French is toast

spaminator
#1
French is toast
Brian Lilley
More from Brian Lilley
Published:
June 21, 2019
Updated:
June 21, 2019 9:02 PM EDT
Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Dean French (R) at the 2018 Ontario PC Convention at the Toronto Congress Centre on Saturday Nov. 17, 2018.Jack Boland / Toronto Sun
Dean French has left the building.
The Premier’s embattled chief of staff resigned late Friday after a day that saw anger grow in conservative circles over French’s latest misstep.
“I want to personally thank Dean for his hard work, his leadership and his friendship,” Doug Ford said in a statement Friday.
“He is leaving our government in a very strong position from where we can build upon our successes and continue delivering on our priorities for the people of Ontario.”
That last part about leaving the government in a strong position is more typical Ford hyperbole than reality. While French was the top political staffer in a government that has accomplished more positive things than it gets credit for, he’s also is a big reason why the government was constantly caught up in scandals.
The latest botched job was appointing four new advisors to drum up business and investment for Ontario in international markets.
Two of the appointees had close personal connections to French. One a cousin of his wife with some serious business experience but the other a 26 year-old who once played lacrosse with French’s sons.
The thin resume provided by the Premier’s office when the appointment was announced did not match the fat paycheque that went with the appointment.
News of the appointment infuriated top-level conservatives inside and outside of the government.
“I can’t defend this,” said one top Tory regarding the appointments.
While the two appointments with personal connections were rescinded by 8:30 Friday morning, the outrage in PC circles was only growing. Calls for his resignation started with my column in the Sun and grew from there across talk radio and elsewhere.
LILLEY: Time’s up for Dean French
LILLEY: Dean French’s management style under fire
Normally such a misstep would not be a career ender but French has done what few political staffers have done in the past and inserted himself into the middle of the story line, often to the detriment of his boss.
The appointments were the proverbial straws that were breaking the camels back.
After incidents that included blow-ups with caucus members and cabinet ministers, one female MPP being brought to tears in front of the Premier at a recent caucus retreat, the poor handling of the Ron Taverner appointment and more, French’s role could not be saved.
In the life of a political staffer, when you become the story it is time to leave. French may have taken longer than he should have but leave he has.
The question about whether he left voluntarily or was, as they say in the military, “voluntold” to resign is irrelevant at this point.
Doug Ford, left, at the 2016 Reena Foundation gala with Toronto Police Supt. Ron Taverner. (Kevin Viner, Elevator Digital)
On Thursday the government tried for a fresh start with the cabinet shuffle and they failed due to the announcement of these patronage appointments that had French’s fingerprints all over them. Now they may truly get a fresh start.
James Wallace, former VP for the Sun and currently deputy chief of staff, will take over on an interim basis as a permanent replacement is sought.
Cabinet ministers and caucus members were expressing relief and hope Friday night, not the usual night for political banter. Relief that French was gone, hope that new management in the Premier’s office can lead to a new beginning.
Much of that will depend on the Premier.
Ford needs someone who is tough and will stand up to the many voices that will want him to change his path and his mind. He also needs someone willing to stay in the background, not take the shine away from his boss, and willing to work with cabinet and caucus.
“I wish Dean the very best in his future,” Ford said.
Let that be the final word on French’s tenure at Queen’s Park.
blilley@postmedia.com
http://torontosun.com/opinion/column...rench-is-toast
 
