Canada: Ford government slammed for ‘secrecy’ around India trade mission - - PressFrom - Canada
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CanadaFord government slammed for ‘secrecy’ around India trade mission

19:50  04 may  2019
19:50  04 may  2019 Source:   globalnews.ca

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+ Premier Doug Ford ’s government is once again facing criticism around a taxpayer-funded trip as the province refuses to disclose cost and staffing details for a trade mission to India last week. Economic Development and Trade Minister Todd Smith travelled to the country for six days to meet with

The Indian government ’s Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) 2015-2020 announced on April 1, 2015 is primarily focused on increasing India ’s exports of Premier Doug Ford 's government is once again facing criticism around a taxpayer-funded trip as the province refuses to disclose cost and staffing

Ford government slammed for ‘secrecy’ around India trade mission © Instagram Todd Smith in Mumbai meeting with representatives from LTI Global.

Premier Doug Ford's government is once again facing criticism around a taxpayer-funded trip as the province refuses to disclose cost and staffing details for a trade mission to India last week.

Economic Development and Trade Minister Todd Smith travelled to the country for six days to meet with business leaders. The trip was not made public until days after Smith was on the ground. Canadian media were also not invited to attend.

Smith's office put out a statement Friday saying the mission had wrapped up and that Smith "brought Ontario's open for business, open for jobs message to business leaders across sectors that demonstrate a high degree of trade and investment potential for Ontario."

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Premier Doug Ford 's government is once again facing criticism around a taxpayer-funded trip. Located in eastern Ontario , Ottawa The City of Ottawa has yet to develop its own bylaw to do that, and would likely have focused on pushing for the cheaper units around new light rail stations anyway.

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The minister's office refused to answer questions from Global News about how much the trip cost taxpayers, how many government staff went on the mission, what their roles were and why the trip was kept secret until Smith was on the ground.

"Trade missions are fine, but typically governments notify the public before, not after, they take place," Ontario Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner told Global News Friday. "And normally the media is able to report on them for the benefit of the public. Instead of getting unbiased reporting on what transpired in India, all we have is spin from the premier's office."

Schreiner also says the India trip is part of a pattern.

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The Ford government is proposing to end the Ontario Health Insurance Plan' s limited coverage of emergency out - of - country medical costs, a move the Opposition says will hurt snowbirds and frequent travellers. Ford government slammed for ‘ secrecy ’ around India trade mission .

India trade mission videos and latest news articles; GlobalNews.ca your source for the latest news on India trade mission . Ford government slammed for ‘ secrecy ’ around India trade mission . By Travis Dhanraj Queen’s Park Bureau Chief. Premier Doug Ford ’s government is once again facing

"Whether it's funding cuts or business trips, this government's M.O. is to act first and explain later. What was so controversial about this trip that it had to be conducted in secret?"

The India trip comes after controversy-plagued Premier Ford's New York City visit early last week. Media were not informed of the trip until staff were on the ground in Manhattan. The premier's office refused to provide cost and staffing details; spokesperson Ivana Yelich told Global News Monday she would "not comment on any specifics regarding the premier’s staffing arrangements." When asked by Global News whether or not taxpayers had a right to know information around costs, Yelich replied: "My answer stands."

Ford also faced criticism for travelling with Ontario News Now, a taxpayer-funded social media arm of the government. A crew for Ontario News Now also travelled to Washington, D.C., in April with the premier. Costs and staffing information surrounding the Washington trip remain unknown as well. Government staff told Global News if media wanted the information it would need to be obtained through freedom of information requests -- a process that often takes months.

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Ford government slammed for ‘ secrecy ’ around India trade mission . Premier Doug Ford ’s government is once again facing criticism around a Premier Kathleen Wynne’s trade mission to China has so far secured more than billion in agreements between Ontario and Chinese companies.

Ford India trip videos and latest news articles; GlobalNews.ca your source for the latest news on Ford India trip . Ford government slammed for ‘ secrecy ’ around India trade mission . By Travis Dhanraj Queen’s Park Bureau Chief. Premier Doug Ford ’s government is once again facing criticism

Ottawa-area MPP and interim leader of the Ontario Liberal Party John Fraser told Global News it's troubling the government is withholding information about taxpayer-funded trips, including the mission to India.

“The government owes it to the taxpayers, who foot the bill for this trip, to provide basic information -- who went? How much did it cost? What was the purpose?" Fraser said. "These are reasonable questions and I don’t know what the government is hiding.”

The NDP is also slamming Ford and Smith for a lack of transparency.

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“The issue here is not the fact that the minister of economic development went on a trade mission, it’s that he’s shrouded this trip in unnecessary secrecy," deputy leader John Vanthof told Global News Friday. "Once again, we’re seeing a complete lack of transparency and accountability from Premier Ford and his ministers. At a time when the Ford government is cutting funding for public health and education and flood management, they owe it to every Ontarian to fully account for the minister’s trip, and should have done so before he ever stepped on a plane.”

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