Cost of premier's office surges under Doug Ford

It’s a central part of Premier Doug Ford’s brand finding efficiencies in government and saving taxpayers money. Leaders at every single level of government. They have a duty. They have a duty to do everything we can to keep costs down for the hard working people of Ontario. But at Queen’s Park, the costs at the very top have ballooned since the Progressive Conservatives entered government. The Premier’s office under Doug Ford is now the most expensive in Ontario’s history. It starts at the top, and if the premier’s office is bloated, well, then there’s a really good chance that the rest of the government’s bloated. In 2019, Ford’s first full year as premier, there were 20 employees in his office on the Sunshine list who were earning 6 figures or more. In total, they cost $2.9 million. By 2023, the number of six figures salary staff grew to 48, with a total compensation package of 6.9 million. Of 136% increase over just five years. But the Premier’s office two or three times more effective than they were just a few years ago, And I think the answer is no. And I think that we’re paying a lot more, but we’re not necessarily getting more. And while the Progressive Conservatives often measure themselves against the record of the former Liberal government, the numbers tell a different story. Ford is running a larger deficit than the Liberals, has recorded a higher provincial debt than the former government as well. Even the Premier’s office under Kathleen Wynne was cheaper, costing 2.8 million for 18 employees on the Sunshine List. Now there are calls for change. What really needs to happen right now is a top to bottom review of all government spending and leadership from the top. The leadership from the top means slimming down the size of the premier’s office. News sent the premier’s office a list of questions about the spending. They did not respond. And among those questions, Global News had asked the premier’s office. What was the big difference between 2019 and 2023? Was there some major change in the office that necessitated 48 additional employees being on the sunshine list? We also asked whether any steps were taken by the premier’s office to reduce costs. Once again, Global News got no response from the premier’s office at Queen’s Park. I’m Colin D’mello. I’m back to you.

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