Premier Doug Ford tore a strip off Independent MPP Randy Hillier on Friday, calling his behaviour “appalling” and “disgusting” after the former Progressive Conservative published personal information about 11 Ontarians he falsely claimed had died or suffered serious side effects from COVID-19 vaccines.
“I think it is appalling an elected official would do that, put someone who has passed away for another reason and post it and say it’s because they had vaccinations. It’s disgusting, in my opinion,” Ford said following a news conference where he announced a plan to slowly ease up on pandemic restrictions.
“That’s the reason Randy Hillier is not part of our party. That’s the reason Randy Hillier will not win the next election if he decides to run,” Ford said. “And ironically, Randy Hillier’s riding is the highest vaccinated riding anywhere in Ontario, so they don’t believe in him either.
“I think this guy, I always said before, the cheese slipped off the cracker with this guy — he’s gone rogue. The guy’s lost his mind, in my opinion, and I just ignore him. I think it’s ridiculous. I wouldn’t even give him the time of day if I were the media. That’s what he loves.”
Earlier this week, Hillier posted photos and personal medical information about 11 Ontarians on his social media accounts that suggested they had died or suffered serious medical diagnoses related to COVID-19 vaccinations.
Upset families and friends of some of those profiled have since come forward to say Hillier is wrong and have urged him to remove the posts.
So far, he has refused.
Hillier — who represents Lanark-Frontenac-Kington and has been a vocal opponent of lockdowns and mask mandates — instead posted a statement saying it is his duty as an elected official to “examine and question public policy.”
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He also calls on the Ontario Provincial Police to “begin immediate criminal investigations to determine the facts of these and other tragic deaths, and determine if the administration of a pharmaceutical product was either a contributing factor or a cause of death and injury.”
Hillier recently tweeted that “I’ve never encouraged anyone to take or not take the jab. I Just provide data & facts,” adding that “the unvaxed are being excluded & segregated from society … is it time we leave this sick and diseased society and create a new one based on freedom.”
Leeds Grenville and Lanark public health continues to report the highest vaccination rate in the province, with 97.4 per cent of eligible residents having received one dose and 93.5 per cent being fully vaccinated.
Kingston, Frontenac, and Lennox and Addington public health reports a first-dose vaccination rate of 89 per cent, and 85 per cent for both doses.
The family of one woman featured in Hillier’s posts told the Waterloo Region Record they are “infuriated” and “hurt,” saying she died from a rare autoimmune disease, not a vaccine complication.
Farisa Navab’s sister, Ammarah, said Hillier shared “false information about my sister’s death to further propaganda without notification or consent.”
Hillier was kicked out of the PC caucus more than two years ago for his behaviour — including taunting the parents of autistic children at Queen’s Park — but he has maintained it was because he was at odds with the premier’s closest advisers.
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