OPP looking into ousted MPP's claims of illegal lobbying by Ford's advisors
Antonella Artuso
April 4, 2019
April 4, 2019 1:51 PM EDT
MPP Randy Hillier speaks in his offfice at Queen's Park in Toronto, Ont. on Tuesday, March 26, 2019. (Dave Abel/Toronto Sun/Postmedia Network)
The OPP anti-rackets unit is reviewing allegations by ousted PC MPP Randy Hillier that “close friends and advisors” employed by Premier Doug Ford were possibly engaged in illegal and unregistered lobbying.
NDP MPP Gilles Bisson told the Ontario Legislature Thursday that his colleague, NDP MPP Taras Natyshak, has received a letter from the Ontario Provincial Police confirming his concerns about Hillier’s claims have been passed onto the anti-rackets branch.
“We’ve seen in the past where premiers have destroyed documents within their office,” Bisson said to Ford. “Will you promise that no records will be destroyed in your office?”
Premier Doug Ford speaks during question period at Queen’s Park on Monday, Sept. 24, 2018. (Dave Abel/Toronto Sun/Postmedia Network)
After Hillier was removed from caucus, he issued a statement in which he raised 10 reasons for his ouster.
The now independent MPP said he raised concerns of illegal and unregistered lobbying, a claim he said he will not discuss in further detail because it is under investigation by the Integrity Commissioner.
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“There’s no illegal lobbying going on,” Ford responded to Bisson Thursday. “It’s very simple: No one can influence our team. No one can buy our team. Very simply, if you want to talk to the government, call me on my cellphone; you hand it out anyway.”
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Government House Leader Todd Smith said millions of people have Ford’s cellphone number, and the Premier gets back to as many people as he can.
“It’s pretty clear that the Premier is the most accessible Premier that this province has ever seen,” he said.
Hillier has produced no evidence to support his accusation, unlike allegations he made against previous PC leaders, Smith said.
“I think the OPP are just doing what they have to do,” Smith said. “I just worry that he’s wasting his time, our time and now he’s wasting the OPP’s time.”
The PCs have said they removed Hillier from caucus because his attendance was poor at meetings and in Question Period.