Article by Marieke Walsh, iPolitics
After Ron Taverner rejected the job created for him at the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS), the position wasn’t filled by anyone else, according to documents obtained by iPolitics.
At the insistence of the premier’s office, Taverner, a friend of Ontario Premier Doug Ford, was offered the job of president of community partnerships at the OCS. The job came with a $270,000 annual salary, a potential 10 per cent performance bonus and a four year contract.
That represented a nearly $90,000 raise for Taverner, who last year earned $182,370 as a superintendent in the Toronto Police Service. Ultimately though, Taverner turned down the position and applied for the post of OPP commissioner. He was awarded the OPP job, but quit before being installed amid mounting controversy surrounding his appointment.
Information about the job offer at the OCS was revealed in the integrity commissioner’s March 20 report on Taverner’s appointment as OPP commissioner.
In his report, Integrity Commissioner J. David Wake details a rushed effort in August to secure a job for Taverner. However, documents obtained by iPolitics, through the access to information law, show the job hasn’t been filled since Taverner turned it down.
On March 22, iPolitics asked the OCS if the job had been filled or posted for a competition after Taverner declined the post. In a statement, spokesperson Amanda Winton said “as a matter of policy, the OCS does not comment on employee or staffing matters.”
iPolitics then filed an access to information request for the Crown agency’s most recent list of employees and their job titles. While most names were redacted, the document shows the position offered to Taverner has not been filled. Additionally the other titles that were considered by the government for the position (president of community outreach and president of community affairs) are not among the current roles held by staff of the OCS.
Community affairs, community outreach and community partnerships also don’t show up in job titles for lower-level jobs.
After iPolitics obtained the document, the Ontario Cannabis Store again refused to answer any direct questions about the job.
In a statement, Winton maintained “the OCS is committed to transparency,” pointing to an annual report with an out of date organizational chart.