Ford government appoints friend of chief of staff’s son to $164K advisor role in NYC

Tyler Albrecht is seen here in a Facebook picture. Facebook

Global News has learned the Ford government is appointing 26-year-old Tyler Albrecht, a friend of Premier Ford’s chief of staff’s son, to an advisor role in New York City.

In a release, the province announced four of eight appointments to the role of agents-general in different cities around the world.

According the government, the new advisors will be responsible for providing expert guidance and helping Ontario businesses attract investment and grow international trade.

Agents-general positions have not existed in Ontario since the 1990s.

READ MORE: Ontario government appoints four agents-general, including ex-PC party president

In a short biography of Albrecht released Thursday, Kayla Iafelice, a spokesperson for the premier writes, “Albrecht has worked in the finance industry in New York City and Toronto. In his most recent role at Optimize Capital Markets he provided corporate finance services to private companies seeking capital and many private placements, totaling more than $250 million. He holds a degree from Loyola University Maryland.”

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According to his LinkedIn profile, Albrecht also worked as a supply chain analyst at PepsiCo and a sales and trading intern at KCG Holdings Inc.

WATCH: Premier Ford shuffles his cabinet

The government’s description of Albrecht leaves out that he is a personal friend of Joe French, son of the premier’s chief of staff, Dean French.

The men are fellow lacrosse players and are pictured together on social media.

Many of Albrecht’s social media profiles have been deactivated. Attempts to reach Albrecht at Optimize Capital Markets via telephone for comment Thursday were unsuccessful.

The appointment is for a period of three years and comes with a salary of $164,910 CAD.

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When asked by Global News for comment on the relationship, the premier’s office spokesperson Ivana Yelich said, “With experience in the financial sector in the United States and Canada, Mr. Albrecht is not only qualified, but is also aligned with the priorates [priorities] of this government and our business-friendly approach.”

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The Opposition responded to news of the appointment late Thursday with harsh criticism.

“At a time when Doug Ford is handing out pink slips to everyday people – to teachers and educators, to health care professionals, to autism service providers – he is doling out cushy, high-paying jobs to his buddies,” said NDP MPP Taras Natyshak.

“He bends over backwards to take care of the wealthy, the well-connected and people who have an inside track to his office. And Ontarians are the ones who have to foot the bill.”

Global News also asked the government a number of questions related to expenses for the appointments including if healthcare, housing, in-country travel and return trips to Canada would be paid for with tax dollars.

Yelich told Global News, “The budget for these positions will come out of the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade’s current allocation.”

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“For travel and hospitality expenses,” Yelich added, “these advisors will follow the Global Affairs Canada’s guidelines as prescribed by the Federal Treasury Board.”

The government also confirmed that the advisor positions will be supported by existing staff and will be located in offices within respective consulates.

— With files from the Canadian Press

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