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'Absolutely ridiculous': Ford rebukes questions on daughter's stag attended by developers


Ontario Premier Doug Ford rebuffed questions from reporters yet again on Wednesday regarding his daughter’s stag and doe party, claiming that “no one can influence the Fords.”

A stag and doe is a pre-wedding event meant to help the soon-to-be-newlyweds raise money.

The event, which took place in the summer, has raised questions after media reports suggested that guests were asked to provide gifts, some up to the amount of $1,000, and that developers were in attendance.

The questions came after the province’s integrity commissioner was asked to look into whether the premier breached the Members’ Integrity Act. The request came in January, months after the party took place.

The commissioner’s office found no wrongdoing.

“You’ve got to be kidding,” Ford said when initially asked by reporters about the event Wednesday. “We've known tens of thousands of people over the years and I don't sit there with a checklist as they're coming through the door.”

“My daughter is a private citizen,” he continued. I don't know what you don't understand: it was my daughter's stag, we went outside, we opened the doors, and the vast majority of people just walked through the backyard.”

Ford is not divulging details of who sent invitations -- including to developers -- for the event, saying only that "the boys took care of that" when asked about the money that was raised.

Ford did not provide a clear answer when asked by a reporter Wednesday if he would make the submissions and findings of the commissioner’s decision public.

He also denied any wrongdoing on the matter at a news conference last week, adding that the matter was private.

When pressed further on the event again, Ford doubled down on his family’s privacy, calling the reporter’s “journalistic integrity” into question.

“I can tell you this is the first time in Canadian history that you go after any premier’s family, which used to be an unwritten rule that you don't do that,” he said. ”But I guess when it comes to us, there are different rules, and, in my opinion, it’s absolutely ridiculous.”

“No one can influence the Fords,” he added. “No one.”

Ontario NDP Leader Marit Stiles said in a statement last week the premier should be transparent and put the interests of residents first and “not the interests of the highest bidder.”

“If people weren’t already asking questions about Doug Ford’s cozy relationship with developers, they sure will be now,” she said. “Ontarians will have questions about what exactly occurs behind closed doors at Ford’s parties. I know I do.”

In a statement to CP24 last week, a spokesperson for the integrity commissioner said they were told the guests at the stag and doe party were “friends of the Ford family and, in some cases, have been for decades.”

Michelle Renaud, the communications and outreach manager at the Office of the Integrity Commissioner of Ontario, said the information submitted showed the premier had no knowledge of the gifts given to his daughter and son-in-law "and that there was no discussion of government business at either of the events."

Ford’s ties with developers have been questioned by opposition parties and environmental advocates who allege that he, as well as Housing Minister Steve Clark, tipped people off about their plans to develop parts of the Greenbelt.

Both Ford and Clark have denied the allegations.

The integrity commissioner is currently investigating whether Clark may have breached Section 2 or Section 3 of the Members’ Integrity Act.

Section 2 covers conflict of interest and ensures that a member of the Legislature does not knowingly make a decision that could further their own private interests or those of another individual. Section 3 prohibits a member from providing insider information that is not publicly available for private gain.

The province’s auditor general also opened an investigation and will be conducting a value-for-money audit into the financial and environmental impacts of the removal of more than 7,000 acres of previously protected land. The audit is expected to be completed sometime this year.

Ontario Provincial Police’s anti-rackets branch confirmed to CTV News Toronto Friday they are still looking into complaints surrounding the government’s plans to develop the Greenbelt, something they have been probing since mid-December.

It has yet to be determined if there is any evidence to support an investigation. Top Stories

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