It was hinted two months ago and is now confirmed that Patrick Brown, former leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario, will campaign for Chair of the Region of Peel.

Brown, leader of the Ontario PCs from 2015 to 2018, resigned as leader after allegations of sexual misconduct with young women. He was also kicked out of the PC caucus in the provincial legislature.

CTV, which published the allegations, is being sued by Brown for $8 million in a defamation case.

Brown started his political career at 22, when he was elected as a councillor in Barrie. He was then the federal MP for Barrie representing the Conservative Party from 2006 to 2015, and then a provincial MPP for Simcoe North starting in 2015.

Unlike what the Toronto Star reports, Brown faces competition from six candidates. Only Ron Starr already holds a seat, and is likely Brown’s main opponent. Starr has represented Ward 6 in Mississauga and the Region of Peel since 2010.

Brown lives with his fiancee in Mississauga’s Lorne Park neighbourhood.

Prior to announcing his campaign, Brown has been seen at various events around the region, including CeleBrampton, Party in the Lanes, Bolton Fair, and Canada Day events in all three municipalities.

This will be the first time that the region elects a regional chair directly; previously the position was nominated and elected by members of regional council in a process that favoured Mississauga (which has more representation than Brampton and Caledon combined).

New rules were implemented by the province to directly elect the chair everywhere in Ontario, including the biggest regional governments (Peel, York, and Halton). Only the Region of Waterloo and Region of Durham had already been electing regional chairs.

Regional council protested the direct election of the chair position in 2017. Only Brampton mayor Linda Jeffrey supported the new provincial rules.