Doug Ford Orders Hiring Freeze and Cuts at Queen's Park


Ontario's premier-designate, Doug Ford, promised he would find "efficiencies" during the provincial election campaign, and it looks like he's already taking action in doing so.

Ford has already issued directives to put the public service on a hiring freeze as he and his incoming government re-examines the province's books, according to the Globe and Mail.

"The people of Ontario work hard for their money and they expect their tax dollars to go to the services we all depend on. We are also going to go line by line through the government's books to ensure value of money for the people of Ontario's tax dollars," Ford spokesperson Simon Jefferies said in a statement. 

The orders that have gone out to provincial deputy ministers include: 

  • A hiring freeze on the public service, except for "essential front line staff" such as fire and police services, and current public service workers moving laterally.

  • A ban on providing food and drinks for staff meetings and events.

  • Cancellations of subscriptions for paper-based media such as newspapers and magazines.

  • New restrictions on out of province travel.

For those of you who remember the days of Ford's late brother Rob Ford's time as mayor of Toronto, the younger Ford was well known for shining a spotlight on wasteful spending at city hall and his "penny pinching" ways. Rob Ford was famous for filing $0 in expenses as a councillor, and the elder Ford did the same during his brief tenure on Toronto city council. 

Another area that Ford could look into is cutting down the size of his incoming cabinet, a staple of conservative leaning political parties when they assume the role of government. The outgoing Liberal administration had almost 30 cabinet ministers, which meant over half of the then 55 member caucus was in cabinet. 

He doesn't need to look far, or even within Conservative circles, for inspiration. Ironically, the NDP government of Rachel Notley in Alberta, elected in 2015, began with around 5 or 6 cabinet ministers and gradually increased to 20. But because the NDP had never formed government in Alberta until then, it was wise of them to give important jobs to just a few people first, then give time for the rest of caucus to build up experience. 

But the Tories have formed government before, and the election gave them enough veteran MPPs and experienced professionals from outside politics who were elected to form a small team would fit Ford's model of "finding efficiencies," and actually look like they would know what they were doing.

Whatever the case may be, the era of Ford is here. For those of you looking to find a government job, it would be wise for you to try something else in the meantime.

Unless of course, you’re a motivated Conservative partisan; there’s plently of new Tory MPPs who would be looking for staff.  

The new Ontario cabinet is scheduled to be sworn in on Friday, June 29.

Photo courtesy of the Ontario PC Party's official Facebook page

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