A blog to give a voice to our concern about the continued erosion of our democratic processes not only within the House of Commons and within our electoral system but also throughout our society. Here you will find articles about the current problems within our parliamentary democracy, about actions both good and bad by our elected representatives, about possible solutions, opinions and debate about the state of democracy in Canada, and about our roles/responsibilities as democratic citizens. We invite your thoughtful and polite comments upon our posts and ask those who wish to post longer articles or share ideas on this subject to submit them for inclusion as a guest post.
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Sunday, November 18, 2018

Who is running Ontario?

Dean French was Mr. Ford’s campaign chair. The day after the PCs won power in June, Mr. Ford named him his chief of staff. Since then, he has emerged as something even that job title can’t fully capture: an omnipresent force seen by some of the new government’s members as more powerful than the Premier who employs him.
So says an article in the G & M after said Mr French after he forced the firing of Alykhan Velshi from a job at the energy utility Ontario Power Generation on his first day on the job at a possible cost of $500,000 to Ontario taxpayers.
Mr. French is portrayed by insiders almost precisely as Mr. Ford’s critics perceive the new Premier to be: mercurial, bent on settling scores and indifferent to boundaries that his job usually involves. Most chiefs of staff keep relatively low profiles and make some show of deferring to elected representatives. Mr. French is an extreme exception!

There is the unusual control that Mr. French appears to exert over his government’s appointments processes. He is said to have a tendency to conduct negotiations for high-profile public positions presenting them to Mr. Ford as done deals. The reported $350,000 salary for Conservative insider Ian Todd to serve as Ontario’s trade representative in Washington was cited by multiple sources as an example.
In proceedings where political staff usually aren’t welcome to participate, he has taken a lead role including actively engaging in cabinet meetings, as well as the smaller committee of senior ministers who are supposed to set the government’s agenda. And he uses those positions to clamp down on any semblance of dissent both there and at caucus meetings..

With the above in mind I have to ask who exactly is the Ontario Conservatives 'Leader' the Premier or his chief of staff, I believe that Ford has never been more that a loud mouth 'figurehead' as evidenced by his refusal to interact with the Press in any meaningful way during the pre-election process. What we appear to have is an unelected 'aide' effectively running Ontario, giving the 'Premier' his speaking notes and effectively silencing those few conservative MPPs who dare to question any 'policies' Mr Ford has been told to bring forward.
A bit harsh you say? Time will tell, meanwhile keep your safety belts buckled for we are in for a rough ride!

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Owen Gray said...

Who's the real power behind the throne, Rural? Good question. But one thing is clear. This government is all about revenge.

Gyor said...

You mean like how Gerald Butts is the real Prime Minister, with Trudeau a selfie taking figure head?

It's a sad bunch leading Ontario and Canada.

Rural said...

I am not sure that any of our various governments are fully open and accountable to those individuals that we elect, however some are worse than others and we each have our own opinions as to which are more or less guilty!