Why the PM is under fire for a deer for his daughter’s wedding
Calls to the Ontario Integrity Commissioner are made regarding two family events involving Premier Doug Ford. In recent months he has been slammed by critics who fear he may have offended conflicts of interest over recent family celebrations, including a bachelorette party for his daughter’s wedding.
What is the problem?
Opposition parties are concerned about $150 tickets sold for Ford’s daughter’s bachelorette party last summer, which was held at the prime minister’s house and was attended by several developers and lobbyists. There are also concerns about the developers and lobbyists who then attended the ensuing wedding, including those interested in opening up the province’s protected green belt. The Toronto Star reports that several guests who sat at the prime minister’s table at the wedding have since received government appointments.
What is Doug Ford accused of?
in one Letter to Ontario Integrity OfficerOpposition leader Marit Stiles writes to Ford regarding the stag and the wedding of a “disturbing pattern of ongoing government policy decisions that benefit certain private interests of individuals and developers with connections.”
She says that “worrisome details have come to light about developers and lobbyists with donor and political ties to Premier Doug Ford and the Ontario PC Party being invited to attend two Ford family events. The Premier has an obligation to avoid conflict and the appearance of conflict.”
Stiles goes on to say that some invitees felt “intimidated” into buying tickets for the stag, and some expressed concerns about putting their professional reputations on the line by “trying to gain influence by attending his daughter’s wedding.” pay”.
Stiles also notes that several of the individuals and developers who attended the ensuing wedding received favorable zoning ordinances from the minister and at least one benefited from recent policy changes related to land destruction in the Green Belt. She is asking the Integrity Committee to investigate whether Ford has violated the sections of the Members’ Integrity Act dealing with conflicts of interest, influence and gifts.
What are the rules?
The Ontario Office of Integrity Commissioner’s Conflicts of Interest Rules state:
Not Favoring Self, Spouse, or Children — Public officials should not use their positions to directly or indirectly benefit themselves, their spouse, or children.
Do Not Disclose Confidential Information – Officials should not disclose or use confidential information without authorization.
Do Not Accept Gifts – Officials should not accept gifts from anyone who is (1) receiving services from (2) doing business with, or (3) seeking to do business with the Ontario government. Public officials may accept gifts of modest value given as a gesture of courtesy or hospitality.
No Preferential Treatment – Officials should not grant preferential treatment and should take steps to avoid the appearance of such treatment.
How does Ford react?
Ford has denied doing anything wrong.
“In my opinion it’s absolutely ridiculous with a $150 stag. You must be joking,” Ford said at a press conference on Feb. 15. Ford said his family has been in politics for years, adding that “no one can influence the Fords.” He has repeatedly stressed that the event was a family, private matter.
He first contacted the provincial integrity officer a few months after his daughter’s wedding celebrations after being asked about several of the developer guests who were invited to attend and contribute donations. Earlier this month, Ford was cleared of any wrongdoing.