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Canada Ontario opposition call on Ford to address allegations his chief of staff interfered with police

Dean French (centre) chief of staff for Doug Ford, listens to the Ontario Premier, pictured on a monitor, speak at the Ontario PC Convention in Toronto, on Nov. 16, 2018.

Chris Young/The Canadian Press

Ontario’s opposition parties are calling on Premier Doug Ford to address allegations that his chief of staff sought to interfere in police investigations into illegal cannabis dispensaries.

A Toronto Star report published Tuesday alleges that Dean French unsuccessfully ordered senior political aides to instruct police to raid dispensaries the day recreational cannabis became legal.

The report, which cites unnamed sources, says the order was issued in conference calls on Oct. 17 but was rebuffed by staff in the offices of the community safety minister and attorney general.

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Ford was asked about the allegations during question period Wednesday but would not comment directly on them, nor would he say whether he had spoken to French about them.

The premier instead touted his good relationship with law enforcement and stressed that combatting the illegal drug trade remains his government’s top priority when it comes to cannabis.

Some opposition legislators called for an independent investigation into the allegations, and all denounced what they described as a lack of transparency from the premier.

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