January 11th, 2019

Ford insider gets $400,000 ticket on Doug Ford’s gravy train

Ontario NDP Climate Change critic Peter Tabuns released the following statement, speaking out against the big money golden parachute Doug Ford has just handed to his senior advisor, principal secretary Jenni Byrne, who, according to a report by The Toronto Star, is leaving Ford’s office. Ford has gifted Byrne a full-time board appointment the province's independent energy regulator, the Ontario Energy Board (OEB):

“For Doug Ford to give out another ticket on his gravy train to yet another friend and ally is wrong, and the $400,000 price tag for this one is completely outrageous. With this appointment, Doug Ford has even outdone Doug Ford.

Doug Ford trades in favours and backroom deals, and clearly, he wants to make sure the people who are supposed to be independent from politicians — from police to energy regulators — are loyal to him.

The OEB is charged with overseeing Ontario’s energy sector and its independence is vital to protecting families from political mismanagement. Stacking the OEB with his buddies and turning our energy decision-making body into a dumping ground for Ford loyalists diminishes its independence, and will have major consequences for Ontario’s energy sector. Byrne’s appointment means even more of Ford’s meddling in Ontario’s energy sector is on its way.

Byrne is just the latest to board the Doug Ford gravy train. Ford gifted his campaign tour director Ian Todd with a cushy $350,000 Washington gig, past party president Rueben Devlin a $1 million government advisory appointment, and his own Ford family lawyer, Gavin Tighe, $667,000 to sit on the Public Accountants Council. Deep concerns remain over the possibility that Ford meddled to ensure his loyal ally Ron Taverner was appointed commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police.

Ford has been telling Ontario families the cupboards are bare, cuts are coming, and everyone's going to have to make sacrifices — but he’s actually taking millions from their pockets to keep the gravy train rolling for his allies."