MPP Randy Hillier permanently expelled from Ontario PC caucus
Ontario PC MPP Randy Hillier scrums with reporters following the Throne Speech at the Ontario Legislature in Toronto on Monday, March 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
Long-time MPP Randy Hillier has been permanently expelled from the Progressive Conservative party over internal tensions with senior advisors in the Ford government.
Hillier was informed of the decision Friday afternoon in a letter from caucus chair Darryl Kramp.
“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. This decision has been made after a full review of your conduct prior to and after your suspension,” Kramp wrote.
The ejection came despite an “overture” from Premier Doug Ford on Wednesday, who offered to have a formal meeting with Hillier to “run through a few 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,” the letter reads.
The Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston MPP was suspended from caucus on Feb. 20 after making a comment inside the legislature during a heated debate over autism funding.
Hillier admitted to saying “yada, yada, yada” while parents of children with autism were present in the legislature, but insists it was directed at a member of the opposition.
Despite an apology, Hillier was suspended from caucus, removed from a parliamentary committee and forced to sit as an independent member in the legislature.
However, in a letter to PC party members in his riding this week, Hillier claimed the real reason behind his ejection was due to “long-standing tensions” with senior advisors to Ford, including chief of staff Dean French and Chris Froggatt, chair of the PC election readiness committee.
Hillier claims that when he challenged the suspension he was provided with a list of “childish grievances” as justification for his ejection, including not participating in standing ovations, not sharing Facebook posts about government activities, and putting local constituents ahead of party business.
Phone calls made to Hillier by CTV News Toronto were not returned by time of publication.
I’ll never apologize for putting my constituents first. I was informed of the decision while I was meeting with the people that sent me to Queen’s Park in the first place. I’ll have more to say soon, and you can rest assured I won’t yada yada over the best parts.#onpoli https://t.co/LobQzQFhao— Randy Hillier (@randyhillier) March 15, 2019