Ford says he’ll turn over phone records if RCMP asks
Just call me.
That’s Premier Doug Ford’s message to the RCMP investigators now looking into the $8.28-billion Greenbelt land swap scandal.
Ford, who has promised to co-operate with the ongoing probe, was asked Monday if that would include giving the Mounties access to his personal phone records.
“You know something, whatever the RCMP requires, we’re working with them,” the premier told reporters at Queen’s Park.
That’s significant because the opposition parties have long expressed concern about how much government business Ford appears to conduct on his private phone.
The premier routinely gives out his cellphone number to the public, and aides confide he receives scores of calls and texts daily.
NDP Leader Marit Stiles has been urging the Progressive Conservative government to hand over the phone records to the information and privacy commissioner, an independent watchdog.
“The more we learn about the Ford government’s preferential treatment to speculators and personal friends, the more the premier appears to hide,” Stiles said last month.
“If Mr. Ford truly did nothing wrong, why not disclose the records from the personal phone he himself admitted he uses regularly for government business? While he’s at it, why not release his emails?” she said on Oct. 19.
“This government is under a cloud of suspicion; it is being investigated by the RCMP. People deserve to know who their premier is talking to and what he’s saying.”
The Mounties are examining the Greenbelt debacle in the wake of separate reports from auditor general and the integrity commissioner that found certain developers were “favoured” in the land swap that has since been scrapped.
So far, two cabinet ministers have resigned and two top Tory aides have left government since the imbroglio erupted in August.
Toronto Star Newspapers Limited