Taras Natyshak MPP, Essex

Government of Ontario

Integrity Commissioner report paints a picture of an interference campaign by Ford's office

Published on March 20, 2019

QUEEN'S PARK — A report by the Integrity Commissioner released Wednesday reveals a troubling campaign by Doug Ford and his inner circle to have Ron Taverner installed as commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP).

"J. David Wake's report reveals shocking and disturbing facts about the conduct of Ford's inner circle," said NDP MPP Taras Natyshak. "This report makes clear that what was happening in Ford's back rooms was a coordinated attempt by Doug Ford and his chief of staff Dean French to install an ally in a position of power. Anyone who sees this report as an exoneration hasn’t read the report.”

The report's shocking revelations include:

  • It was French that demanded that the job requirements be watered down, which then allowed Taverner to apply (paragraph 165)
  • French not only supplied media and communications advice to Taverner, but brought in lobbyist Chris Froggatt to provide media training to Taverner when the premier's office was unhappy with Taverner's performance on the news (paragraph 262)
  • French told secretary of the cabinet Steve Orsini to consider Ron Taverner for the position of OPP commissioner, saying both he and Ford recommended Taverner (paragraph 114)
  • Then-deputy minister Matt Torigian said to Ford insider and member of the hiring committee: “Well, there’s one other name obviously out there that you’re not going to get from me, because they’re not qualified, but I’m sure you’ve heard there’s interest in having this person apply, too.” Badali responded "Well, we all know Ron is going to get an interview." Taverner was not qualified at the time (paragraph 110)
  • Orsini, who was on the hiring panel, confided that he felt he was being pressured to hire "a friend of the Fords" (paragraph 129)
  • Pertinent emails were kept hidden from this investigation (paragraph 147)
  • There is "consistent evidence" that Ford spoke up to support Taverner's appointment at the cabinet table (paragraph 253)

"It's crystal clear that Ontarians were right all along — this process was a dirty one," said Natyshak. “This report was limited in scope, and raises more questions than answers, which is why we continue to ask for a full public inquiry.”

Wake himself says “A public inquiry may be useful as a post mortem exercise where there are not the same live issues outstanding as there were here.”