National Newswatch

‘Unannounced’ tax cuts and spending could threaten plans for Ford government to balance budget before 2022 election: fiscal watchdog

Dec 9 2019 — Robert Benzie — Premier Doug Ford could balance the budget a year earlier than planned if the Progressive Conservatives can limit the growth of program spending and avoid cutting taxes, says Ontario’s fiscal watchdog. Financial Accountability Officer Peter Weltman said if the Tories can stick to their promised 1.4 per cent average annual increase, they could almost be […]

Doug Ford staying quiet but wants to fire back at Justin Trudeau

Sep 30 2019 — Robert Benzie — Premier Doug Ford is itching to fire back at federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau for constantly attacking his provincial Progressive Conservative government, sources told the Star. Ford, who has shown remarkable discipline throughout the federal campaign in order not to hurt Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, has privately told associates he is growing fed up with […]

Premier Doug Ford’s ties to lobbyists has Tory riding association ‘alarmed’

Aug 19 2019 — Robert Benzie — Premier Doug Ford’s ties to lobbyists have “alarmed” a Progressive Conservative riding association president, according to an internal party email obtained by the Star. In a letter to Ford, Tory executive director Mike Crase, and other PC officials, Lillo Ognibene complained about the premier’s appointment of a dozen lobbyists to his 17-member re-election committee. “These […]

Ontario’s gas-pump stickers attacking Ottawa’s carbon pricing are on the way

Aug 13 2019 — Robert Benzie — The stickers are in the mail. Ontario’s controversial new gas-pump decals that warn against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s carbon-pricing measures will be in place well before the official launch of the Oct. 21 federal election campaign. They are being sent to thousands of gas stations in time for the Progressive Conservative government’s self-imposed Aug. 30 […]

Doug Ford stresses he will remain on the sidelines in federal election

Aug 9 2019 — Robert Benzie — Doug Ford, who is struggling in public-opinion polls, insists federal Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer is not “distancing himself” from an unpopular Ontario premier with an election looming. Ford told reporters Friday in Kitchener that he has a “good” rapport with Scheer. “I’ve talked to Andrew and I’m the premier of Ontario and I’ve got to […]

Tory MPPs lobbying to save services at Scarborough hospital

Aug 1 2019 — Robert Benzie — Progressive Conservative MPPs from Scarborough, North York and Markham are urging their own government to save existing pediatric and obstetric services at the Birchmount hospital. Last week, six Tory MPPs met with senior aides to Premier Doug Ford and Health Minister Christine Elliott to plead their case for stopping the maternity ward move from the […]

Doug Ford revamps campaign team after ‘French connection’ cronyism scandal

Jul 22 2019 — Robert Benzie — Premier Doug Ford has revamped his re-election campaign team, enlisting respected Progressive Conservative veterans and injecting new blood in the wake of the “French connection” cronyism scandal. “I am writing today to inform you about the newly formed leader’s advisory council on election readiness,” Ford wrote in an email to scores of Tory supporters Friday. […]

Poll suggests two thirds of Ontarians do not believe Doug Ford cares about people like them

Jul 16 2019 — Robert Benzie — Premier Doug Ford bills himself and his government as “for the people,” but a new poll suggests a clear majority of Ontarians do not believe he cares about people like them. The Corbett Communications survey for the Star indicates the cronyism scandal engulfing Ford’s office appears to be damaging the premier’s carefully constructed image as […]

Doug Ford pressed to expand review of appointments

Jun 26 2019 — Robert Benzie — Premier Doug Ford is under pressure to expand a review of Progressive Conservative patronage appointments in the wake of the Dean French nepotism scandal. French, a close friend of Ford’s, resigned as the premier’s chief of staff last week after it came to light that he had awarded six-figure government jobs to his son’s friend […]

Doug Ford to review patronage appointments after Dean French relative quits provincial appointment

Jun 25 2019 — Robert Benzie — Premier Doug Ford is investigating the French connections in the wake of a cronyism scandal that is embroiling his Progressive Conservative government. Ford on Tuesday “called for a review of all pending appointments” after a relative of his former chief of staff, Dean French, resigned from the Public Accountants Council. French, who stepped down after […]