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A young Flaherty joins Doug Ford's staff Add to ...

The close ties between two of Canada's powerhouse political families have just cinched a little tighter.

Galen Flaherty, the 20-year-old son of federal finance minister Jim Flaherty, has started working for Councillor Doug Ford, the Etobicoke councillor and brother of Mayor Rob Ford.

"I've known him since he was a little kid," said Doug Ford. "I saw him at a family function and he asked if he could help downtown at all. I said 'Sure, come on down.' He's doing a fabulous job. Every councillor should hire a student."

Mr. Ford said that the young Mr. Flaherty will be mainly fielding the hundreds of calls from constituents that come into the councillor's office every day.

"Next to the mayor, my office is probably the busiest," he said. "I get over 100 calls a day, and only five per cent come from people in my ward."

The Fords and Flahertys have maintained a familial closeness since the mid-90s, when Mr. Flaherty sat next to the Ford paterfamilias Doug Ford Sr. in the Ontario Legislature.

"They were both rookie backbenchers," said Doug Jr. "Because the legislature goes by alphabet, here were these two Irish guys sitting beside one another. We've all been close ever since."

The senior Mr. Ford died in 2006 at age 73.

His namesake who entered politics last year knows first-hand how difficult it can be to work under the shadow of a political family.

In that respect, Galen Flaherty has it worse than any of the Fords ever did. Not only is his father one of the country's most recognizable politicians, his mother, Christine Elliott, is the MPP for Whitby-Oshawa.

"It's tough for [Galen]" Mr. Ford said. "When your father is finance minister there's lots of expectations. Everyone's eye is on you."

 

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