by Chris Pickup

After serving as Haldimand Norfolk MPP for 22 years, Toby Barrett has been kicked in the teeth by his own party over the Patrick Brown issue.

In an apparent fit of spite, Barrett has been removed by the PC party as chair of the Private Member Bill committee, removed from the Policy and Priorities committee and after 22 years sitting in the second row at Queens Park, has now been sent to the back row like a mischief-making little boy in the kindergarten class.

Barrett, as is his right, has from the first been a staunch supporter of Brown, who was dumped as leader after allegations of sexual misconduct against him by two anonymous accusers on CTV news. Allegations that have now been largely debunked.

Along with many others across Ontario, Barrett was aghast the accusations had been made anonymously, without proof, and without any complaints laid before police.

Brown is fighting back against his accusers, threatening legal action for defamation, and has jumped back into the race for leader of the party. The Party will choose its leader March 10.

Barrett has shown his support for Brown over the past long weekend and is now paying the price. He has noted that in conversations with people all over his riding, residents agreed Brown should not have been forced to step down as leader without proof of wrongdoing.

After a lifetime of Conservative leanings, and a real dislike of Liberals, my husband and I, and I suspect many other voters, now find ourselves questioning why we should vote for a party that won’t allow a longstanding member to choose who he wants as leader. Then punish him for it. He’s only one vote after all.

Or why, as legislators, they are so willing to overlook the rule of law in favour of insinuation and anonymous accusations.