Ontario integrity commissioner pauses Ford stag-and-doe probe

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Published March 16, 2023 at 1:29 pm

Ontario’s integrity commissioner says he’s temporarily setting aside a request from the NDP to issue an opinion on Premier Doug Ford’s daughter’s stag-and-doe event.

Integrity Commissioner J. David Wake says in a statement today that while there are some “flaws” in the request from NDP Leader Marit Stiles, he isn’t outright dismissing it – just pausing it – because there is overlap with a related investigation.

Stiles had also asked Wake to investigate what she called the “curious timing of recent purchases of Greenbelt land by powerful landowners with donor and political ties to the Ontario PC Party.”

Wake says he and his staff are reviewing the “extensive material” gathered so far, have done independent research, and are preparing summonses for numerous witnesses to be interviewed.

Ford and Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Steve Clark have both denied tipping off developers ahead of the public announcement that the government would remove land from 15 different areas of the protected Greenbelt so that 50,000 homes can be built.

Ford has acknowledged that some developers, who are friends, attended the $150-a-ticket stag-and-doe event and media reports say lobbyists and government relations firms were also invited.

But Wake says the only question that matters is whether Ford himself received any funds, which the premier has denied.

The Canadian Press

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