09/02/2016 14:06 EDT | Updated 09/03/2017 01:12 EDT

Controversial sex-ed letter distributed by Brown's chief of staff: candidate

TORONTO — The Canadian Press has learned that Patrick Brown's chief of staff distributed a controversial letter on sex education a day before the Progressive Conservative leader said he first learned about it.

The letter that bore Brown's electronic signature said that if his party formed government, it would "scrap" the Liberals' updated sex-ed curriculum.

Brown wrote an op-ed days later disavowing the letter, saying that the local Tory campaign in the Scarborough-Rouge River byelection "went too far."

He said he first saw the letter last Friday, after it was reported in the media, and was livid because it didn't reflect his views.

The Canadian Press has obtained an email that Brown's chief of staff, Nicolas Pappalardo, sent last Thursday to Queenie Yu — a former PC party worker who ran as an independent in the byelection on a platform of opposing the new sex-ed curriculum.

The letter is attached to the email in which Pappalardo writes: "As a courtesy, please find attached an open letter to parents from the Leader of the PC Party of Ontario. It will be distributed in the riding this weekend."

Brown and Pappalardo did not immediately respond to requests for comment.