NDP says Hamilton MPP can't run for party in 2022, citing 'unacceptable' information
Paul Miller says lawyer told him not to discuss situation, vows NDP will be 'embarrassed'
The Ontario NDP says it will not allow four-term Hamilton MPP Paul Miller to run for the party in the upcoming election, citing "unacceptable" information uncovered during vetting.
NDP leader Andrea Horwath issued a brief statement Thursday afternoon saying Miller, who represents Hamilton East -Stoney Creek, will not be permitted to run as a candidate for the party in 2022.
"I've been informed of the new information uncovered during that vetting process, and find it to be clearly unacceptable," Horwath said. "Therefore I have removed Mr. Miller from the Ontario NDP caucus."
Miller told CBC that he's aware of the information Horwath referred to, but declined to share any details about it, saying only that it's "totally fabricated and false."
"It's nothing criminal or anything like that," he said when reached by phone. "I've been advised by my lawyer not to say anything."
The party did not respond to a request for more information about what was discovered during the vetting process.
But in a statement to CBC, Lucy Watson, provincial director for the Ontario NDP, said Miller's "suggestion that the concerning content was fabricated or false is absurd."
MPP says party wants 'equity candidates'
Miller was first elected in 2007 and has held onto his seat since.
He said he had been asking for a nomination for over a year, but the party kept stalling.
"I assumed they were up to something," he said. "I didn't know it would be that drastic."
Asked why he believes he was kicked out of the party now, Miller said he believes the NDP is moving in a new direction.
"I think they are looking for young, equity candidates and I think they want to get rid of the old guys."
Miller is a former steelworker who became a labour leader with the United Steel Workers. He also served as a Stoney Creek councillor for six years before becoming an MPP.
He has attracted some controversy in the party locally. In a 2018, former employee Todd White filed a complaint with Ontario's human rights tribunal, alleging Miller had bullied employees, made racist, sexist and homophobic comments, and abused office resources to campaign.
White was an active party volunteer, and at the time, chair of the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board.
A senior official with the NDP confirmed the information it received about Miller was after the 2018 election and is not a police matter.
'The truth will rise to the top'
Miller ran for the party in the election that June and won with 51.15 per cent of the vote.
The MPP pointed to that past track-record when asked about his future, saying he's looking at "all options," including running as an independent or for another party.
He likened being removed from the NDP to being put "in the penalty box."
"I've been there before and I've survived," said Miller.
"The truth will rise to the top … and once again the NDP will be embarrassed."
with files from Samantha Craggs