Democracy Watch calls on Ontario Integrity Commissioner to rule on appointment of Trade Representative in U.S.
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 participation in the appointment of his election campaign adviser Ian Todd as Ontario’s Trade Representative in Washington, D.C., and the decision to increase Mr. Todd’s salary by $75,000 annually.
The letter raises questions about whether the Premier’s appointment of Mr. Todd 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.
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 this Cabinet policy, it is improper for the Premier or any other Cabinet minister to appoint party loyalists or friends to any other government position, especially when the government hasn’t done a public, merit-based search for all qualified candidates and/or pays them more than the usual rate.
“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 and other friends of the Conservative Party,” said Duff Conacher, Co-founder of Democracy Watch.