The mainstream media has paid extra scrutiny over the friends of Doug Ford and their enterprises in the private sector, yet Kathleen Wynne’s own shady connections were largely overlooked.
During a recent presser in Lucan, Ontario where the premier was announcing extended internet coverage to rural areas, Ford was grilled over his connections to several current and former advisors.
Reporters questioned Ford over his ties to government lobbyists Chris Froggatt of Loyalist Public Affairs and Kory Teneycke of Rubicon Strategy. Both Froggatt and Teneycke played essential roles in Ford’s triumphant election in 2018 and the mainstream media is accusing them of misusing their ties with the premier.
Extensive media coverage from The Globe and Mail, CTV News, CBC, Global News and others has been dedicated to the recent accusations. When the media isn’t talking about Froggatt and Teneycke, they’re talking about Dean French.
While Teneycke and Froggatt have been accused of having improper meetings and dealings with the current government, there has been no evidence of improper meetings or of money being exchanged.
On the other hand, Kathleen Wynne awarded her friends with several government contracts to the tune of millions of dollars while the media stayed relatively quiet.
Reporting by Brian Lilley found that a public relations firm, The Gandalf Group, headed by Kathleen Wynne’s Campaign Manager David Herle was awarded a total of $2.7 million in government contracts by the Liberals. Through one contract for Ontario Power Generation, The Gandalf Group billed taxpayers a whopping $420 an hour for their services.
Despite the clear and obvious connections between Herle and Wynne’s government, the mainstream media provided scant coverage on the scandal, with only one meagre Toronto Star article being written about it.
Prior to this, Herle was the campaign co-chair for Wynne during the 2014 election which secured a Liberal majority government. In 2016, Lilley discovered that Herle also received two public policy polling contracts totalling nearly $900,000. This too received scant media attention, with only one skewed article written by the CBC.
For months now, the mainstream media can’t seem to change the channel from Ford’s alleged cronyism but when real money was flowing between Wynne and a Liberal insider, the press seems to have collectively gone silent.