Ontario MPP could be barred from participating in the legislature

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Published February 22, 2022 at 4:52 pm

TORONTO — Ontario’s legislature has unanimously passed a motion authorizing the Speaker to bar an independent member from eastern Ontario from participating in the chamber.

A motion moved by Government House Leader Paul Calandra says the house expresses its disapproval of Randy Hillier’s “continued disreputable conduct.”

It calls on him to apologize for what Calandra called racist and discriminatory statements about federal Transport Minister Omar Alghabra, and for social media posts that Calandra says were insinuating a call to violence.

The motion says the Speaker is authorized to not recognize Hillier in the legislature until the member for Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston publishes written apologies and the Speaker is satisfied of their sincerity.

Hillier has frequently posted COVID-19 misinformation and conspiracy theories throughout the pandemic, has been ticketed for allegedly breaking public health rules, and has more recently supported and attended the Ottawa occupation by anti-vaccine mandate protesters.

Hillier apologized in November for a post in which he used names and photos of people who had died to suggest without evidence that they had died due to COVID-19 vaccination.

That came after a previous unanimous motion of the legislature condemning Hillier’s “string of disreputable conduct.”

Hillier previously violated mask rules at the legislature four times, trying to enter the members’ lobby to vote instead wearing a face shield. The Sergeant-at-Arms prevented him from entering because of it, and Hillier alleged it breached parliamentary privilege.

The Speaker ruled against him.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 22, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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