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Democracy Watch calls on Ontario Integrity Commissioner to rule Premier Ford violated ethics law by offering executive position to Ron Taverner at Ontario Cannabis Store

Integrity Commissioner’s ruling on OPP Commissioner appointment contains clear evidence that Ford offered the job only to Taverner

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Tuesday, April 2, 2019

OTTAWA – Today, Democracy Watch released the letter it has sent to Ontario Integrity Commissioner David Wake calling on him to issue a public ruling on Premier Ford violating the provincial ethics law by offering an executive position at the Ontario Cannabis Store to his friend Ron Taverner, with an annual salary of $270,000.

The letter raises questions about whether the Premier’s offer to Mr. Taverner 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.

Commissioner Wake’s ruling on March 20th concerning the OPP Commissioner appointment process contains clear evidence that Premier Ford’s made a direct job offer to Taverner, and only Taverner (See pages 21-24 of your ruling (paras. 78-90)).

Ford’s offer skipped four key steps in the hiring process for Ontario government jobs, and also violated key requirements for government appointments and pay rates.

“There is clear evidence in the Integrity Commissioner’s ruling on the OPP Commissioner appointment process that Premier Ford violated Ontario’s ethics law by directly offering an executive job to his friend Ron Taverner at the Ontario Cannabis Store,” said Duff Conacher, Co-founder of Democracy Watch. “Given the clear evidence, hopefully the Integrity Commissioner will do the right thing and issue a public ruling very soon finding Premier Ford guilty of violating the provincial ethics law.”

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 the person appointed lacks expertise in the area.

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FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Duff Conacher, Co-founder of Democracy Watch
Tel: (613) 241-5179 Cell: 416-546-3443
info@democracywatch.ca

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