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Democracy Watch calls on Ontario Integrity Commissioner to rule on appointment of Ford’s family lawyer to the Public Accountants Council

Democracy Watch’s opinion is that Premier Ford’s appointment of Gavin Tighe to the PAC violated provincial government ethics law because Tighe has been the Ford’s family lawyer

Monday, March 11, 2019

OTTAWA – Democracy Watch released the letter it sent today to Ontario Integrity Commissioner David Wake calling on him to rule on the legality of Premier Ford’s appointment of his family’s lawyer Gavin Tighe to the Public Accountants Council (the “Council”), and his appointment as Chair of the Council.

The letter raises questions about whether the Premier’s appointment of Mr. Tighe violates parliamentary convention that politicians are prohibited from making decisions that help their friends, and violates the rules in the provincial Members’ Integrity Act that prohibit provincial politicians from participating in (section 2) or trying to influence (section 4) any decision that could further their own interests or improperly further another person’s interests.

This is the fourth complaint Democracy Watch has filed with the Integrity Commissioner about Premier Ford’s appointments. It was the first to file a complaint about Ford’s attempt to appoint his close friend Ron Taverner as head of the OPP, and has also filed complaints about Ford’s appointment of Conservative campaign adviser Ian Todd as Ontario’s Trade Representative in Washington, and about Ford’s appointment of his campaign adviser and senior staffperson Jenni Byrne as a member of the Ontario Energy Board.

“Democracy Watch hopes that the Integrity Commissioner will issue a strong ruling that finds Premier Ford and his Cabinet ministers violate the provincial ethics law when they give government jobs to Conservative election campaign advisers or ex-staff or other friends of Premier Ford and the Conservative Party,” said Duff Conacher, Co-founder of Democracy Watch.

The Premier and Cabinet ministers are allowed to hire anyone they want as their staff as it is considered acceptable that, despite the fact staff are paid for with the public’s money, Cabinet ministers would want them all to be loyal supporters of the ruling party.

However, Democracy Watch’s position is that, based on Part 3 of a key Cabinet policy, it is improper for the Premier or any other Cabinet minister to appoint party loyalists or friends to any other government position. It is especially improper when the government hasn’t done a public, merit-based search for qualified candidates, and when the position is quasi-judicial (as the Public Accountants Council is) and the person appointed lacks expertise in the area.

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Duff Conacher, Co-founder of Democracy Watch
Tel: (613) 241-5179 Cell: 416-546-3443
[email protected]

Democracy Watch’s Government Ethics Campaign and Stop Bad Government Appointments Campaign