Ford won’t say who sent invites to daughter’s $150 stag-and-doe event
Published February 15, 2023 at 2:47 pm
Ontario Premier Doug Ford did not divulge details of who sent invitations – including to developers – for his daughter’s $150-a-ticket stag-and-doe party last summer, saying only “the boys” took care of the money that was raised.
His office later said “the boys” was a reference to the premier’s son-in-law and the man’s friends.
The integrity commissioner has cleared Ford over the stag and doe, which is typically a fundraiser for a couple before they get married.
Ford bristled at journalists’ questions Wednesday about the pre-wedding event that had an unknown number of developers in attendance.
“In my opinion, it’s absolutely ridiculous about a $150 stag, you’ve got to be kidding me,” Ford said Friday at a funding announcement for auto parts maker Magna in Brampton.
Based on information provided by Ford, the integrity commissioner said the premier had no knowledge of gifts given to his daughter and son-in-law. The commissioner said there was no discussion of government business at the event, but confirmed developers who are longtime friends of the Ford family were there.
When asked how much money was raised at the stag and doe from developers and who the money went to, Ford said “the boys took care of that.”
The premier said he and his family know “tens of thousands of people.”
“No one can influence the Fords,” the premier said.
Several months after the stag and doe, the province announced it was opening up the protected Greenbelt to build 50,000 homes as part of its plan to build 1.5 million homes in 10 years.
Ontario’s integrity commissioner and auditor general are conducting separate investigations into the government’s decision to open the Greenbelt to development – both Ford and Housing Minister Steve Clark have denied any wrongdoing.
While Ford consented to release the integrity commissioner’s statement on the stag and doe last week, he refused to answer questions about releasing what he shared with the commissioner.
He said his daughter is a private citizen.
“It was my daughter’s stag, they went out, we opened the doors,” Ford said. “The vast majority of people just walked through the backyard, it was a regular stag.”
New Democrat Leader Marit Stiles said she will be filing a complaint with the integrity commissioner about the stag and doe.
“It’s not about the premier’s family, but it is about the premier’s behaviour and his accountability and his integrity,” Stiles said.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 15, 2023.insauga's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising