know that the Liberal party will never take their concerns about equality, or energy, or anything else, seriously.
Western Canadians have had enough and so have I.
To finally fix Western alienation and to unite our country, Western Canadians need the Conservative Party to do something that we haven’t done in over a decade – and that is win.
And that is what I have always done and I will always do.
The Conservative Party of Canada also needs to win in Quebec.
I also will give Quebec a strong voice and a better future.
I know that the French language must be preserved. I will fight hard to do that.
I worked hard to learn French because I know how important it is. I want my children to learn it too.
I also know how important provincial autonomy is to Quebec. As the former leader of a provincial party, I know what it takes to fight federal incursion on our rights. I would use that experience to lead Canada while respecting the nation of Quebec.
I also know there is no reason why Conservatives can’t win seats in every region of Quebec, including Montreal.
As Conservative Party leader I will for the first time, nominate candidates in Quebec well ahead of an election, and make sure our campaigns there have the resources and policy there that we need to win.
I am putting federal Quebec Liberals on notice – I will be the first Conservative Party leader in decades to have a Conservative party candidate win a seat in the Montreal area.
I also know that Atlantic Canadians need a Prime Minister that doesn’t take their votes for granted like Justin Trudeau does. I will build on the gains made by our strong Conservative Members of Parliament in Atlantic Canada.
And British Columbians – many of whom are facing the same out of control cost of housing that I have fought here in the GTA – deserve a Prime Minister who will do more than pay lip service to that issue. I will bring the fight for affordable housing that I have fought here in the GTA to every part of Canada.
And I will make sure that Conservatives are elected in Canada’s north on a vision built on indigenous rights and arctic sovereignty.
To win, we must unite our great country.
And to win, Conservative also must inspire women with a vision of a better Canada for each of them.
There are so many strong women in our party, who are amazing role models for my daughter. But to win we need a leader who will fight to make sure that the barriers to equality of opportunity that women face, like childcare as one example, are addressed by strong policies from our party.
That leader is me.
And as a party, we must be the party that cultural communities can trust.
As leader, I will restore the faith that was broken by two policies that should never have seen the light of day – the barbaric cultural practices tipline and the niquab ban.
Other leadership candidates are taking advice from some of the same advisors who decided to launch those policies in the 2015 Conservative federal election campaign.
Advisors who have never admitted the harm those policies did both to Canada and to our party, and to this day defend their decision to back those policies. Advisors who have never admitted their mistake.
Those policies lost the 2015 campaign and gave us Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. They attempted to normalize intolerance, and served only to stifle every Canadian’s right to religious freedom.
A winning Conservative party led by me will passionately fight for our core Conservative value of protecting religious freedom. We will proudly lean into it. We will win and we will end the Liberal party practice of tokenizing diverse Canadians.
The Conservative Party will win while proudly standing against Bill-21.
Because it takes boldness on the things that matter to win.
As leader, I will proudly stand with conviction for what we as Conservatives believe in. And I will stand against those who use purity tests to pit us against each other, because that only serves to divide us and give Canadians reasons to vote against us.
I will unite us, and we will win.
It’s one thing to say you’re running for Prime Minister, it’s another thing to be able to actually deliver on that.
Conservatives deserve more than a leader who is an attack dog in opposition, but will never be Prime Minister because they’ve already turned off many Canadians that we have to inspire in order to win a federal election.
There’s too much at stake for us to elect another leader who will keep us in opposition.
We need to make life more affordable, Canada more secure, and more united.
We need someone who can win.
That leader is me.
At the end of this leadership race, together, I know my team will have built a team of hundreds of thousands of members that reflects every part of Canada and that is focused and ready to defeat Justin Trudeau.
I am excited and I am ready, but I can’t do this without you and today I’m asking you to join me in this fight.
I’m Mayor Patrick Brown.
I’m a fighter.
I’m a leader.
And I’m a winner.
Stand with me and stand together for a better future for Canada!