Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Thursday February 14, 2019
Blasting Premier Doug Ford for cronyism in appointments
NDP Leader Andrea Horwath is cranking up the heat on Progressive Conservative Premier Doug Ford as MPPs prepare to return to Queen’s Park next week.
In a fiery speech last Friday to New Democrats at an Ajax caucus meeting, Horwath accused Ford of cronyism.
“He’s handing out tickets on his gravy train. And while the appointments, the backroom deals, and the favours to friends are piling up, the rest of Ontario is paying for it,” she said.
That’s an apparent reference to the Tories’ bid to install Toronto police Supt. Ron Taverner, a Ford pal, as commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police.
Integrity commissioner J. David Wake is currently doing an ethics investigation into the appointment, which has raised questions about the independence of the OPP. Taverner, 72, is in limbo until Wake’s probe, which was triggered by an NDP complaint, is complete.
Horwath also took aim at Dr. Rueben Devlin, head of the premier’s council on tackling hospital overcrowding.
“What has Doug Ford done? He has launched a sham health-care consultation and given his buddy a $1-million contract to consult, all while scheming behind closed doors to overhaul health care, and throw open the door to unprecedented levels of privatization,” she said.
Last week, the NDP was leaked draft legislation that proposes to reform the health-care system by creating a new super agency that Horwath claims would increase privatization of medical services.
Health Minister Christine Elliott has denied that charge, insisting nothing has been “finalized.” (Source: Toronto Star)