spaminator
#2
LILLEY: Anatomy of the French meltdown
Brian Lilley
Published:
June 22, 2019
Updated:
June 22, 2019 6:14 PM EDT
Dean French, centre, former chief of staff for Doug Ford, listens to the Ontario Premier speak at the Ontario PC Convention in Toronto, on Friday, Nov. 16, 2018. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young)
How did this happen?
That’s what I keep being asked about the Dean French meltdown and the government appointing a 26 year-old lacrosse buddy to a prominent and well-paying position.
It’s a very good question.
This type of political mistake should not have been a career ender for French but on Friday he handed in his resignation after messing up a patronage appointment. Every party appoints their own people to positions, that is as it should be but this was still a mistake.
Whichever party is in power needs to know that the people in political positions, as opposed to the professional public service, will be onside with the government’s priorities. Yet the catch is, the people appointed still need to be, or appear to be, qualified.
Giving a plum post with a fat paycheque to a young man with a thin resume did not sit well with Premier Doug Ford’s supporters and he heard about it. It was also simply the latest in a string of missteps by French that were taking away from the government’s attempts to move its agenda forward.
So how did it happen?
How did lacrosse buddy Tyler Albrecht and Taylor Sheilds, a cousin of French’s wife, get appointed?
Isn’t there a process? Isn’t there a person in charge of appointments? Didn’t cabinet have to sign off on all these appointments?
LILLEY: Dean French’s management style under fire
LILLEY: Time’s up for Dean French
LILLEY: French is toast
The answer to all of these questions is yes, in theory.
There is supposed to be a process in making such appointments but after conversations with many people involved in what went down this week the answer always comes back as, “Dean wanted it.”
Normally appointments such as this would go through the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. In this case I am told that the names for the appointments, the vetting and the announcement of the positions all came from the premier’s office.
In fact the department was told to stay out of the process when they attempted to compile a list of their own made up of qualified candidates.
Inside the premier’s office there is a person in charge of appointments and even they were cut out.
According to several sources, all the details were handled by French and Anish Dwivedi, Director of External & Intergovernmental Affairs.
Staff and ministers were told what would happen, who would be appointed and that all the candidates were qualified and vetted.
Even when it came to getting approval from cabinet terms such as “strongarming” were used to describe the process.
Several ministers described the first cabinet meeting after the shuffle on Thursday as one where they were told there was much to approve and very little time before the premier had to leave.
I’ve been asked how ministers could not have known that they were approving a 26 year-old with a thin resume and personal ties to French to such a high-profile position. Simply put, they were not told the whole truth.
This isn’t to let the ministers off, they have a duty and a responsibility to look after the affairs of the province. They also rely on their staff for good advice.
Ministers cannot be Google checking every appointment and item they are asked to sign off on, that is the responsibility of their well paid staff. When the chief of staff to the premier tells you that everything checks out and this is the way the government is moving, you should be able to rely on that.
Instead, ministers signed off on something they shouldn’t have. The premier reacted the next morning upon seeing the media stories and rescinded two of the four appointments and eventually accepted Dean French’s resignation.
I can tell you that the premier can expect a more skeptical cabinet, one not willing to accept the word of his staff at face value any longer.
That trust has been lost and it will take time to recover.
The next chief of staff certainly has their work cut out for them.
blilley@postmedia.com
http://torontosun.com/opinion/column...rench-meltdown
 
NZDoug
#3
French toast is called eggy bread here in N.Z.
 
Danbones
#4
A reel leggy broad was the toast of the town last night over in ol' Quebec.


Quote:

Calls for his resignation started with my column in the Sun

Hmmmm....activism.
 
NZDoug
#5
Crescent St.?
Thursdays still in action?
 
spaminator
#6
LILLEY: Drama continues for French and his replacement
Brian Lilley
Published:
June 24, 2019
Updated:
June 24, 2019 6:08 PM EDT
Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Dean French (R) at the 2018 Ontario PC Convention at the Toronto Congress Centre on Saturday Nov. 17, 2018.Jack Boland / Toronto Sun
Is Dean French really gone from the premier’s office?
Just days after the dramatic resignation of Doug Ford’s chief of staff on Friday, the premier’s office was the scene of high drama once again Monday after French made an appearance.
“I’m still friends with Doug,” French is confirmed to have said to staff members on his way out.
Another source quoted French as saying, “I’ll be more powerful on the outside than I am in here.”
While some took French’s comments as being ominous or threatening, others took them as simply being part of an emotional farewell.
LILLEY: Time’s up for Dean French
LILLEY: Anatomy of the French meltdown
LILLEY: French is toast
LILLEY: Dean French’s management style under fire
The claim by some was that French was implying he was still in charge at Queen’s Park.
“That is categorically false,” said a source who was in one of the three meetings French attended.
Officially the premier’s office said he was clearing out his desk.
“He said goodbye to staff, thanked them for their hard work and continued service to the Premier and the people of Ontario,” said Laryssa Waler, Ford’s director of communications.
French exited quickly last week, handing in his resignation after botched patronage appointments of two people close to him put the spotlight on the staffer rather than the man at the top.
Over the weekend picking the next chief of staff for the premier became a bit of sport in conservative circles.
The final say will rest with Ford himself but several names, old and new, continue to rise to the top of the speculative heap.
Jenni Byrne — she left her position as Ford’s principal secretary in January for an appointment with the Ontario Energy Board. There was much rumour and speculation of clashes between herself and French when they both served. Byrne, who has extensive experience from her time in Ottawa serving Stephen Harper, would be an experienced manager for the premier’s office, the question is whether she would want to come back to political life.
Greg Harrington— until recently one of Dean French’s right hand men. That fact alone could be a blessing or a curse for his chances at the top job. He only just switched positions to take on the role of director of policy, a powerful position within government. If Ford decides to make a clean break from the French era then his chances are dashed.
Earl Provost — Provost is a strange animal in that he has both a long history of working with the Ford family in politics and he is a Liberal. He spent more than two and a half years working for Rob Ford when he was mayor. After that he was Executive Director of the Liberal Party of Ontario. Recently he has been working with the Ford government and is slated to become a trade rep for the province in Chicago. Well liked and respected in both parties his appointment would still rankle some PC stalwarts.
Chris Froggatt — a long serving political staffer turned lobbyist, Froggatt helped run the campaign that brought the PCs back to power after 15 years in the wilderness. He is seen as one of the most powerful men in the government that isn’t actually part of the government. During his time in Ottawa, Froggatt served as chief of staff to John Baird in various capacities. While Froggatt is widely respected in conservative circles, he is said not to be interested in the job.
Amir Remtulla — a former chief of staff to Rob Ford who had previous experience at Queen’s Park and Toronto city hall, Remtulla would be a choice that shows Doug Ford going for family loyalty. Remtulla has mostly stayed on the private sector side since leaving Mayor Ford’s office in 2012 spending much of his time in public and government relations.
James Wallace — Wallace took over interim chief of staff when French resigned. Prior to becoming Ford’s deputy chief of staff he was a VP at Sun Media — meaning he was my boss. Calm and thoughtful, Wallace has a good relationship with the Queen’s Park press gallery from his many years as a journalist covering politics and as a political staffer in the early 2000s.
http://torontosun.com/opinion/column...is-replacement
 
