Toronto

Another high-ranking bureaucrat let go after reported ties to Ford's ex-chief of staff Dean French

Peter Fenwick, Ontario's strategic transformation adviser, has been let go just hours after reports that he had a long-standing relationship with Premier Doug Ford's former chief of staff Dean French.

News of Peter Fenwick's departure comes just hours after Toronto Star report on ties to French

Ontario Premier Doug Ford, left, sits alongside his former chief of staff Dean French at the Ontario PC convention in Toronto on November 17, 2018. (Chris Young/Canadian Press)

Another Ontario bureaucrat has been let go from Premier Doug Ford government just hours after reports that he had a long-standing relationship with former chief of staff Dean French.

A memo to deputy ministers shared with CBC News says Peter Fenwick, the government's strategic transformation adviser, will be leaving the public service "effective immediately."

The memo also says the transformation office is being dissolved after an evaluation of the structure of the cabinet office.

Fenwick's termination comes the same day the Toronto Star revealed he had been a "long-time life insurance customer" of French.

Fenwick reportedly told the newspaper his relationship with French dates back to the "late '90s."

French himself resigned in late June after the patronage appointments of two people with personal ties to him were rescinded. 

After three such appointments were scuttled by accusations of nepotism in less than a week, Ontario's government announced it would review all upcoming appointments.

The opposition parties meanwhile have called for an external review and have demanded that it not be limited to pending appointments. 
A memo to deputy ministers shared with CBC News says Peter Fenwick will be leaving the public service 'effective immediately.' (Peter Fenwick/LinkedIn)

The premier's office did not address questions From CBC News about Fenwick's relationship with French, whether they were aware of the pair's ties, or if they would commit to expanding their review to all appointments rather than just pending ones.

Also Thursday, Ontario's integrity commissioner said he could not  publicly release findings of a possible probe into government appointments with ties to the premier's former chief of staff — only the premier could, and it's not clear if he would do so.

As of Thursday evening, Fenwick's LinkedIn and Twitter accounts still listed him as the government's transformation officer.

Fenwick did not immediately respond to inquiries from CBC News. 

With files from The Canadian Press

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