It appears Nipissing’s representative to Queen’s Park could be making good on a promise made last fall to defend his name and reputation.

Nipissing MPP and Ontario Finance Minister Vic Fedeli has reportedly set into motion preliminary steps for a libel case against his party’s former leader.

According to a CBC report, Fedeli’s legal team has filed a notice of intent on Patrick Brown, the former leader of the Ontario PC party, and Optimum Publishing, the company which published Brown’s November book giving his side of his ouster from the party.

Brown, since elected mayor of Brampton, claims a female staffer accused Fedeli of the alleged misconduct in December 2017. Brown, still the party’s leader at the time, says he told Fedeli he would be looking into the allegation. A short time later, Brown stepped down and Fedeli became interim leader. Brown says the woman who came forward to him with the claim of inappropriate conduct against Fedeli was, according to the CBC report, later “let go — for undisclosed reasons — but kept on the legislative payroll.”

In November, Fedeli’s office released the following statement:

“These accusations from Patrick Brown are categorically false and without any merit. Facts relating to Mr. Brown’s lack of credibility are well documented and on the public record, as are his motivations in using his book to pursue old grievances.

“Throughout my career I have held myself to a high ethical standard in my interactions with others. There is no validity whatsoever to any of these allegations. Any accusation or insinuation to the contrary is false and malicious. I have retained legal counsel and am prepared to take whatever action is necessary to hold any person making these false allegations accountable.”

Fedeli played an integral role as interim Leader of the Opposition in a tumultuous time for the political party eventually leading to the rise of Doug Ford and a pronounced election victory. In the days and weeks following Brown’s resignation, Fedeli worked as the interim leader of the Ontario PC party to flesh out membership improprieties in select ridings and both denounced and distanced himself (and the party) from Brown.