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OPSEU President: It’s time for Dean French to do the right thing and resign

OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas at Queen's Park.

Toronto – OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas is calling on Doug Ford’s chief of staff to do the honourable thing and resign after yet another scandalous revelation about his behaviour and judgment.

“The Premier has had a rough go, and a lot of his problems point right back to his chief of staff: Dean French,” said Thomas. “On the very same day that Ford tried to change the channel with a Cabinet shuffle, French hurt the message with his foolish attempt to appoint family friends and relatives to six-figure patronage jobs.”

Hours after the Cabinet shuffle, the government announced the appointment of four “agents-general” to attract investors in New York, Chicago, Dallas, and London England. They included:

  • Jag Badwal, who is a past president of the Ontario PC Party
  • Earl Provost, who served as chief of staff to Ford’s late brother, Rob Ford, when he was mayor of Toronto. Provost is also a former Ontario Liberal Party executive and once worked for former Prime Minister Paul Martin
  • Tyler Albrecht, who is reportedly a friend of French’s son
  • Taylor Shields, who is reportedly a relative of French’s wife

This morning – amid growing outrage – the premier revoked the appointments of the two with personal connections to French: Albrecht and Shields.

“And if French doesn’t do the right thing and resign, the premier is going to be forced to revoke French’s appointment too,” said Thomas. “We all know they’re buddies. French should do the honourable thing and just step down instead of putting Ford in the position of having to turf him.”

OPSEU First Vice-President / Treasurer Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida said the situation with French has reached crisis levels.

“How can any person living in Ontario, or any business thinking of investing in Ontario, have any confidence in this government when there’s such chaos coming out of the Premier’s office?” asked Almeida. “This has to be fixed, and it has to be fixed now.”

Thomas said he hopes that Ford’s recent hiring of Provost will help bring stability back to Queen’s Park. “Just put him in the right spot.”

“After 12 months of French’s so-called leadership, this government is in freefall and has a lot of serious repair work to do,” said Thomas. “Some adult supervision by somebody with Provost’s experience would help, at least on an interim basis.”

For more information: Warren (Smokey) Thomas, 613-329-1931