WSIB board member resigns after ties to Dean French revealed
Dean French stands behind a curtain as he listens to introductions at the Ontario PC Convention in Toronto, on Friday, Nov. 16, 2018. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young)
Shawn Jeffords, The Canadian Press
Published Friday, July 12, 2019 4:28PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, July 12, 2019 5:34PM EDT
TORONTO - Another appointee of Doug Ford's government resigned Friday after the Opposition uncovered his ties to the Ontario premier's former chief of staff.
A spokeswoman for Ford confirmed that Ian Neita, who was made a board member for the Workplace Safety Insurance Board in December, had submitted his resignation.
New Democrat legislator Marit Stiles said that in 2013 Neita helped coach a Toronto girls basketball team with the premier's former chief of staff, Dean French.
Stiles said Neita - whose online resume shows he has 17 years experience in the insurance industry - was not vetted by opposition politicians who asked he appear before them at a committee.
“Mr. Neita's credentials have never been reviewed by the Ontario legislature's government agencies committee because the Ford government blocked an opportunity to review his appointment,” she said.
Neita did not respond to requests for comment.
His resignation is the latest in a string of departures and revoked positions after some appointees were revealed to have ties to French.
French himself abruptly left his job as Ford's top adviser three weeks ago when it first emerged that people given lucrative foreign postings were connected to him.
Ford revoked the agents-general appointments in London and New York City of Taylor Shields and Tyler Albrecht shortly after Shields was reported to be related to French and it emerged that Albrecht played lacrosse with French's son.
Four days later, Katherine Pal resigned from the Public Accountants Council after the NDP noted that she is a niece of French's wife.
Earlier this week, the head of a committee that helps appoint justices of the peace, Andrew Suboch, resigned after a report emerged that he had ties to the premier's former chief of staff.
Ford office's said staff are reviewing all pending appointments and the province's Treasury Board is probing the appointment process to strengthen conflict of interest screening.
“If the Premier finds that people have been appointed for the wrong reason and are not performing to the highest standards these individuals will be removed from their positions,” spokeswoman Kayla Iafelice said in a statement Friday.
The opposition parties, however, want Ford's review of appointments to be conducted externally.
“Let's be crystal clear, Doug Ford has never done the right thing until he's been busted,” said Stiles. “Whatever review he claims he's conducting into his own appointments is not working.”