Embattled MPP Randy Hillier not running for re-election in longtime seat
Hillier ends nearly 15 years as an MPP banned from speaking in legislature
Randy Hillier, the longtime provincial politician who downplayed the pandemic and was banned from speaking in the legislature, says he is not running again in his rural eastern Ontario riding.
Hillier made the announcement Thursday toward the end of a nearly 21-minute social media video, saying the political system is broken and can't be changed from within claiming politicians don't lead anymore, they only follow.
"The only way that we can ever get back to a free and prosperous country, a country that does have a representative democracy … is if we re-engage with people and help shape public opinion," he said.
Hillier was first elected as a Progressive Conservative in Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston in the 2007 provincial election, coming from a background as an activist for rural property rights. He served under four party leaders and was re-elected three times.
In March 2019, Hillier was kicked out of caucus.
He has been serving as an independent MPP and aligned himself with politicians such as Ontario Party Leader Derek Sloan and People's Party Leader Maxime Bernier who said COVID-19 is not as dangerous as it's being made out to be and the government doesn't have to intrude so much into people's lives.
Hillier said that people who followed pandemic rules were stupid, compared Ontario's spring 2021 pandemic response to the Nazis — which caused some "End the Lockdowns" politicians to distance themselves from him — insinuated without proof that people had died after getting a COVID-19 vaccine and said people "might have to open [Parliament Hill] ourselves" in front of police barriers during the largest day of protest on Parliament Hill in January.
He has been charged for attending anti-pandemic rule events. More calls for his arrest came last month when he replied to an Ottawa police tweet about people illegally flooding their phone lines, saying people should keep calling.
In late February, Hillier was banned from speaking in the legislature until he apologized for calling Transportation Minister Omar Alghabra a terrorist in a tweet and for "social media posts insinuating a call to violence."
In Thursday's video, Hillier said he put a press release out that politicians purposefully disrupting the food supply "must be considered terrorism" — without addressing that he singled Alghabra out. He said there have been unspecified lies about what he said.