Amanda Simard won't say if she'll leave PC party over French cuts
MPP has criticized Doug Ford's government for slashing commissioner, university funding
Amanda Simard says she still supports the Progressive Conservative government's agenda, but won't stop demanding it reverse cuts to French-language services.
Simard, the PC MPP for Glengarry-Prescott Russell, returned to the Ontario Legislature for the first time Tuesday since breaking with her party over cuts affecting the province's some 740,000 francophones.
She refused to provide a clear yes or no when reporters asked if she'd remain with the party.
Here’s what <a href="https://twitter.com/ASimardL?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ASimardL</a> says about whether she will stay with the PCs. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/onpoli?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#onpoli</a> <a href="https://t.co/fntS4YsbBR">pic.twitter.com/fntS4YsbBR</a>—@LisaYaxiXing
In the fall economic statement, Premier Doug Ford's government revealed plans to pull funding from a planned French language university while folding the responsibilities of the French language service commissioner into the office of the provincial ombudsman.
The government said the cuts were made to save money.
While the university funding hasn't been restored, the government backtracked slightly last week on several other fronts, while also naming Caroline Mulroney the new minister of Francophone Affairs.
Simard, the first MPP to publicly criticize her own party, told reporters she will continue "asking the government to reverse their decisions."
She said that's just her, "doing what I'm elected to do."
However, Simard said she still agrees with Ford's larger agenda.
"I support our plan in general … it's just those two measures I don't agree with," she said.
When the PC caucus stands to clap, which has happened a few times already, <a href="https://twitter.com/ASimardL?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ASimardL</a> has stayed seated. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ONpoli?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ONpoli</a> <a href="https://t.co/QuTIM73Y3k">pic.twitter.com/QuTIM73Y3k</a>—@LisaYaxiXing
Despite that assurance, Simard mostly remained seated as PC MPPs gave repeated standing ovations during question period.