A week ago, Doug Ford introduced his new cabinet. And, lo and behold, his nephew, Michael has a seat at the table. Marcus Gee writes:
Mr. Ford and his nephew, Michael Ford, insist there is nothing untoward in this. No, no, no. All perfectly fine. Though Michael has just been elected to the legislature for the first time, at the ripe age of 28, he is eminently qualified to sit at the cabinet table with his uncle and all the others. After all, he was a Toronto city councillor and a school trustee before that.
“I think he’ll do an extremely good job,” the Premier said.
Asked by reporters if this might just possibly be a case of nepotism, Michael himself said: “I completely dismiss that.” His experience representing one of the most diverse communities in one of the world’s most diverse cities made him well equipped to serve as Minister of Citizenship and Multiculturalism. Family ties had nothing to do with it.
Mr. Ford came to office accusing the former premier, Kathleen Wynne, of riding the gravy train and dishing out goodies to her friends. But Ford insists there's no gravy here:
This is a whopper of gargantuan proportions, designed to be so big and so bold that it will blind the audience to its essential untruth. Michael Ford owes this appointment – no, his whole political career – entirely to his family connection. He would not be in cabinet if he were a Young or a Romano. In fact, he would never have been elected to any position at all without the Ford name.
Michael is fortunate enough to be a member of Ontario’s best known political dynasty. He followed in the footsteps of his grandfather, Doug Sr., who was a Progressive Conservative MPP in the 1990s; his uncle, Rob, Toronto’s most notorious mayor; and another uncle, Doug, who was a city councillor and a candidate for mayor himself before becoming leader of the PCs.
The Fords’ home turf in North Etobicoke, a suburb in Toronto’s northwest corner, is the closest thing to a family fief in Canadian politics. A Labrador retriever named Ford could get elected there.
And, so, the story continues. . . .
Image: Nathan Denette/Canadian Press