Former Mississauga mayor Hazel McCallion now says that she is too busy to work as special housing adviser to Prime Minister Doug Ford.
A few hours after Ford assured journalists that McCallion, who had been given patronage of up to $ 150,000 a year on January 18, would work for free, the 97-year-old said she gets a pass.
“Unfortunately, due to my extensive commitments, I cannot accommodate enough time required for such an appointment at the moment,” she said on Wednesday.
"As a result, I will not accept the official appointment and the daily allowances that accompany him."
McCallion, who led Mississauga from 1978 to 2014, added that she was "phoning" if Ford ever needed advice.
In a statement, the prime minister said that "this is a sign of her true nature, that she did not feel comfortable accepting this appointment, given the time and energy that would be required for this."
But earlier in the day, Ford said that "it will become a good asset at no cost."
“I saw her on the weekend – man, what a dynamo. She said, “Doug, I'm sitting on eight boards. I will help you in any way I can, but I do not receive a salary, ”he said, surprised that McCallion turned 98 years old on February 14th.
The ruling Progressive Conservatives got a lot of warmth from political opponents and on talk radio shows to hire McCallion as an expensive housing advisor in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton area.
However, in another patronage post harassing the government, Ford pointedly refused to say whether he would be bound by the recommendation of the J. David Wake Commission on Integrity, which is investigating the question of hiring the Toronto Supt police station on November 29. Ron Taverner as Commissioner of Ontario Police.
The appointment of Taverner, 72, a longtime friend of the Prime Minister’s family, remains in limbo, as Wake investigates a complaint from the opposition’s PDP that there was political interference in the unusual hire.
When asked if he would adhere to the findings of the integrity commissioner, if Wake decides that there was political interference, Ford did not respond directly.
“The honesty commissioner is going to go through this. I really respect him. I will sit and listen to what he says … I think he, by the way, does an excellent job, ”he said.
Ford has denied concerns about the appointment of Taverner by police experts and critics who fear that replacing the prime minister as head of ODA would undermine the independence of the country's second-largest police force.
“I travel all over the province. Only the media talk about this, ”the premier said.
NDP MPP Sandy Shaw (Hamilton West Ancaster-Dundas) disputes this, saying that people are worried because "it is clear that Doug Ford intends to make himself inviolable by any police who can investigate the abuse of power."
“Without a truly independent PPP commissioner, ontarians simply do not have the opportunity to ask for help,” Shaw said, adding that only the government of that time can call on monks to investigate a crime if the RPF is considered to have a conflict.
“We cannot trust Ford’s close ally in the investigation of his government, and we certainly cannot trust his government in inviting the RCMP to conduct any future investigation.”
At his first press conference on December 18, the Prime Minister also stated that “no one is sweating from behind,” that the dollar that he promised during the election campaign last spring and which was announced in August as fanfare, disappears.
Cool beer brewing from Etobicoke, remaining alone for $ 1 per bottle, reduces the promotion of its cheap foam to a long weekend for the remainder of the year, as was reported for the first time on Tuesday by Toronto Star.
Two other brewers made short promotions after the government lowered the minimum price for beer to $ 1 for a standard bottle or can of beer, the alcohol content of which is below 5.6 percent by volume.
“The dollar of beer was a problem. We got rid of the rules, a couple of companies took us over, ”added Ford, noting that he does not drink.
Rob Ferguson is a Toronto reporter covering the politics of Ontario. Follow him on Twitter: @ robferguson1
Robert Benzi is the head of the Star Bureau & Queen and a journalist covering the politics of Ontario. Follow him on Twitter: @robertbenzie