Canada: Ford was both foolish and wrong to mislead on reason for shuffle - PressFrom - Canada
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CanadaFord was both foolish and wrong to mislead on reason for shuffle

09:20  06 november  2018
09:20  06 november  2018 Source:   thestar.com

Premier Doug Ford shuffles cabinet after Jim Wilson’s departure

Premier Doug Ford shuffles cabinet after Jim Wilson’s departure Premier Doug Ford shuffles cabinet after Jim Wilson’s departure

The Ford version started to unravel right after Monday’s shuffle . Lisa MacLeod, the minister of Children, Community Services and Women’s Issues, acknowledged that Wilson’s departure had to do with more than addiction. If indeed the reports are confirmed, this was both foolish and very wrong .

Your reasons for leaving a job can say volumes about who you are both professionally and ethically and help an employer determine if you’re a good Premier Doug Ford stuck to that version of events right through his extensive cabinet shuffle early on Monday morning. Bill Kelly: Premier Ford is right

Ford was both foolish and wrong to mislead on reason for shuffle© Rene Johnston Jim Wilson quit Premier Doug Ford’s cabinet suddenly on Friday.

(Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.)

Let’s say it plainly: the Ford government tried to mislead the public over why veteran minister Jim Wilson quit the Ontario cabinet.

For two and a half days, the official line from the government was that Wilson had suddenly resigned to seek treatment for unspecified “addiction issues.”

Premier Doug Ford stuck to that version of events right through his extensive cabinet shuffle early on Monday morning.

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Ford threw his support behind Vic Fedeli in a series of tweets, calling him "honourable, ethical and decent" and denouncing the allegations in Brown's book as "lies." Fedeli, meanwhile, called the allegations "categorically false and without any merit," and said he was prepared to take legal action.

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There was widespread sympathy and public support over the weekend for Wilson. Many applauded him for seeking help and wished him well. Ford himself won praise in some quarters for taking quick action on problems in his cabinet.

Right from the start, though, the story didn’t quite hang together. Why, for example, would Wilson resign from the Progressive Conservative caucus as well as cabinet if it was all simply about a medical issue?

And as it turned out, that was far from the whole story. The Ford version started to unravel right after Monday’s shuffle. Lisa MacLeod, the minister of Children, Community Services and Women’s Issues, acknowledged that Wilson’s departure had to do with more than addiction. Rather, she said, it had to do with “allegations” that led to an investigation.

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Further, Global News reported the allegations involve a complaint of sexual misconduct from a PC party staffer.

It also emerged that a senior member of Ford’s office, Andrew Kimber, had left his position late last week because of troubling allegations. Global News reported they involve sexually charged text messages sent to female staff members.

None of this came out because the premier or his government let us know about it. Far from it. On Monday morning, Ford issued only a vague statement saying he was “taking the opportunity to calibrate our cabinet assignments.”

But there was clearly a lot more going on, including a lot that the Ford government was not anxious to share with the public. Evidently the government believed — or at least hoped — it could hush up the allegations of improper behaviour and just drive on down the road.

If indeed the reports are confirmed, this was both foolish and very wrong.

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Ford was both foolish and wrong to mislead on reason for shuffle . Ford ’s office said the timing of the two men leaving was coincidental. The minister’s resignation forced Ford to shuffle his cabinet, demoting some underperformers and promoting up-and-coming ministers.

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Foolish because the truth has a funny way of getting out. The official story didn’t add up; journalists were bound to keep asking questions. It didn’t take long for them to start getting answers.

And wrong because the time is long past when organizations can brush aside even credible allegations of misdeeds by powerful men.

That’s true even if it’s a result of illness or addiction. People facing such issues deserve compassion and treatment. But that doesn’t mean organizations, especially public ones like governments, can escape accountability.

On Monday, the premier’s office issued a statement saying it would not comment on “particulars” in order toprotect the identity of any individual who brings forward an allegation.” That’s fine, but it’s no defence against putting out misleading stories or allowing them to go uncorrected when you know better.

The public may not need to know every detail of what went on. But in this case the government failed the test of transparency, indeed simple honesty.

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