Ousted MPP accuses PC party 'operatives' of 'egregious acts'
Premier's spokesperson says he's lying
Ousted MPP Randy Hillier has again taken aim at the Ontario premier's office, this time from outside the Progressive Conservative caucus.
Hillier, who has represented the eastern Ontario riding of Lanark–Frontenac–Kingston since 2007, was expelled from the PC caucus on Friday.
He was initially suspended over comments he allegedly made to parents of children with autism during question period at Queen's Park last month, but Hillier told constituents in a letter last Thursday that the real reason for the rift was his refusal to stand and clap in the legislature.
- MPP Randy Hillier suspended from Ontario PC caucus after autism debate
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- Randy Hillier expelled from Ontario PC caucus
Hillier was ousted the following day.
In another letter to constituents on Monday, Hillier claims two of the premier's key advisers have been engaged in an "underhanded and relentless campaign" to boot him from caucus since last August.
Hillier's 10 reasons why
Among the expanded list of 10 reasons for which Hillier now claims he was expelled are his "refusal to breach oath of office," his "refusal to accept the obstruction and prevention of caucus criticism or input on public policy," and "for raising concerns of possible illegal and unregistered lobbying by close friends and advisors employed by Premier Ford."
Hillier did not go into detail about any of those claims, nor did he provide evidence.
An Open Letter to my Constituents and the People of Ontario. 2/3 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/onpoli?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#onpoli</a> <a href="https://t.co/HmxiotaFWv">pic.twitter.com/HmxiotaFWv</a>—@randyhillier
He also claims he was expelled because he refused to seek party permission before speaking with the media, and complained he was"condemned" for attending his brother's funeral without seeking permission.
"Like many people, I had high hopes and expectations with the election of a PC government after 15 years of Liberal mismanagement, scandals, and harmful policies," he wrote.
"I could not stand by and tolerate operatives engaging in similar and more egregious acts."
Lobbying allegations an 'outright lie'
The premier's director of media operations said in a statement Monday that the allegations in Hillier's latest letter are "absurd and categorically false."
Simon Jefferies called Hillier's allegations about illegal lobbying an "outright lie," and said the premier's office has no idea what breach of the oath Hillier is talking about.
Jefferies also said Hillier rarely showed up for caucus meetings, where members were asked for their input on party policy.
During question period Monday, Leeds–Grenville–Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes MPP Steve Clark also said Hillier's lobbying allegations were false.
Key allegation in <a href="https://twitter.com/randyhillier?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@randyhillier</a>’s letter: he was booted from caucus “for raising concerns of possible illegal & unregistered lobbying by close friends & advisors employed by Premier Ford.” NDP’s <a href="https://twitter.com/TarasNatyshak?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TarasNatyshak</a> raises it in QP, <a href="https://twitter.com/SteveClarkPC?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@SteveClarkPC</a> says “not true” <a href="https://t.co/cXmJ8gaVp7">pic.twitter.com/cXmJ8gaVp7</a>—@CBCQueensPark
As to some of Hillier's other claims, Jefferies said PC MPPs are encouraged to talk to the media, and have the right to "proper bereavement."
In response to Randy Hillier's allegations, Premier Ford's director of media relations <a href="https://twitter.com/sjefferies73?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@sjefferies73</a> says "Everything Randy Hillier outlined in his letter is an outright lie ... absurd and categorically false." <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/onpoli?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#onpoli</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/pcpo?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#pcpo</a> <a href="https://t.co/ApDiX5pNMz">pic.twitter.com/ApDiX5pNMz</a>—@CBCQueensPark