Toronto

Ford rescinds patronage appointments with reported ties to chief of staff Dean French

The premier's office said Friday morning that Ford revoked the appointments of Tyler Albrecht and Taylor Shields as "agents-general" to New York and London, respectively.

Positions would have paid between $165,000 and $185,000 annually

Ontario Premier Doug Ford has revoked two patronage appointments, announced on Thursday, after a report emerged that the pair have connections to his chief of staff. (Chris Young/Canadian Press)

Premier Doug Ford has rescinded two patronage appointments just one day after they were announced, after a media report emerged that the pair have ties to the premier's chief of staff.

Ford's office said Friday morning that he revoked the appointments of Tyler Albrecht and Taylor Shields as "agents-general" to New York and London, respectively.

The positions, which were set to pay between $165,000 to $185,000 annually depending on location, were part of an attempt to drum up business ties between the province and interests in those cities.

The premier's spokesperson, Ivana Yelich, did not say why the appointments of Albrecht and Shields were pulled. 

"The Premier's office will not be providing any further comment on this matter," Yelich said in a brief email statement.

According to a Globe and Mail report published Friday morning, the 26-year-old Albrecht knows Ford's chief of staff Dean French and his two sons through their mutual participation in lacrosse. The recent university graduate and senior analyst at Optimize Capital Markets has few obvious credentials for such a posting, the Globe found. 

Further, the Globe reported that Shields, an assistant vice-president of marketing for Chubb Insurance, is a second cousin to French's wife.

Two other appointments, also announced Thursday after a major cabinet shuffle, will remain in place.

Earl Provost, who served as chief of staff to Ford's late brother Rob Ford when he was mayor of Toronto and joined the premier's office as a policy advisor several weeks ago, will be going to Chicago.

Meanwhile, Jag Badwal, who is a past president of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party, heads to Dallas.

Ford has previously faced backlash for appointing well-known PC loyalists and family friends to various highly-paid posts, despite his criticism of the previous Liberal government, which he accused of helping insiders get rich.

With files from The Canadian Press

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