On Sunday, Liberal candidate Mitzie Hunter accused the Ford government of conducting a "gravy train" benefitting PC candidates who didn't win seats in the 2018 election.
Of the 41 candidates who lost, 16 were given government jobs, Hunter said.
There were, however, 48 total PC candidates not elected in 2018. Hunter's analysis didn't include seven PC candidates who later passed away or were elected in federal or municipal elections.
It also counted six candidates who got political jobs in MPPs' or ministers' offices towards the 16.
When asked how many failed Liberal candidates from the 2014 election were given government jobs, Hunter couldn't definitively say.
"I believe that there were maybe two at the very most," she said.
Hunter's announcement landed with a thud, due both to its elaborate presentation and how the Liberals hyped it up the day before.
Nevertheless, QP Briefing ran the names of every failed Liberal candidate from the 2014 through the orders-in-council database to see how many were given appointments to government agencies, boards, and commissions (ABCs) during Kathleen Wynne's majority tenure.
QP Briefing only included failed candidates who got jobs at ABCs because other jobs, like working for an MPP or minister, are inherently partisan. ABC employees are supposed to be non-partisan.
Deceased candidates and those elected to other levels of government were also included in the QP Briefing analysis. People can get patronage appointments before they pass away or run for other offices.
Using those criteria, the Ford government gave 10 of 48 failed candidates jobs at agencies, boards, and commissions. That's just under 20 per cent of failed candidates benefiting from patronage.
Conversely, only two of 51 failed Liberal candidates from 2014 got ABC appointments. That's just under four per cent of failed candidates benefitting from patronage.
One of the candidates was Christine Milks, who ran in Leeds—Grenville. She came a distant second to PC candidate Steve Clark, who served as housing minister in the previous session.
Milks was reappointed to the Gananoque Police Services Board on June 28, 2017.
All municipal police services are overseen by a police services board. Both the province and local council get two appointments each. The municipality gets the other.
The other candidate was Catherine Whiting, who was appointed as a part-time member of the board directors of the Ontario Agency for Health Protection on Nov. 16, 2016.
Whiting ran against PC candidate Vid Fedeli in 2011 and 2014, coming a distant second both times.
Whiting is a family doctor and served as North Bay's medical officer of health before entering politics.
"This is nothing but a distraction by the Del Duca-Wynne Liberals from their failing campaign," said Caitlin Clark, a press officer with the PC campaign. "Over the last four years, our government has appointed over 7,000 people to agencies boards and commissions from all three political parties."
In 2021, the PCs' appointed Jim Warren, who served as Dalton McGuinty's director of communications, to oversee Ontario Lottery and Gaming.
"Despite promising to stop the gravy train when they took office, the Ford Conservatives have only continued to put their friends before Ontarians," said Andrea Ernesaks, a press officer with the Liberal campaign. "Doug Ford always finds a way to look after his friends — whether they be donors, for-profit long-term care owners, or defeated Conservative candidates."