Another Ford govt. appointee resigns after NDP shows connections to Dean French

Doug Ford in Calgary

Another Ford Government appointee is out because of connections to the premier's former chief of staff, this time a member of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board. 

Ian Neita submitted his resignation Friday to the board of directors, after the NDP revealed that along with his experience in insurance, he also coached basketball with Dean French. 

The NDP says it also appears their daughters played on the same team in 2013. 

NDP MPP Marit Stiles said her party's members on the Standing Committee on Government Agencies asked for unanimous consent to review the appointment, but were denied by the PCs.

"He should've been able to come to the committee and we should've been able to question him in detail," she said. 

Neita's experience includes several senior and managerial roles in the insurance industry, currently working as the manager of group underwriting at Industrial Alliance. 

As she has before, Stiles put the blame squarely on Premier Doug Ford. 

"He's the one who is sullying this person's name by not opening up the door to transparent and accountable process," she said. 

NEWSTALK1010 was unable to reach Neita for comment. 

In a statement, the premier's office reiterated the current review of pending appointments, adding anyone who has been found to have been given a post for the wrong reasons will be removed. 

"At the request of the Premier, Treasury Board officials are reviewing the appointment process to strengthen conflict of interest screening to further ensure the most qualified individuals are being selected," the office says. 

Dean French resigned last month after it was revealed that two of four high-paying trade appointments had personal ties to him, including a 26-year-old who played lacrosse with French's son. 

Several other appointees have also left, including a niece of French's during the patronage scandal, prompting the review. 

The government originally said French resigned, but several cabinet ministers have said that Ford took action in ensuring he left his post. 

However, when Ford was asked for clarity this week on if he actually fired French, he simply said he's no longer in the role. 

"The people that listen to NEWSALK1010 Lucas (reporter Lucas Meyer), don't worry about that," he said. "They worry about if the economy is going."