The Ontario NDP has tabled a motion demanding the release of Premier Doug Ford’s personal phone and email account information. The proposal was raised at Queen’s Park on 20 October. A vote in favor of the motion was called for, citing multiple investigations into the government’s plans for Greenbelt and Ontario Place.
During the question-and-answer session, Ontario NDP leader Marit Stiles said members of the government have praised the premier’s use of personal phones for government work. This is contrary to the Privacy Commissioner’s recommendations. The recommendation asks members of the government and political activists to use only official devices and platforms. This government should know that.
He raised the question, does the Prime Minister deliberately use private phones for secret communication with people who have business in front of the government?
Ford, however, dodged the question and talked about how his government saved public money. Paul Calandra, Leader of the Government Party in the House, answered all remaining questions. He also confirmed that the Premier often uses his personal phone to talk to Ontarians.
Calandra said the premier has already said he will not stop working for the people of his constituency. He won’t stop it. The Leader of the Opposition wants it to stop. So the residents of the province will trust the Premier for all the work?
The motion was brought forward by the NDP in the wake of an investigation by Global News. According to the investigation, the Prime Minister has not been using his official phone for three months. The NDP is now appealing the decision to withhold personal phone records from the Premier’s office.
The auditor general’s report over the summer said staffers communicated with lobbyists in personal emails that were regularly deleted.
The NDP has also called on the integrity commissioner to review the use of personal phones and emails by the premier and government employees.