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Doug Ford gifted can of gravy as reminder of old family slogan

Ontario Liberal Parliamentary Leader John Fraser passed the premier a can of gravy as a reminder of his family's political slogan. (Provided by Ontario Liberal Party) Ontario Liberal Parliamentary Leader John Fraser passed the premier a can of gravy as a reminder of his family's political slogan. (Provided by Ontario Liberal Party)
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Ontario Premier Doug Ford received a reminder of his old family slogan on Tuesday after it was revealed that 48 staff within his office were on the sunshine list.

Liberal Parliamentary Leader John Fraser spearheaded the stunt, sending a small can of mushroom gravy in a bag across the floor of the legislature.

“He didn’t quite get it,” Fraser told reporters. “I had to explain it. But he should get it and I think he should know because, to my recollection, I think the premier didn’t quite invent the gravy train, but he certainly revived it over his career.”

The premier’s late brother, Rob Ford, used the slogan “stop the gravy train” widely during his campaign for mayor to indicate how he would cut red tape and save taxpayers money.

The phrase has been brought back to the legislature by the Ontario Liberals, who say the Ford government has done the exact opposite.

“I did that to remind him that he more than doubled the staff in his office to 48 people who are all on the sunshine list,” Fraser said. “All of whom make more than the median family income in Ontario.”

“I don't think that's just wrong, I think it’s obscene.”

According to the sunshine list, 48 staff members in the premier’s office were paid a salary of over $100,000 in 2023.

In total, these staff have cost the premier’s office nearly $7 million.

In 2022, there were 31 staff on the list at a pricetag of just over $4.7 million.

“Do you not remember what you said about the gravy train? Did you not remember you railed against it. Did you not remember in 2018, you would pick up the sunshine list and talked to the insiders, fat cats? The premier has a short memory,” Fraser said.

“Unless he fixes this, I’m going to remind him every day.”

The Liberals aren’t the only ones jumping on the gravy train rhetoric. NDP MPP Joel Harden also used the phrase when asking about the salary of Metrolinx employees.

“Under their watch, what we learned from the latest sunshine list is that the number of vice-presidents at Metrolinx has tripled. In 2018, there were 27, and today, there are 82,” Harden said during question period.

“My question again to the honourable gentleman: Please, for the transit unions who work in this province, why are you rewarding failure? When will you rein in the gravy train at Metrolinx?”

In response, the minister of transportation pivoted to the government’s commitment to build public transportation.

Speaking in the legislature, Government House Leader Paul Calandra used a “gravy train” question to attack Liberal Leader Bonnie Crombie’s salary.

Ford’s salary remains unchanged from 2022, standing at $208,974, according to the sunshine list. Government House Leader Paul Calandra and Deputy Premier Sylvia Jones make $165,851.

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