spaminator
#7
Ontario's strategic transformation adviser axed amid Dean French ties
Canadian Press
Published:
July 5, 2019
Updated:
July 5, 2019 3:02 PM EDT
Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Dean French (R) at the 2018 Ontario PC Convention at the Toronto Congress Centre on Saturday Nov. 17, 2018.Jack Boland / Toronto Sun
A senior Ontario bureaucrat was fired Thursday as a report emerged that he had ties to Premier Doug Ford’s former chief of staff.
The head of the province’s public service said in a memo to staff that Peter Fenwick, Ontario’s strategic transformation adviser, was out of his post and the office he led was being eliminated.
“As we go into the second year of supporting the government to deliver on its agenda, we have evaluated the structure of Cabinet Office,” Steven Davidson wrote. “As a result of the review, the Transformation Office in Cabinet Office is being dissolved.”
It came the same day that the Toronto Star reported that Fenwick has known Dean French for a long time, including being a life insurance customer of Ford’s now-former right hand man for 20 years.
Ford ‘disappointed’ appointments personally tied to French: Thompson
LILLEY: Dean French appointments were a bad example, nothing more
Drama continues for French and his replacement
French abruptly left his post last month following news that at least three government appointees had personal ties to him.
Taylor Shields and Tyler Albrecht were being given lucrative agents-general posts in London and New York City respectively before their appointments were revoked after ties to French emerged. Shields was reported to be related to French while Albrecht played lacrosse with French’s son.
Katherine Pal resigned from the Public Accountants Council after the NDP noted that she is a niece of French’s wife.
Neither French nor Fenwick responded to requests for comment from The Canadian Press.
The government did not announce Fenwick’s hiring, but then-Secretary of Cabinet Steve Orsini informed deputy ministers in a Nov. 2 memo.
“His deep experience in the use of technology will support all-of-government initiatives to drive greater efficiencies in the delivery of public services,” Orsini wrote. “Peter will work closely with ministries to ensure central agency support in setting government transformation policy.”
Fenwick was previously managing director at Fenwick & Associates, a management consulting firm, a senior provincial director at Alberta Health Services, and worked at GE Healthcare, Orsini wrote.
Ford ordered an internal review of pending appointments after the third French connection was reported, but his office has not said who is conducting the review, how many appointments are pending, what criteria is being used, and if all revoked appointments will be announced.
The opposition parties have called for such a review to be done outside the premier’s office.
“I don’t have any confidence, I don’t think Ontarians have any confidence, in the government carrying out, or Mr. Ford carrying out, his own internal review of appointments,” said New Democrat Marit Stiles.
Interim Liberal leader John Fraser said Ford has so far only acted on appointments following media reports.
“This is no way to run a government of any stripe,” he said in a statement.
http://torontosun.com/news/provincia...an-french-ties
 
MHz
#8
The world needs a rash of death-bed confessions to top this insanity. . . . or hope there is an 'event horizon' event coming up soon . . .
 
