Ford cabinet approves $473-a-day tribunal gig for ex-MPP who dramatically left NDP | Daily News Byte


Premier Doug Ford’s cabinet has moved to appoint Kevin Yarde to a nearly $500-a-day taxpayer-footed tribunal gig.

The previous MPP for Brampton North sharply broke with the NDP and informally supported the PCs in the lead-up to the 2022 election, which saw the New Democrats’ electoral support collapse in the region.

Yarde’s appointment to the License Appeal Tribunal got the cabinet’s sign-off on Friday.

A spokesman for Attorney General Doug Downey, who is officially responsible for Yarde’s appointment, did not respond to emailed questions about it before Thursday afternoon’s deadline.

Yarde did not respond to a direct message on Twitter asking to discuss his pending appointment. However, the message was seen, according to Twitter.

Yarde’s appointment authority now passes to the Standing Committee on Government Agencies. MPPs on the committee could call Yarde to appear before them to justify his appointment. But that is unlikely, as Progressive Conservative MPPs control the committee with their majority of seats.

Just a few weeks ago, PC MPPs on the committee effectively blocked former PC MPP Jeremy Roberts from appearing to discuss the $135,000-a-year tribunal appointment he was given.

Roberts was the only PC MPP to run for re-election this spring and lose. He becomes full-time vice-chair of the License Appeal Tribunal, the same organization Yarde is set to join. It is “an independent, quasi-judicial agency” that “adjudicates applications and resolves disputes regarding compensation claims and licensing activities regulated by the provincial government.” One of its jobs is to decide auto insurance disputes.

Roberts’ position is salaried while Yarde will be paid $473-per-diem for her work as a part-time member of the tribunal. This means the amount he will earn from the job will depend on the number of hearings, case conferences and judgments he attends, said a Tribunals Ontario spokeswoman.

The $473-per-diem rate was set by cabinet order from 2018, when Kathleen Wynne was premier. The government of the day can adjust these wage rates as it sees fit.

The former MPPs join a growing list of people who have donated to the party, been involved with it, or otherwise befriended Ford’s PCs before receiving a cabinet-approved appointment.

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Yarde’s appointment is set to end early in the new year.

QP Briefing learned that the cabinet had signed off on Yarde’s tribunal gig from the government’s latest allocated appointment list, which was published after it was filed.

Yarde studied and worked in journalism before running for a Queen’s Park seat. The intended filing of government appointments highlights that Yarde is a broadcaster The Weather Network and was also involved with Covenant House, which aims to help at-risk youth, including those who are homeless or have been victims of trafficking.

In the 2018 provincial election, Yarde was elected MPP for Brampton North, defeating second-place PC candidate Ripudaman Dhillon by fewer than 500 votes. Liberal incumbent Harinder Malhi, who former premier Kathleen Wynne made minister of the status of women months before the election, finished third with about 6,000 votes less than Yarde and Dhillon.

Yarde worked for the private security firm Nationwide Security while he was an MPP, his disclosure statements show.

In early April 2022, about a month before the start of this spring’s election campaign, Yarde lost his nomination meeting. Instead, Sandeep Singh was chosen by local New Democrats to be the NDP candidate in Brampton North.

Yarde alleged to the Star in Toronto that he was only notified that his renomination was contested after the deadline for new NDP members to sign up and be eligible to vote in the contest.

He left the NDP caucus about two weeks before the election was called and sat as an Independent for his final days in the legislature.

Yarde did not seek re-election. Although he did not officially endorse any candidate or party during the election, he informally supported the Conservatives in Brampton, two PC party sources confirmed, and pictures from the election out of the campaign.

At one point, Yarde helped PC candidates Graham McGregor and Charmaine Williams by introducing them to members of the Family Life Worship Center, a predominantly Black church. Yarde was the first Black MPP elected in Brampton. Williams came in second on June 2. McGregor was also elected, succeeding Yarde as MPP for Brampton North.

The PCs took away 11 Peel Region seats, including Brampton’s five. The New Democrats held three ridings in Brampton before its messy split with Yarde.


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