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McCallion rejected the appointment of Doug Ford as a special housing advisor

Former mayor of Mississauga, Hazel McCallion, now says she is too busy working as prime minister for housing Prime Minister Doug Ford.

Hours after Ford assured reporters that McCallion, who received patronage worth $ 150,000 a year on January 18, will work for free, the 97-year-old said she was missing.

Doug Ford congratulates Hazel McCallion after winning a majority government in the Ontario election on June 7, 2018.
Doug Ford congratulates Hazel McCallion after winning a majority government in the Ontario election on June 7, 2018. (Mark Blink / CANADIAN PRESS PHOTO PHOTO)

"Unfortunately, because of my extensive commitments, I can not adjust the time needed for such a meeting at this time," she said Wednesday.

"As a result, I will not accept the formal appointment and the agenda that will happen to him."

McCallion, who chaired Mississauga from 1978 to 2014, added that it was a "phone call" if Ford ever needed advice.

In a statement, the prime minister said that "it's a sign of her real character that she did not feel comfortable accepting this appointment in light of the time and energy she would have asked for."

But earlier that day, Ford said: "It will be a great asset at no cost."

"I saw her at the weekend – a man, which is a dynamo." She said: "Doug, I'm sitting on eight boards. I will help you in any way, but I do not take a salary, "he said, admiring that McCallion filled 98 on February 14th.

Leading progressive conservatives took a lot of heat from political opponents and radio emission programs for McCallion as Housing Advisor in Greater Toronto and Hamilton.

However, on another government patronage, Ford sharply declined to say whether it would be bound by the recommendation of the commission of integrity, J. David Wake, who is investigating police recruitment in Toronto, on November 29. Ron Taverner as Commissioner for a provincial police officer in Ontario.

The appointment of Taverner, 72, a longtime prime minister's family friend, remains uncertain, as Wake is examining a complaint from the opposition NDP that there was political interference in the unusual engagement.

Asked if he would adhere to the findings of the Commissioner for Integrity, Wakek would conclude that there was political interference, Ford did not respond directly.

"The Commissioner for Integrity will go through it. I have great respect for him. I will sit and listen to what he has to say … I think he works great by the way," he said.

Ford dismissed concerns about Taverner's appointment by police experts and critics who fear the prime minister to be the DPP's chief will undermine the independence of the nation's second-largest police force.

"I am traveling through the province. The only people talking about this are the media," the prime minister said.

NPD MPP Sandy Shaw (Hamilton West Anskester-Dundas) has contested that, saying people are worried because "it is clear that Doug Ford is planning to make it untouchable by police forces who could investigate abuse of power."

"Without a truly independent commissioner of the DPP, Ontariants simply do not have any recourse," Shaw said, adding that only the government of the day could call the mountains to investigate the offense if the PPL is deemed to have a conflict.

"We can not trust Ford's close ally to investigate his government and we certainly can not trust his government to invite RCMP to conduct any further investigation."

At its first press conference on December 18th, the prime minister also said that "it's not a sweat of anyone back," which he promised during the pre-election campaign last spring and announced with fanfare in August – is disappearing.

The lone remaining participant from the 1-bottle, Cool Beer Brewing from Etoobikok, reduces its oil promotion on long weekends by the end of the year, as Toronto Star announced on Tuesday.

Two other breweries made short promotions after the government cut the minimum price for beer to $ 1 for a standard bottle or can of beer which is below 5.6 percent alcohol per volume.

"The problem with beer is a challenge. We got rid of the regulation, a few companies took us into account," Ford said, adding that he did not drink himself.

Rob Ferguson is a reporter based in Toronto who covers Ontario politics. Follow it on Twitter: @ robferguson1

Robert Benz is Secretary of the Queen's Park Bureau and a journalist covering Ontario politics. Follow it on Twitter: @ robertbenzie

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