Premier Doug Ford’s former chief of staff, who resigned his powerful post last Friday, will no longer be involved in party’s efforts to get re-elected in 2022.
The Progressive Conservative Party confirmed that Dean French is no longer a member of the Election Readiness Committee, which was launched last January three years ahead of the next vote.
French is also no longer a member of the PC Ontario Fund, the fundraising arm of the party.
While party spokesperson Marcus Mattinson says French is “returning to the private sector,” he wouldn’t say whether French is stepping down from those roles of his own accord.
Meanwhile French was back at Queen’s Park for a Monday morning staff meeting – which reportedly came as a surprise to some.
French, the Premier’s Office says, met with acting chief of staff Jamie Wallace for an hour-long transition meeting, with staff in the Premier’s Office and with chiefs of staff for all the ministries.
“He was given a standing ovation at both meetings,” says one official from the Premier’s Office, who quickly added that it was unforced.
French was known for being a temperamental force within the Ford government – who PC caucus sources allege would lash out at staff and MPPs alike.
“He’s aggressive, he is mean, he is condescending,” one party source told CTV News Toronto on Friday after French’s resignation.
French, the source says, would regularly threaten to kick staff or elected MPPs out of the Progressive Conservative caucus “for not being a team player.”
The Premier’s Office says, however, French’s departure was amicable