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Canada Top Doug Ford staffer leaving job for high-paid appointment on energy board

Former adviser for Stephen Harper, Jenni Byrne is seen attending a policy meeting at the Conservative Party of Canada convention in Vancouver, Friday, May 27, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

JONATHAN HAYWARD

A top staffer to Ontario Premier Doug Ford is leaving her post for a high-paid appointment on the board of the province’s energy regulator.

Ford is recommending Jenni Byrne, who has served as his principal secretary, to become a full-time member of the Ontario Energy Board.

The premier’s office says that’s a two-year term that comes with an annual salary of about $197,000.

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The Opposition NDP say it’s just one more example of Ford giving what it calls “cushy” public-sector jobs to his friends.

Ford family friend Ron Taverner has been named OPP commissioner, though the appointment has been delayed pending an investigation, past Progressive Conservative party president Rueben Devlin was granted a three-year term as a health-care adviser, and a Ford campaign adviser was appointed Ontario’s trade representative to the United States.

Byrne, who was Ford’s director of field operations during last year’s election and who also ran former Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s campaigns in 2011 and 2015, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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