Premier Doug Ford did not violate conflict of interest rules in the now abandoned appointment of Ron Taverner to the head of the OPP, Integrity Commissioner David Wake has concluded.
“It was my opinion that on the evidence, Premier Ford did not breach any of the sections of the act, as alleged,” Wake said in a report released Wednesday. “I found that the premier stayed at arm’s length from the recruitment process and that he believed it to be independent.
“However, I found that there were some troubling aspects of the recruitment process and ultimately made the finding that the process was flawed,” the report said.
NDP MPP Kevin Yarde and Liberal Leader John Fraser both filed complaints with the integrity commissioner after Taverner, a long-time friend of the Ford family, was chosen to lead the OPP.
Taverner later asked that his name be withdrawn from consideration after opposition parties complained the appointment would jeopardize the independence and integrity of the provincial police force.
While Wake found no evidence that Ford had violated the Members’ Integrity Act, the commissioner did raise concerns about the appointment powers of the premier and cabinet, particularly when it came to the OPP.