The Honourable J. David Wake, Integrity Commissioner, today released his report into complaints regarding Doug Ford, Premier, and Member of Provincial Parliament for Etobicoke North. An affidavit was submitted on December 5, 2018, by Kevin Yarde, Member of Provincial Parliament for Brampton North, under section 30 of the Members’ Integrity Act, 1994. On December 19, 2018, a second affidavit was filed by John Fraser, Member of Provincial Parliament for Ottawa South.
MPPs Yarde and Fraser alleged that Premier Ford breached the Act in the appointment of Ron Taverner as Commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police. Mr. Taverner is a friend of the premier, and the allegations of the two MPPs were that this appointment was a breach of sections 2, 4, 8 and 16 of the Act.
In conducting the inquiry, the Commissioner, general counsel and staff of the Office interviewed 21 witnesses in person, received additional information from another eight individuals and reviewed more than 3,500 documents. A list of witnesses is appended to the report.
On the evidence, the Commissioner found that Premier Ford did not breach any of the sections of the Act, as alleged. The Commissioner found that the Premier stayed at arm’s length from the recruitment process, but that the process was flawed.
The report raises important questions about the appointment power of the premier and cabinet, particularly when the appointee is a friend of the premier and the position is that of the Commissioner of the OPP.
In the report, the Commissioner recommended the following regarding the appointment process:
“For a position of this importance and given the sensitivity of the relationship between the government and the police in general, and the OPP Commissioner in particular, there ought to be an established appointment process in place which is independent, transparent and readily activated with predetermined criteria and membership on the selection committee. I would encourage the government and all members of the legislature to consider the establishment of such a process and have it in place before the next appointment is required.”
The full report can be found at www.oico.on.ca under MPP Integrity, Commissioner’s Reports.
The Commissioner is not available for interviews.
About the OIC
The Office of the Integrity Commissioner has five key responsibilities: members’ integrity, ministers’ staff ethical conduct, lobbyists registration, disclosure of wrongdoing (whistleblowing) and expenses review for Cabinet Ministers, opposition leaders, and selected agencies. On May 1, 2019, the Office will take on the responsibilities of the Office of the Conflict of Interest Commissioner to provide conflict of interest advice and direction to a broad range of public servants under the Public Service of Ontario Act, 2006. An Officer of the Legislative Assembly, the Integrity Commissioner is independent of government.
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Michelle Renaud, Senior Advisor, Policy and Outreach