Integrity Commissioner, J. David Wake, K.C., today filed a report with the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario regarding the Honourable Doug Ford, Premier of Ontario and MPP for Etobicoke North. The report is in response to an affidavit submitted by Marit Stiles, Leader of the Official Opposition and MPP for Davenport, on February 23, 2023, in which she requested an opinion under section 30 of the Members’ Integrity Act, 1994.
Specifically, Ms. Stiles requested an opinion on whether the Premier Ford contravened sections 2, 4, and 6(1) of the Act, sections of its preamble or any Ontario parliamentary convention in relation to two wedding events for one of the premier’s daughters.
On March 16, 2023, the Commissioner released an interim report that outlined some issues with the February 23 request from Ms. Stiles in meeting the high bar of reasonable and probable grounds to conduct an inquiry. However, the Commissioner explained that he had put this request in abeyance, pending an overlapping inquiry into potential contraventions of the Act by Minister Steve Clark with respect to the decision to allow development on lands in the Greenbelt and Duffins Rouge Agricultural Preserve. This overlapping inquiry has concluded and the resulting report that found Minister Clark was in contravention of the Act was released on August 30, 2023.
In consideration of the evidence gathered during that inquiry as well as the analysis about the allegations and the obligations under the Act provided in the interim report of March 16, 2023, Commissioner Wake has determined that there are insufficient grounds to warrant an inquiry as to whether the premier has contravened the Act with respect to the two wedding events.
As required by the Act, he has set out his reasons in the report filed with the Speaker. The report is available online under MPP Integrity, Commissioner’s Reports.
About the OIC
The Office has seven mandates under five pieces of legislation:
- Members’ Integrity, providing confidential conflict of interest advice to MPPs and conducting inquiries into alleged breaches;
- Ministers’ Staff Ethical Conduct, providing conflict of interest advice and direction to public servants in ministers’ offices;
- Lobbyists Registration, operating Ontario’s lobbyist registry and conducting investigations into potential non-compliance;
- Public Sector Ethics, providing conflict of interest advice and direction to Ethics Executives in ministries and public bodies;
- Disclosure of Wrongdoing, receiving whistleblowing disclosures from current and former members of the Ontario Public Service; and,
- Expenses Review:
- Reviewing the travel, meal and hospitality expenses of Cabinet ministers, parliamentary assistants, Opposition leaders, and their staff; and,
- Reviewing the travel, meal and hospitality expenses of selected provincial agencies.
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