POLITICS

Ontario Progressive Conservatives Start Voting Today For A New Leader

05/03/2015 04:00 EDT | Updated 05/03/2016 05:12 EDT
TORONTO - Members of the Ontario Progressive Conservative party start voting today for a new leader, but the winner won't be known until next Saturday.

The field of candidates has narrowed to just two: deputy PC leader Christine Elliott, the widow of former finance minister Jim Flaherty, and Patrick Brown, the Tory Member of Parliament from Barrie.

The 60-year-old Elliott says the Tories have become a toxic brand that alienated voters and must change its tone and direction if it hopes to win the 2018 election.

The 36-year-old Brown says he wasn't associated with any of the PC's past failures like the plan to cut 100,000 public sector jobs and can give the party the 'reset' it needs.

He calls Elliott "a liberal-lite" candidate and says voters will go for the real Liberals every time if the Tories don't elect a true conservative as their leader.

Elliott insists Brown's views are outside the Ontario mainstream, and says social conservatives would take over the party if he wins, warning that moving to the right cost the Tories the last two elections.

More than 76,000 PC members can cast ballots, with a second day of voting Thursday, and each riding will be given a total of 100 points for the new leader.

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