Bowmanville MPP Lindsey Park will sit as an independent after quitting PC caucus after vaccination status fiasco

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Published October 22, 2021 at 5:04 pm

Durham MPP Lindsey Park will sit as an independent following her departure from the Progressive Conservative caucus after she was accused of misrepresenting her vaccination status and demoted.

Park was fired from her position as parliamentary secretary for the attorney general after it was revealed that she told the government she was going to get vaccinated but didn’t follow through.

In a statement released today, Park claims this was because her doctor advised her not to get the shot.

All MPPs had until August to get vaccinated or submit a medical exemption signed by a doctor to Queen’s Park. The government announced that only one MPP had submitted a medical exemption, and it wasn’t Park.

In her statement, Park says she told advisors to Premier Doug Ford on August 10 that she decided to get vaccinated. After that discussion, she booked an appointment during which her doctor told her not to get vaccinated after a reaction to previous flu shots.

She says she advised Ford’s office of this development on August 23. On September 22 Ford announced that only one MPP had an exemption. Park says she followed up with Ford’s office and was assured her exemption had been received.

Park says she attended a meeting on October 1, which she was able to enter after showing her doctor’s note. Hours later the House speaker accused her of misrepresenting her status and her subsequent demotion. “To say I was shocked and horrified would be an understatement,” she said.

Unlike Chatham-Kent MPP Mike Nicholls, who refused to get vaccinated, she was not ejected from PC caucus, a move opposition leaders called a double standard.

Nevertheless, Park says the breakdown of trust prevents her from continuing in caucus. She will continue to represent Durham as an Independent member.

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