Patrick Brown appeared to move to Brampton seemingly overnight to run for mayor, so the question of Brown’s residency in the city has been a topic of discussion for most Bramptonians from the get-go.
Brown was seen lining up at city hall on July 27, with just a handful of minutes to spare to run for mayor of Brampton before the municipal registration deadline. This happened after Premier Doug Ford introduced a bill that effectively ended the election for Peel Regional Chair, to which Brown had submitted his nomination just weeks before.
Brown has been asked on numerous occasions how long exactly he has resided in Brampton, and his lack of an answer has only fanned the flame further.
He’s offered his standard answer, that he currently lives in downtown Brampton near Gage Park with his fiance, but as for how long, Brown has avoided answering, until now.
Brown said in an email to Bramptonist that he’s lived in Brampton since June, then reiterated that statement in a post-debate interview on Tuesday at the Rose Theatre saying, “After I left provincial politics on June 7 I got a place in Brampton.”
However when Brown filed to run for Peel Regional chair on July 3, he didn’t register using a Brampton address, he used an address in the Lorne Park neighbourhood of Mississauga. Brown said his fiancé grew up in Mississauga and had a basement apartment on Whittier Crescent.
Additionally, on June 7 Brown tweeted out a photo of himself casting his ballot in the provincial election in the Mississauga-Lakeshore riding.
— Patrick Brown (@patrickbrownont) June 7, 2018
When asked what his motivation was behind using a Mississauga address when by his own account he was residing in Brampton by this time, Brown did not respond with a comment.
Brown was also asked why he chose to run for mayor in Brampton, and not Barrie or Mississauga, other cities he has ties to. Brown refused to answer, calling the question unprofessional and ending the interview with Bramptonist.
Brown says it’s about the ideas he brings to the table, rather than how long he’s lived in the city, and while some agree with him, others question whether someone who will have lived in Brampton for a short four months by the time advanced polls open can truly grasp all of the issues.
In a recent online Q&A with Brampton’s Reddit community, many participants thought Brown fell short of showing an in-depth understanding of key issues facing the city, often defaulting to attacking incumbent Linda Jeffrey instead of answering questions on policy.
As of now, anyone can run in Brampton so long as they register with an address in the city. But Brown’s entrance into the race has raised questions across municipalities about whether candidates should, in fact, be required to live in a city for a specific amount of time before they can run in an election.