August 10, 2018 8:09 am

Bill Kelly: Doug Ford’s taxpayer-paid cheering section an embarrassment

Tensions are escalating between the new administration and journalists as the opposition claims Doug Ford is wasting taxpayer money with his clapping staff. Alan Carter has more.

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It happened again Thursday; after Doug Ford’s scripted comments about funding for gun violence, attempts by media to ask questions of the premier were drowned out by cheering and applauding Ford staff members, allowing Ford to escape the time-honoured tradition of actually answering questions about his policies.

READ MORE: Ontario government to invest $25M over 4 years to combat gun and gangs in Toronto

Ford often employed this strategy during the election campaign and, as juvenile and self-aggrandizing as it looks, it actually masks a much more troubling reality.

The guy who talks about accountability and transparency and being for the people goes out of his way to avoid answering questions about announcements that are often long on rhetoric and short on details.

WATCH: Doug Ford doesn’t support a ban on handguns in Toronto


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Some of Ford’s disciples defend his action by suggesting that the Queen’s Park media is out to get him.

The media’s job is to hold the government’s feet to the fire.

They did it with the Harris government and the Eves government and with McGuinty and Wynne and all of those premiers understood that while tough media questions may be uncomfortable, it’s part of the job.

But with Ford, we get a dog and pony show, where he populates the media room with taxpayer-paid staffers who attempt to shelter him from the very scrutiny that is so necessary in a democratic society.

It’s about time that the premier realizes that accountability is not just a political buzzword, it’s part of the job.

Bill Kelly is the host of the Bill Kelly Show on Global News Radio 900 CHML

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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