Randy Hillier expelled from PC Caucus
Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston MPP Randy Hillier has been expelled from the Ontario PC Caucus by Premier Doug Ford.
Hillier was informed of the decision via a letter from PC Caucus Chair Daryl Cramp that said in part, “I am writing to inform you that a decision has been made by the Leader of our Party to expel you from the Ontario PC Caucus on a permanent basis.”
Hillier was initially suspended late last month after it was alleged he said “yada, yada, yada,” to parents of autistic children who had visited the Legislature at Queen’s Park in protest of new autism treatment funding.
Hillier denies that he made the comments to the parents. He said the comments were directed at a member of the NDP. His claim was backed up by at least two journalists who witnessed the altercation as the session came to an end.
Yesterday, on March 14th, Hillier sent a letter to the media and supporters that said in part “The truth behind my removal however is not due to banter in the House, but long-standing tensions between me and Doug Ford’s most senior advisors.”
Hillier said he has always placed the interests of constituents ahead of conventions or meetings of the PC Party, and he will not apologize for that. He wrote that isn’t a question of party loyalty, but rather an “acknowledgment of his over-arching responsibility as an elected representative in Ontario’s Provincial Parliament.”
When he challenged his suspension, the MPP for Lanark-Kingston-Frontenac said he was given a list of what he called “childish grievances,” such as not standing and clapping in the house often enough or not sharing government posts in social media.
Just a day before, Premier Ford said during a news conference on another subject that he saw Hillier’s suspension as an internal matter. “I’m not going to discuss personnel issues,” said Ford. “Because it is a personnel issue in front of the world.”
He added “I think Randy’s a good man and we’ll sit down and have a chat with him.”
The Premier also said that no decision has been made on a permanent ban.
Cramp wrote in his letter to Hillier that the decision to expel the MPP was made by Ford after Hillier’s latest public comments on his suspension.
Cramp wrote, “While the Leader was prepared to sit down with you once again to discuss these matters… …he was disappointed that in spite of this overture you continued to escalate the situation in public and in a way that demonstrates an ongoing unwillingness on your part to be a team player and to work constructively on finding a solution.”
Hillier can now chose to resign, sit as an independent in the legislature, or attempt to join another party.
The following is the complete letter Cramp wrote to Hillier.
I am writing to inform you that a decision has been made by the Leader of our Party to expel you from the Ontario PC Caucus on a permanent basis. The decision has been made after a full review of your conduct prior to and after your suspension.
Our caucus is made up of dedicated men and women who were elected by the people of Ontario with a mandate to get our province back-on-track. These MPPs work constructively together, show up for work, and are committed to implementing the promises we made For the People. When we work as a team, we accomplish great things.
While the Leader was prepared to sit down with you once again to discuss these matters and communicated this publicly on Wednesday March 13, he was disappointed that in spite of this overture you continued to escalate the situation in public and in a way that demonstrates an ongoing unwillingness on your part to be a team player and to work constructively on finding a solution.
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