The Canadian Politician (Toronto) – Opposition parties in Ontario are accusing Premier Doug Ford of playing hide and seek in the legislature during question period. They say he has been absent 61% of the time since December 1, missing 11 out of 18 question periods. They believe that this is due to his appointment of his longtime friend, Ron Taverner, to the top police post in the province. The opposition parties allege that Ford is unable to defend the controversial appointment, thus, his absence from question period to avoid defending his government’s policies and programs.
Catherine Fife, one of the NDP opposition members stated to reporters, “Instead of showing up and defending his government’s policies, he has been a no-show more than half the time.”
On Monday, the premier fired Brad Blair, the deputy commissioner of the provincial police for allegedly leaking confidential police documents in his suit against the province. His lawyers, however, have a different view and contend that he was fired for exercising his free speech right to question the patronage appointment. The opposition say this is another reason the premier is dodging question period as he is unable to provide a legitimate reason for dismissing Brad Blair who was also interested in the top cop position, and has been critical of Taverner’s appointment.
The premier’s office however, dismissed this assessment and stated that the premier has been spending time with businesses and individuals who have been very vital to the economy of the province. As premier, a spokesman stated, he is obligated to travel around the province to meet with people and key stakeholders who can move the province forward, and as such, it is not always possible for him to be available for the question period.