Brown first ran for the Ontario legislature in the 1990 provincial election, but finished a distant third in Scarborough West against New Democrat Anne Swarbrick. He ran again in the 1995 election and defeated Swarbrick by about 2,500 votes. During his time in office he served as Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Correctional Services, Robert Runciman.
Brown also served as co-chair of Harris's "Ontario Crime Control Commission" along with Gerry Martiniuk and Bob Wood.
Brown was known as one of the more socially conservative members of the PC caucus. He led a movement to ban squeegee kids from the streets of Toronto. He said "I think Toronto is becoming the squeegee capital of the world. I think we're squeegee heaven. You are going to see more and more violence and they are certainly getting more and more aggressive."
In November 1998, he attracted controversy by claiming that prostitution rates regularly increased in Toronto during the city's Santa Claus Parade. He said during a radio interview that the annual parade was without a doubt the busiest day of the year for the city's prostitutes. He said "This is sick -- the fact that mom and the kids go watch the parade and dad can go and fool around," he declared. "Obviously something's wrong. We're not getting the message through." Premier Harris declared the comment as idiotic and shortly after Brown resigned from the Crime Control Commission. He also lost his job as parliamentary assistant. He was replaced by fellow MPP Toni Skarica.
In 1996, the Harris government reduced the number of provincial ridings from 130 to 103. This change forced a number of sitting MPPs to face one another in the 1999 provincial election. Brown ran against Liberal incumbent Gerry Phillips in the new riding of Scarborough—Agincourt, and lost by about 3,000 votes.
On October 8, 1999, Brown was appointed to the Ontario Rental Housing Tribunal.
Read more about this topic: Jim Brown (politician)
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