It was allegations of sexual misconduct, not an alcohol addiction, that led to the resignation of Economic Development Minister Jim Wilson, according to multiple media reports.
Global News reports that the allegations were brought forward by a male staffer at Queen’s Park and Premier Doug Ford learned of them on Friday — the day Wilson resigned.
A statement from Ford’s office late Friday stated that Wilson resigned from cabinet and the Tory caucus “to seek treatment for addiction issues” related to alcohol.
Wilson had been Ford’s most senior minister and was a PC MPP for 28 years. Back in July 2014, he was elected interim party leader after former leader Tim Hudak resigned. Wilson held that role until Patrick Brown took over as leader in May the following year.
A report by Global News cites multiple sources also claiming Andrew Kimber, the premier’s executive director of issues management and legislative affairs, resigned Friday over allegations of sexually inappropriate text messages sent to a female Queen’s Park staffer.
On Monday afternoon, the premier’s office released the following statement on both resignations:
“Jim Wilson is no longer a Minister of the Government, nor is he a member of the PC Caucus. He has entered a treatment facility to deal with addiction issues.
Andrew Kimber resigned from the Premiers office.
As a matter of policy, we don’t comment on specific details of internal staffing matters. Generally speaking, 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. To protect the identity of any individual who brings forward an allegation, we would not comment on particulars.”
CityNews and 680NEWS have not independently verified the allegations against Wilson or Kimber.
The reports come on the same day Ford shuffled his caucus, naming Government House Leader Todd Smith as Wilson’s replacement. The swearing-in happened behind closed doors at Queen’s Park.