Gill's gone. Who's next?
And Bethlenfalvy's staff shuffle continues
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ABOVE THE FOLD
Breaking last night — PIERRE POILIEVRE has set off a chain reaction in poaching PARM GILL as a contender for the next election. Gill may not be the only Ford Tory with federal ambitions — and his departure has BONNIE CROMBIE eyeing his provincial seat in Milton.
Last night, Gill — the PCs Red Tape Reduction Minister, MPP for Milton, and ex-MP for Brampton — announced he was exiting the Pink Palace and heading back to the Hill. “I have known Pierre and [his wife] ANA for many years and have seen firsthand Pierre’s commitment and dedication to making our country better,” Gill said of his new federal captain. The Conservatives promptly closed local nominations, giving Gill the edge.
Shuffle time: Gill is resigning his seat and cabinet spot, which gives Premier DOUG FORD six months to call a byelection and forces him to tweak his front bench, something that’s expected to happen as soon as today. Ford’s office issued a statement wishing Gill “every success in this next chapter” — but spokeswoman CAITLIN CLARK didn’t offer specifics on why he was leaving immediately.
One theory: Gill isn’t the only Ford Tory rumoured to be eyeing greener pastures in Ottawa, but Poilievre’s camp is being picky. There’s been no love lost between Poilievre and Ford, and while Ontario may be crucial territory that can make or break governments, one source tells me the “Greenbelt stench” and political baggage of an RCMP investigation isn’t something federal Conservatives want hanging around their neck. Gill’s early exit could give him time to distance himself from all that.
Also floating around the rumour mill: