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Can one resignation absolve all charges?

Posted in Featured, View Point

Published on July 26, 2019 with No Comments

Finally Dean French, resigned as Premier Doug Ford’s Chief of staff after causing enough embarrassment to the Premier and the Progressive Conservative government in Ontario. Dean French later parted ways with the Progressive Conservative re-election campaign.

Dean French had caused unease for the Doug Ford by trying to install his wife’s cousin and his son’s friend in an overseas government postings.  These postings could have given a six–figure salary to the embattled relatives. In an election year, this was a huge baggage for the premier to handle, that he acted within Eighteen hours and revoked the appointments.

The scandal erupted last month when four cronies were posted as the province’s trade envoys abroad. Two of them were personal friends of Dean French, the premier’s longtime comrade-in-arms and chief of staff.  This was enough of a hint for the Chief of staff Dean French and he preferred to step down. When politics is no longer a mission but a profession, politicians become more self-serving than public servants. Dean French was now being identified as one of the self serving politicians than a public servant. Doug Ford was certainly not in a condition to get identified in the same league and was left with no option to ask the Chief of the staff to resign. Was Dean French in a position to appoint anyone for overseas appointments without the consent of the Premier? Or the Premier was a part of the appointment process however, didn’t want the opposition to take a jibe at him.
Dean French’s resignation came as a pat on the back for the Ontario’s opposition parties who have been calling for a review of all government appointments to be handled outside of Premier Doug Ford’s office.

Premier Ford ordered a review of all pending government appointments, after Dean French resigned following news as he was left with no other option. NDP and the Liberals have been pressing upon that the review should include all appointments made since the Progressive Conservative government came to power last year, not just pending ones. And to ensure the review in conducted in a proper manner the  opposition parties have said that the review should not be handled by the same people who were involved in any way whatsoever in carrying out those appointments. That simply conveys that these parties are not willing to have Premier Doug Ford or Dean French play any role in the review. Premier Doug Ford had to  reassuring his Progressive Conservative caucus that his former chief of staff Dean French “no longer has any influence” in his government. French has been described by caucus members as a temperamental right-hand man to the premier, who routinely threatened to kick staff and MPPs alike out of the party if they didn’t toe the line. For many party members the departure of Dean French came as a relief. However, the opposition is in no mood to provide any kind of relief to the Premier. The NDP wants the government to task the legislative committee on government agencies with the review.

Opposition in unrelenting as many believe that Dean French was made the scapegoat, as no one is placed into public service at the whim of one man, that may be the chief of the staff. No appointment could have been made without the scrutiny and the approval of the council of ministers that is headed by Doug Ford. In days to come Premier Doug Ford will have to answer lot of questions and his stance could make the things worse for the Progressive Conservatives. A leader who came to power with a promise of cutting down expenses has been found making appointments to near and dear one with six figure burden on the tax payers. Can Doug Ford free himself on any wrongdoing with the resignation of Dean French?

 

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