spaminator
#9
Another appointee with reported ties to Dean French resigns
Canadian Press
Published:
July 11, 2019
Updated:
July 11, 2019 2:25 PM EDT
Dean French, centre, former chief of staff for Doug Ford, listens to the Ontario Premier speak at the Ontario PC Convention in Toronto, on Friday, Nov. 16, 2018. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young)
The head of a committee that helps appoint justices of the peace has resigned after reports that he has ties to the premier’s former chief of staff.
Premier Doug Ford’s office said it had been reviewing lawyer Andrew Suboch’s appointment as chair of the Justices of the Peace Appointments Advisory Committee and that he has now resigned.
The Globe and Mail reported that Suboch is a long-time friend of Dean French, who abruptly left his job as Ford’s top adviser three weeks ago when it first emerged that people given lucrative foreign postings were connected to him. Their sons also played lacrosse together, the Globe reported.
When contacted by The Canadian Press, Suboch would not comment on a connection to French or why he resigned.
Ontario’s strategic transformation adviser axed amid Dean French ties
LILLEY: Dean French appointments a bad example, nothing more
LILLEY: Time’s up for Dean French
“There is a public portal that ANYONE can apply to 1/8which I did3/8, there is vetting of the application, AND, the Legislature through the Standing Committee of Government Agencies, which I understand was chaired at all relevant times by the NDP, can call appointees, such as myself, to testify as to their qualifications,” Suboch wrote in an email.
“I was never called by the Standing Committee to demonstrate my qualifications.”
He did not say if French encouraged him to apply for the role.
Suboch was appointed to the committee in September 2018, then was given the job of chair in February. The committee meets about 12 times a year and the chair is paid a $566 per diem.
Ford was asked earlier this week about the ongoing controversy around government appointments and suggested people aren’t worried about it, and reporters making inquiries just want to “get into the weeds.”
The premier revoked the agents-general appointments in London and New York City of Taylor Shields and Tyler Albrecht shortly after Shields was reported to be related to French and it emerged that Albrecht played lacrosse with French’s son.
Four days later, Katherine Pal resigned from the Public Accountants Council after the NDP noted that she is a niece of French’s wife.
Ontario’s strategic transformation adviser was fired last week as a report emerged that he had known French for a long time, including buying life insurance from him. The civil service said the office he led was being eliminated after a review of its structure.
Ford’s staff say the premier has ordered a review of pending appointments, though they won’t say who is conducting the review, how many appointments are pending, what criteria is being used, and if all revoked appointments will be announced.
The opposition parties want such a review to be conducted externally, and not by the same office that originally signed off on the appointments in question.
http://torontosun.com/news/provincia...french-resigns
 
spaminator
#10
Appointee linked to former Ford chief of staff Dean French resigns
Canadian Press
Published:
July 12, 2019
Updated:
July 12, 2019 6:06 PM EDT
Ontario Legislative Building at Queen's Park in Toronto.Getty Images
TORONTO — Another appointee of Doug Ford’s government resigned Friday after the Opposition uncovered his ties to the Ontario premier’s former chief of staff.
A spokeswoman for Ford confirmed that Ian Neita, who was made a board member for the Workplace Safety Insurance Board in December, had submitted his resignation.
New Democrat legislator Marit Stiles said that in 2013 Neita helped coach a Toronto girls basketball team with the premier’s former chief of staff, Dean French.
Stiles said Neita — whose online resume shows he has 17 years experience in the insurance industry — was not vetted by opposition politicians who asked he appear before them at a committee.
“Mr. Neita’s credentials have never been reviewed by the Ontario legislature’s government agencies committee because the Ford government blocked an opportunity to review his appointment,” she said.
Neita did not respond to requests for comment.
His resignation is the latest in a string of departures and revoked positions after some appointees were revealed to have ties to French.
French himself abruptly left his job as Ford’s top adviser three weeks ago when it first emerged that people given lucrative foreign postings were connected to him.
Another appointee with reported ties to Dean French resigns
LILLEY: Ford pledges better vetting of government appointees
LILLEY: Time’s up for Dean French
LILLEY: Dean French appointments were a bad example, nothing more
Ford revoked the agents-general appointments in London and New York City of Taylor Shields and Tyler Albrecht shortly after Shields was reported to be related to French and it emerged that Albrecht played lacrosse with French’s son.
Four days later, Katherine Pal resigned from the Public Accountants Council after the NDP noted that she is a niece of French’s wife.
Earlier this week, the head of a committee that helps appoint justices of the peace, Andrew Suboch, resigned after a report emerged that he had ties to the premier’s former chief of staff.
Ford office’s said staff are reviewing all pending appointments and the province’s Treasury Board is probing the appointment process to strengthen conflict of interest screening.
“If the Premier finds that people have been appointed for the wrong reason and are not performing to the highest standards these individuals will be removed from their positions,” spokeswoman Kayla Iafelice said in a statement Friday.
The opposition parties, however, want Ford’s review of appointments to be conducted externally.
“Let’s be crystal clear, Doug Ford has never done the right thing until he’s been busted,” said Stiles.
“Whatever review he claims he’s conducting into his own appointments is not working.”
http://torontosun.com/news/local-new...french-resigns
 

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