Ontario minister left post after allegation of sexual misconduct

Ontario’s former economic development minister left his post and the Progressive Conservative Party after an allegation of sexually inappropriate behaviour was levelled against him, three party sources tell CBC Toronto.

The Ontario Premier’s Office won’t confirm or deny this.

A spokesperson for Premier Doug Ford announced Friday that Jim Wilson, the long-time MPP for Simcoe-Grey in the Georgian Bay area, resigned from cabinet to seek treatment for addiction issues.

However, on Monday sources said his departure comes after an allegation against him surfaced.

CBC Toronto has attempted to contact Wilson, but hasn’t received a response.

CBC Toronto can’t verify whether the allegation is true.

Ford has said little about Wilson’s departure, which came days after the two showed off a new “open for business” sign near Sarnia, Ont., other than to confirm he’s entered a treatment facility to deal with addiction issues.

Lisa MacLeod, Ontario’s minister of children, community and social services, told reporters in Ottawa that Wilson is currently in rehab. She also said the government has taken “swift action” and launched a third-party investigation into the allegation against him.

“He’s not a member of our caucus anymore,” she said.

Wilson’s departure sparked a cabinet shuffle at Queen’s Park that included a number of other changes, even though Ford crafted his cabinet just four months ago.

The Official Opposition blasted the secrecy surrounding the cabinet changes.

“We need to understand why the resignation has happened,” NDP Deputy Leader Sara Singh told reporters Monday.

“It’s incumbent on [Ford] to come forward, not only for Ontario families, but to the media to explain the decisions that have been made by his cabinet.”

Ford adviser also leaves job

Ford’s office also confirmed Monday that Andrew Kimber, the premier’s executive director of issues management and legislative affairs, has resigned. The premier’s office provided no information about why.

“We don’t comment on specific details of internal staffing matters,” said an email statement from Ford’s office.

The premier’s office did say there’s a system in place to deal with situations involving accusations of wrongdoing.

“If allegations are brought forward to senior staff of the Government or the PC Caucus, a process is activated immediately and we provide staff with support and reassurance of their right to work in an environment that is free of harassment,” the statement said.

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