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Ford defends naming nephew minister of multiculturalism as Michael Ford's city council pick resigns

'I completely dismiss that,' says Michael Ford when asked if nepotism played role in his appointment
June 28, 2022

Ontario Premier Doug Ford defended his decision Monday to name his nephew minister of citizenship and  multiculturalism, saying the newly elected legislator has spent years representing one of the most diverse communities in the province.

Ford was asked about the appointment in a joint news conference with Toronto Mayor John Tory -- his first time taking questions since he introduced his new, 30-person cabinet last week.

The premier said his nephew Michael Ford has "extensive experience," having previously served on Toronto city council and as a school trustee.

"I think he'll do an extremely good job," Doug Ford said Monday. "He has a lot of knowledge and he's been an elected official probably longer than more than 60 per cent of our caucus."

Toronto's newest city councillor resigns hours after appointment over anti-LGBTQ social media posts
Ford was also asked Monday about his reaction to the resignation of Rosemarie Bryan, Toronto's newest city councillor who stepped down just hours after she was appointed on Friday over anti-LGBTQ social media posts. The seat was previously held by Michael Ford, who recommended Bryan for the position.

In response, the premier said, "She did the right thing; she stepped down immediately and she's no longer there."

'Give him a chance': Tory
Ford noted the ward his nephew represented on city council, Etobicoke North, is "probably one of the most multicultural areas in the entire province."

Tory, who worked with Michael Ford when he was on council and appointed him to the police services board during that time, described him as "thoughtful" and "hard working."

"He does understand his community as well as anybody else, and it is one of the most multicultural communities in all of Toronto, if not all of Canada," he said.  "So give him a chance."

Michael Ford was also asked Friday if he felt any nepotism contributed to his appointment.

"I completely dismiss that," he replied.

"I've had the honour of serving on the Toronto District School Board, of serving on Toronto city council in one of the most diverse communities ... so I'm honoured to be here and to do the hard work that the residents of Ontario are going to expect."

The cabinet presented Friday has many ministers in the same roles they held under Ford's last government, including in key files such as housing and education.

Among the changes was the appointment of former solicitor general Sylvia Jones as deputy premier and health minister.

There were also a few new faces aside from Michael Ford, including Michael Kerzner, a bioscience and technology entrepreneur elected in York Centre named Solicitor General, and Graydon Smith, the former mayor of Bracebridge, Ont., who will serve as minister of natural resources and forestry.